Sunday, June 9, 2013

Pizza crackers

Last week we went to a party of a friend of a friend. I always find it difficult to know what to bring to these situations. What do you do when you know nothing about this person's taste's or food peculiarities and yet want to make a good impression? The only thing I could think to do was take what I know and run with it. The party was a pizza party and therefore the invention of pizza crackers!

One is never enough!

These are SO so easy to make and suit any occasion as a present. The buttery taste and texture is exactly like the high end crackers that cost 4/5 quid for a pack of less than 10, so no-one will guess that you made these for next to nothing.

Pizza Crackers (adapted from cracker recipe from Ina Garten)

100g Butter (softened)
85g   Mature Cheddar (grated very fine)                             

160g Plain Flour
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp Oregano
1/2 tsp Basil

Beat together your butter and herbs. Sieve the flour and salt onto the grated cheese and mix. Let the flour sit on the cheddar for a minute before combining the dough. The mixture will be very crumbly but fear not it will come together. Lay out some cling-film onto the counter and pour the mixture onto this. Work the mixture together into one long line of crumbs, about 1 inch in diameter, length-ways in the centre of the cling film. Now roll the cling film around the dough and make it as tight as possible. Squish the dough together and tighten the cling film, twist the ends to make sure it is as compressed as possible, flatten off all the edges so that the crackers are either square or rectangular, then throw them into the freezer for 20 minutes.

(I have found that I can actually make these crackers while simultaneously preparing to head to the party. Just by using this time to go and do my make-up etc and then doing my hair while they bake, it works out really nicely, and makes me feel like some kind of Nigella/ Martha Stewart style powerhouses of female efficiency and etiquette in one!)

Preheat your oven to 180'. Take the dough out of the freezer after 20-30 minutes at most, if you have left it for longer I would suggest letting it de-frost on the counter for a while and cutting a test slice, if the slice cuts cleanly without difficulty then go ahead. However if you cut them while they are too frozen they will break in half and will not cook as evenly. Cut into even (as possible) 1/3 inch slices and lay out onto a baking sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes on 180' or until brown on the edges and crispy looking. Remove from the baking sheet immediately to stop the baking process and cool or a wire wrack. Then just pretend you are eating a delicious thin crusty pizza, share and enjoy =)

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