Cornmeal Herb Crisp Crackers

Tomorrow is Whole Grains Sampling Day – the perfect day to try a new grain! These crispy crackers are made with simple ingredients – cornmeal, herbs and a little butter. Whole cornmeal is a whole grain, meaning it contains the endosperm, bran, and germ of the corn kernel. Whole cornmeal provides fiber, iron and cancer–fighting carotenoids.

Makes 10 servings. Yield: about 40-50 crackers.

Per serving: 44 calories, 1 g total fat (<1 g saturated fat), 8 g carbohydrate, 1 g protein, 1 g dietary fiber, 121 mg sodium.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 cup stone ground yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 1/2 tsp. unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Set out 2 baking sheets, preferably light colored.

In small bowl, combine flour, basil, oregano, garlic powder, baking powder and half the salt.

In small saucepan, mix cornmeal and water until smooth. Cook over medium-high heat while whisking constantly until most of cornmeal clings to whisk in a ball and just starts to steam. Transfer cornmeal to small mixing bowl.

Using flexible spatula, spread hot cornmeal to cover bottom of bowl. Add butter and with your fingers carefully work hot cornmeal and butter into soft ball. Flatten cornmeal to cover bottom of bowl. Add dry ingredients and with your hands, work them into cornmeal just until evenly blended, pliable dough forms. Do not overwork dough or crackers will be tough.

Place sheet of baking parchment on work surface. Pat dough into 4-inch by 6-inch rectangle and place in center of parchment with narrow edge toward you. Working always from center out, push rolling pin towards top, then bottom, then each side. Repeat until dough is 8-inch by 10-inch rectangle. If dough is irregularly shaped, trim and piece pieces around edges, pressing them into place.

Cut dough crosswise in half. Setting one half aside on a baking sheet, rotate piece remaining on parchment so narrow side faces you. Roll it out to roughly 6 inches by 9 inches. Lifting parchment on one long side, release dough against your hand, then lay it back down on parchment. Repeat to release dough on other side. Roll dough to get it as thin as you can (less than 1/16 inch if possible), to about 7 inches by 10 inches. With tines of fork, pierce dough all over, about every inch. Using sharp, thin knife, trim sides to make them even. With ruler as guide, cut dough into 1-inch by 2-inch strips. Sprinkle half of remaining salt over pieces. Arrange pieces of dough on one of baking sheets, placing them 1/2-inch apart.

Bake crackers 12-15 minutes, or until almost firm and lightly golden. Crackers will be unevenly colored with dark brown patches. Transfer crackers to plate. They harden as they cool.

Meanwhile, roll out, cut and bake second rectangle of dough.

Grocery List
• Unbleached all-purpose flour
• Dried basil
• Dried oregano
• Garlic powder
• Baking powder
• Salt
• Stone ground yellow cornmeal
• Unsalted butter

The Author:

Something Different Recipe
Developed by Dana Jacobi

Dana Jacobi takes a fresh look at deliciously healthy food. Her Something Different recipes are inspired by local produce, the seasons, and bold ethnic flavors. She is the author of fifteen cookbooks, six for Williams-Sonoma. Cooking Light, O:The Oprah Magazine, The New York Times and many other publications have featured her articles. A devoted teacher, her classes feature recipes along with technique, also a frequent subject in her personal blog at danajacobi.com, and in her books. She lives in New York City where she shops its many Greenmarkets and loves exploring the city’s varied neighborhoods. She is also an addicted knitter. http://blog.aicr.org/author/dana-jacobi/

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