Crisp thin crackers– outside on the grill, NEW VIDEO

First off, sorry for the loud cricket sounds– couldn’t do anything about that, because…

It’s still summer, and I’m still grilling bread, but I wanted to show how to roll dough exceptionally thin for crackers use the outdoor grill as an oven.  The key with crackers is to prevent them from getting scorched.  In Artisan Bread in Five and Healthy Bread in Five we talk about doing crackers at in the 375 – 400 degree F. range (190 – 200 C), and that definitely helps prevent scorching.  You can also use oil on the crackers, and that helps too.  But oil does increase the baking time– my crackers took 20 to 30 minutes to get crisp. And that range depends on whether you get them truly paper-thin.  The thicker ones take a little longer.  So be more patient than I am and get it to less than 1/16-inch thickness– you should almost be able to see through it.

Equipment links:  To temper the grill’s heat (adjust the burners to yield a 375 to 400), I used a baking stone and also a thick commercial-grade aluminum baking sheet.  Recently, I switched to a thin non-handled rolling pin– the French milled style pin, and I feel that it’s easier to control, especially when you’re rolling very thinly.

One other tip: If you bake large flat crackers and don’t cut them before baking, “dock” (puncture) them with a fork before baking or they might puff, which you don’t want with pita.

The idea of crackers has always to have a crisp dried result that stored well– as you can see in the video, these didn’t last long enough to test the theory.  And remember:  serious bakers wear closed-toe footwear!

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17 thoughts on “Crisp thin crackers– outside on the grill, NEW VIDEO

  1. I LOVE THE CRACKER RECIPES!!!! Sorry for the all caps, but I really love them. I agree about the paper thin, and about the handle-less rolling pin. I found myself not using the handles on my rolling pin and decided to get the handle-less style. I didn’t know it was the French style until this video. I am not good at rolling things into proper shapes (you should have seen the croissants I tried to make from the brioche recipe), so I make more “freestyle” crackers.

  2. Hi Jeff

    Love the videos! What if you don’t have an aluminum baking pan? Is there anything I could substitute?

    Regards,

    Suzan

    • Sure, you can use any baking pan, but I’m just saying here that the thicker-gauge pans seem to prevent scorching. You’ll probably do fine with whatever you have, just watch it carefully till you know how it performs in whatever grill or oven you’re using. Cookie sheet, other baking sheet would all probably be fine. Jeff

  3. These look like fun. I made crackers once from one of Ming Tsai’s books and they were good but maybe thicker than they should have been. The french rolling pin and the periodic resting of the dough looks like it will help with getting to the thin-ness needed.
    I like your videos because they are not perfect and very real with mistakes too. Cool!
    Thanks Jeff!

  4. Well now THAT was fun! Going off to make some dough so I can have some crackers too. Might take a risk and wear my socks…

    • Hi Dottie,

      It is hard to keep the crackers from getting soft, especially in the humidity of summer. You can try storing them in an airtight container. If they do get soft you can recrisp them in the oven for a few minutes.

      Thanks! Zoë

  5. Hi there…so my second batch of dough came out perfect..I think!!! I added 1/4 cup extra flour and it turned out absolutely gorgeous…My only question remains how large in diameter should the loaf end up…Mine was about 6-7 inches across…is this too small? I’m just wondering if in fact my dough was perfect…All I know is that it was SINGING and it tasted fantabulous!!! And I took photos I am so proud…Thanks so much!!!

    • Hi Amanda,

      It sounds like your loaf is just right, especially if it tastes great! A 1-pound loaf is not all that large, so 6-inches is about right.

      Thanks, Zoë

  6. I see you are coming to St.Peter in November for the St.Peter reads at the community center. I am so excited I can’t wait. I have been really enjoying your method of bread making. I have even been playing around with some of the different recipes. It will be wonderful to meet you!

  7. I, too, prefer the French milled rolling pin with no handles. I do have the silicon covered one with handles as well though I find that most useful for rolling out fondant, not for pastry dough. I feel you have more control with the French pin.

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