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Homemade Cracker Recipes

Want to make fresh, homemade crackers from scratch? With this simple and tasty recipe from Mother Earth News editor in chief Cheryl Long, you can save money (compared to "natural" or "whole grain" options sold at the store) and make a delicious snack that will be a hit at any gathering of family and friends. For an extra treat, check out our Easy Cheese Recipes, for step-by-step instructions on how to make three simple cheeses at home. They're great on crispy homemade crackers!

Have your own cracker recipes you'd like to share? Just post them in the comments section below!

Rye Crackers (aka Swedish Hardtack)

These whole-grain crackers are delicious and stay crisp for months. They are baked as 6-inch circles, with holes cut in the center so they can be kept out on the table on a special wooden plate that has a dowel in the center to hold the stack of crackers. I’ve read that in days gone by, households would bake up big batches of this durable, nutritious “hardtack,” thread the circular crackers through a cord and store the hardtack out of reach of rodents by hanging it near the ceiling.

I usually make the crackers for the holidays using an assortment of seeds to flavor them — caraway, fennel and sesame are my favorites. Everyone always asks for the recipe.

1 pint of buttermilk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1 tsp. salt
7/8 tsp. baking soda
Coarse rye flour 
Caraway, sesame, fennel or other seeds if desired

Mix the ingredients with enough flour to make a very thick dough. Roll the dough into a ball and cut into quarters. Roll each quarter into a 1 1/2 to 2-inch cylinder. Cut a cylinder into 6 slices. Press each side of each slice into whatever seeds you choose. Sprinkle rye flour liberally on the counter, then roll each slice out on the flour as thinly as you can — about an 1/8-inch thick and about a 6-inch circle. Cut a small hole in the center with a lid from a condiment bottle if you want. Place each cracker carefully on a baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes, until lightly browned. The crackers will be best if you let them brown slightly, but they can quickly become too brown. Watch carefully until you get the timing right for your stove — the browning is hard to see since the rye dough is already brown. — Cheryl Long 

Post a comment below.


3/20/2009 7:07:53 AM
Carta di Musica Makes 12 crackerlike flatbreads. This recipe came from King Arthur Four’s Baker’s Catalogue. 2 c all-purpose flour or white whole wheat flour 1 c semolina or coarsely ground durum or kamut 1 ½ t salt 1 ¼ c lukewarm water 2 t fresh rosemary (opt) olive oil (opt) Preheat oven for at least 40 min at 450 deg F; if you have a baking stone, put it in the oven before preheating. If working without a baking stone, preheat an ungreased baking sheet by putting it in the oven for 10 minutes so the breads will be placed on a hot surface. Whisk together the flour, semolina and salt. Slowly add the water, stirring until it forms a soft dough; you might not need all the water. Knead until the dough is firm, smooth, and not sticky. Divide into 12 balls, and place on a lightly floured surface. Flatten each ball into a 4” round. Cover and let rest 15 minutes. After dough has rested, generously flour work surface and roll each round as thin as possible, into an 8-9” circle. Place each (or several if they fit on your stone/sheet) circle of dough onto the baking stone or sheet in the oven; use a baker’s peel if you have one. Bake until the top of the bread is firm and lightly browned, about 2 min (they said 3-4min but that was way too much; maybe I roll mine thinner than they do). Turn over and bake until the other side is lightly browned, about 1 min. Cool on a rack. If desired, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and rosemary.

9/30/2008 4:01:35 PM
Dear Mother, In regard to Julia Masm’s request for cracker recipes – The Herb Companion’s own Jim Long has a wonderful book. The title is Easy Homemade Crackers Using Herbs. There are several “plain” cracker recipes also. May be ordered from Long Creek Herbs P.O. Box 127 Blue Eye, MO 65611 or I subscribe to three Ogden publications. The content, format and quality cannot be beat. I work at the local library so see quite a few magazines. You are right up tere with the best of them. Also, without scary headlines or stinky perfume ads. Thanks, Sandra Johnson/ Baldwin City, KS

Linda E_2
9/14/2008 9:45:30 AM
Cayenne Crackers 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour 1 tsp salt 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper 1/4 tsp dry mustard 1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1 large egg 3/4 cup butter, melted 1/4 cup milk Preheat oven to 400 degree F Spray pan with pam, (I use a stoneware cookie sheet) In large bowl, mix together flour, salt, cayenne and mustard. Stir in Cheddar and parmesan cheese. Stir the egg, melted butter and milk into flour mixture until a smooth dough forms. Place dough in a pastry bag fitted with a large sawtooth edge tip. Squeeze out dough into eight 15 inch strips. Using sharp knife, score strips crosswise, without cutting through, into 2-1/2" strips. Bake strips until golden, 15-20 min. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Break strips into small crackers along score marks. Make about 48 crackers. Yum-yum!!!

Anne E. Berry
9/1/2008 9:37:59 PM
Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappe has a good recipe for Sesame Crisp Crackers. Since I have some problems with food allergies, I have come up with an adaptation that I really like. 2 cups whole grain spelt flour 1/4 cup ground sesame seeds 3/4 tsp salt 1/3 cup oil about 1/3 cup water (may require more or less) Stir together dry ingredients. Add oil and blend in well. Add enough water to make a dough soft enough to be easily rolled out. Roll out 1/8 inch thick on a cookie sheet then cut in desired shapes. Bake at 350 degrees until slightly brown --about 15 to 20 minutes.

Mrs Lyle
8/11/2008 10:09:48 AM
Delicious Homemade Crackers makes about 50-60 crackers 2 c. all purpose flour (I prefer unbleached) 3/4 c. whole wheat 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp (or more) cracked black or freshly ground black pepper (opt.) 1 c. seeds (flax, sesame, poppy, sunflower combo is fantastic) 1/2 c. butter (unsalted is best, imo) 3/4 c. milk (more or less) 1/2 c. to 2 c. finely shredded cheese (opt.), parmesean is delish salt Mix dry ingredients except seeds, cut in butter. Mix in seeds and cheese (if using). Add milk, squeezing with hands, to form into ball. (Add flour if too wet, more milk if too dry.) Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled. Divide into thirds and roll out with rolling pin on floured surface of wax paper to about 1/16 of an inch thick. Sprinkle with salt and roll to press onto dough. Prick with fork all over to reduce uneven bubbling during cooking. Use pizza cutter to cut into shapes (diagonals are good) or tear into rough-edged pieces the sizes you desire. Bake in pre-heated oven, 325 degrees on lightly greased baking sheets/pans or, preferably, parchment paper. Turn crackers over after 10-15 minutes and bake another 5-10 minutes or until lightly golden. Cool. I like to order whole wheat and seeds from , from Helen, GA. They have great cornmeal and grits too. I adapted this recipe from a simple flax seed cracker recipe I clipped from a newspaper a long time ago. I like to make these crackers at Christmas time.

Alison Green
8/5/2008 6:03:22 PM
This is one of my mother's recipes but I don't know where she found it: LAVASH (Mid-Eastern sesame cracker bread) 1 1/4 lb. (about 5 C.) unbleached all purpose flour 1 envelope dry yeast 2 1/2 tsp. salt 3/4 tsp. sugar 1/4 C melted butter 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 C warm water 3/4 to 1 C sesame seeds Combine first four ingredients in mixing bowl. Blend butter with 1 C water. Add gradually to dry ingredients, mixing well. Add more water if batter too dry to hold together. Put in greased bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover with towel. Put into warm place until double in bulk - about 1-2 hours. Remove racks from gas stove - lowest shelf of electric. (Note: I'm unclear what this means. As far as I can remember she just baked them on cookie sheets on the lowest shelf of the oven. Cookie sheets greased or ungreased? Sorry, I don't know. I would go for ungreased.) Preheat to 350 degrees for gas oven, 375 degrees for electric. Take a piece of dough no larger than pingpong ball. (Keep remaing dough covered while working.) Roll as thin as possible - put sesame seeds on board and roll as hard as possible. Bake until golden brown w/ brown spots. Cool on rack.

Sherry Hohman
8/3/2008 4:02:47 PM
The recipe sounds great but I need something with less cholesterol. Maybe someone has a recipe to share.

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