FHE and I have a long history with wheat thins. They were a constant companion in our dorm rooms, at the library, and in the house. (I remember FHE smuggling them into the no-eating-allowed library on more than one occasion. Two weeks of finals; twelve quarters. You can do the math.) I can’t say I was ready to give up boxed and baged foods, but at some point I became more ingredient-conscious of prepackaged foods. One day I looked at the nutrition panel of my beloved cracker and noticed a litany of ingredients I couldn’t pronounce and more sodium than I could bear. I wasn’t surprised; I was just in denial. And so I slowly weaned myself….
Rice Kernel has yet to meet the authentic wheat thin. But I bet he’s going to enjoy this copycat. These crackers are incredibly easy to make and if you’re the type of person that likes to know what goes into your snack foods, this is the recipe for you. Now all I need is a good recipe for triscuits – the other “staple” in FHE’s college pantry. Anybody have one they’d like to share?
Homemade Wheat Thins, from King Arthur Whole Grain Baking Cookbook
- 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus extra for topping
1/4 teaspoon paprika
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter (or Earth Balance)
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Salt (and other seasonings you wish, such as rosemary, cheese, thyme, etc.)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Add the flour, sugar, salt and paprika to a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Cut the butter into small pieces and add it to the bowl. Then, using a pastry blender, mix the butter into the dry ingredients thoroughly. Combine the water and vanilla in a small measuring cup. Add to the butter/flour mixture and mix until a smooth dough forms. (Add more water as needed.)
- Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin and roll the dough into a large rectangle. Lift the dough and turn it as you roll to ensure it’s not sticking. You want to roll the dough as thin as possible, try to make sure it’s 1/16-inch thick at most. (Mine was a bit too thick; but my little helper insisted it was “fine.”) Use a pizza cutter to cut the rectangle into squares about 1 to 1 1/2 inches wide. Or take the opportunity to personalize your batch of wheat thins and use a cookie cutter shape of your choice.
- Transfer the dough squares to the prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle the squares lightly with salt or desired seasonings. Repeat the rolling and cutting process with the remaining scraps
- Bake the crackers, one sheet at a time, until crisp and browned, about 5-10 minutes. Check the crackers at 5 minutes; the crackers can burn quickly so you want to keep a close eye on them. (My stars took 9 minutes.)