Thin crackers are simply made by stretching bread dough very thinly and baking in a hot oven. Below I use the olive oil loaf recipe as it stretches very thinly and the subtle olive oil flavour goes well with the sea salt.
- 100gr bread flour
- 2gr salt
- 2gr dried yeast
- 15gr olive oil (gram, not ml)
- 70ml water
- coarse sea salt
Place the flour in the bowl of your mixer (preferably freestanding). Add the salt on one side, scoop the flour over it, and do the same on the other side with the yeast. This will avoid the salt and yeast from touching directly, which would cause the yeast to die.
Add the oil and water to the bowl.
Mix on a low setting with a dough hook for about 10 minutes. Occasionally push down any dough that is stuck high up in the bowl and not reached by the dough when turning.
When done, the dough will come away from the sides, is stretchy and not very sticky, and can be pulled to form a membrane which does not tear easily.
The rule is that you should be able to read a newspaper through it, but I hold mine up against the light to see if it’s really transparent.
So, now that you have kneaded your dough, you leave it to rest. Take out the dough hook, cover the bowl with a lid or clingfilm and set it in a warm place. The ideal teamperature for bread to rise in is 30°C. Colder will cause the bread to rise slower, warmer will increase the rising speed, but will make the dough weak and you may kill the yeast if it gets too warm. Be patient for it to rise, you can make it rise faster in the sun (or by placing the bowl in a tin of warm water, my trick in winter), but a slow rise does produce a tastier bread. If it’s warm and sunny outside, don’t put the bowl directly in the sun.
Leave it to rise until more than doubled in size. I aim for just over two times the original size. I won’t give you a time to let the dough rise, as it is so highly dependent on the temperature of your room, and I am assuming you are a home-baker like myself, without a proving cabinet or other fancy bread baking tools (which you don’t need to make really good bread at home).
Heat your oven to 220°C.
Very lightly oil your countertop (add a drop or two and spread it by rubbing your hand all over the counter) and tip your dough out onto it, using your scraper to get everything from the bowl.
Cut the dough into 4 pieces. Stretch each piece as much as you can, preferably until paper-thin. Place on a baking tray, spray with water or oil and sprinkle royally with coarse sea salt. Push the salt a bit into the dough, although this won’t be possible if you made it paper-thin.
Bake in a hot oven until crisp and browned. Stay at the oven, it’s a matter of minutes and the crackers can go from white to burned in a short time.
Leave to cool, then break into pieces and serve.