Buttermilk Oat Crackers
Easy-to-make crackers are fresh and frugal alternatives to the boutique brands
Inspired by the many packages of rustic handmade crackers lining the shelves of our local specialty cheese market, we’ve come up with a yummy batch of our own—at a fraction of the cost. Not only are they tastefully thrifty, but these homemade crackers can also be cut into any size or shape, using a knife or cookie cutters. We couldn’t resist making some dairy-animal-shaped ones to serve as both an accompaniment and a cue to the goat, sheep, and cow’s milk cheeses on our board. It gives a whole new meaning to the term animal crackers.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Remove from the heat and stir in the buttermilk; set aside.
In a food processor or blender, grind 1¼ cups oats to make a coarse-textured flour. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the flour, sugar, wheat germ, baking soda, salt, and remaining ¼ cup rolled oats.
Whisk the butter mixture to blend, then add it to the oat mixture, stirring until a soft dough forms. Divide the dough into two balls and let them rest in the bowl for 10 minutes while you heat the oven. (This will allow time for the oats to absorb some of the moisture, making the dough easier to handle.)
Heat the oven to 325°F. On a floured surface with a floured rolling pin, roll out one ball of dough to an 11-inch square, about 1⁄8-inch thick. Cut six strips horizontally and then vertically to make 36 small crackers, or cut into desired shapes. Transfer the shapes to a baking sheet and bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until the edges of the crackers are golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. (If you’re making shapes with a cookie cutter, you can reroll the scraps to make more crackers.)
Repeat with the remaining ball of dough to cut and bake more crackers. Let the crackers cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
Photos: Kate Arding