Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Failures in baking

Here's what happens when you experiment with one of King Arthur Flours great recipes:

From Crackers

These are Rye Krisp crackers, and are the first thing I have made from King Arthur Flours Baking Companion cookbook that hasn't been really awesome! This is really a great book on baking almost anything you can think of. It has a lot of information as well as the actual recipes.

They look so beautiful, but they turned out very firm. This is not the fault of the recipe though, since I changed it by using Whole Wheat and Whole Rye fresh ground flours. I think there was simply to much fiber in it and then I worked it to much, which just made matters worse. If I had used a flour with less gluten, it probably would have helped a great deal too. Really thinking I need to look for soft wheat berries just for making crackers and quickbreads, rather than the hard winter wheat berries I use for bread.

The actual process for making these was really simple, first you take the oil and dry ingredients and mix forming small crumbly pieces.  Then you add the liquids and mix them together. Do not overmix, you do not want the gluten to get strong. Once you can form it into a ball, then it's time to refrigerate it for up to 24 hours.  You do this to increase the flavor of the wheat, which makes them taste really good.  The flavor in mine is awesome, and I gave it 22 hours in the fridge.  Then you need to roll the dough out really thin, about 1/8 to 1/16 inch thick.  I used a rolling pin that has notches in it used for making lefse, for rye krisps you normally use a pin that has larger notches in it.  Once it was thin enough, about 14" x 17" I used a pizza cutter to cut the crackers, and used an egg wash on top of them to glaze them.  The two things I would do differently with these is I would sift a portion of the whole wheat flour, and I would use a soft wheat berry.  Even though they are hard, I still am enjoying them a lot. What a great flavor they have! 

Here are a few of the products I used when making these.  I actually used the King Arthur Dough Mat, but a silpat one works pretty well too.  No guarantees you will like them too, but thought I would include links to what I actually do use!


  1. I'm really impressed! Making crackers has been on my to-do list for awhile ~ Did your crackers have yeast or baking soda? I've been told the rule of thumb is hard wheat for yeast products and soft wheat for baking soda and other leaving products. I'm glad your crackers still had a great taste...they look beautiful!

  2. They actually had both in them, so I was surprised at how compact they were. I think the whole wheat was simply to dense for them to rise well. I might try sifting at least a portion of it to see if that helps.

  3. Maybe they have to be even thinner to start with? There are a lot of ingredients in those crackers... I will have a read around and see what I can find to compare. I want to make something like Siljans Knackebrod I guess, so quite airy and crispy, (why do I always type cripsy?) xx Joanna

  4. What I remember as Rye Crisps don't have an egg glaze, and are definitely lighter. These had both yeast and baking powder and still didn't rise like expected. I'm thinking there was something wrong with my methods or my ingredients! Oh.... typing, it's because your mind is moving quicker than your fingers, I say it's a sign of intelligence!