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If you thought buckwheat was just a fictional character from the Little Rascals movie, think again.
This versatile, gluten-free flour is easy to find in any grocery store, loaded with nutrients, and full of flavor, just perfect for making your own highly snackable crackers at home.
I’ve always been drawn to ingredients with earthy, rustic qualities, and buckwheat is no exception.
When it comes to this recipe, buckwheat’s natural nuttiness brings bold flavor and textural notes to these crackers that you simply can’t achieve with all-purpose flour. Especially when they’re fresh from the oven, your senses will be met with a delightfully delicate and subtle bitterness in every bite.
Close proximity to a plate of cheese and crackers is one of my happy places, and preparing one of these is also one of the many ways my parents have continued to nurture me throughout my life.
As a kid, my favorite mid-afternoon snack was a miniature platter of thick, crumbly slices of mature English cheddar and salty cracked wheat crackers. A far cry from the canned Easy Cheese straight to the face that many adolescents enjoy, I know. My family has always been on the more gourmet end of the culinary spectrum, and my friends still pick on me for that.
But the joke’s on you guys. I bet you didn’t know how to roast a Cornish hen when you were twelve years old.
Now, at the ripe age of thirty-five, when I make the two-hour trek from my beach town back home, I can always count on a gorgeous charcuterie-like spread to be waiting for me in the kitchen when I walk through the front door.
My dad doesn’t ask about my ETA because he’s wondering if I hit any traffic. He wants to know how far I am because that will determine when the taleggio needs to begin softening.
From velvety, vegetable-ash lined Humboldt Fog to tongue-smacking aged gouda, there’s no shortage of cheese to layer on or smear across a crispy delivery vehicle at my parents’ house. And when it comes to the cracker category, I’m proud to say that I’ve graduated from plain, salt-speckled squares to a wider range of varieties.
I’m a sucker for pretty packaging, and if I spot interesting flavorings like figs and olives or cranberries and hazelnuts, it’s game over. Fresh herbs and richly flavored aged cheese also make an outstanding combo, and that’s what we’re going to dive into here.
Seeing as it’s almost always more lucrative to make your own version of something rather than snagging it off a shelf, I decided to give cracker-making a try. I already had buckwheat flour on hand for weekend waffles, so that was a no-brainer.
Not only does buckwheat (actually a seed that’s unrelated to wheat) lend a distinctive darker color and nuttiness than regular flour, it gives these munchable mouthfuls one heck of a nutritional profile as it’s high in protein, fiber, potassium, calcium, and more.
It’s also a great swap-in for those with gluten sensitivities.
Not including the couple of times the dough travels to the freezer or fridge to firm up, the recipe comes together rather quickly and doesn’t require much.
When I’m making crackers from scratch, I prefer more unique shapes as opposed to neat, uniform squares, so I slice these into triangles. But, to each his own. Take this opportunity as an answer to that age-old question, “Will I ever actually use geometry?”.
Pairing the buckwheat with other pungent add-ins like sharp white cheddar and woody rosemary – one of the few fresh herbs that’s flavorful and sturdy enough to hold up in a firm dough – gives these crackers a one-of-a-kind flavor, and makes them a welcome addition on any table. Or personal cheese board. Your choice.Print
Hearty and versatile, these homemade cheddar buckwheat crackers are naturally nutty and get a hint of herby flavor from fresh rosemary.
- 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt, divided
- 2–3 teaspoons cold water (plus more if dough doesn’t come together)
- In a food processor, combine the cheddar, butter, flour, rosemary, black pepper, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Pulse until the mixture is crumbly, and then slowly add in the water, 1 teaspoon at a time, pulsing in between each addition until the dough comes together. It should be uniform and not sticky.
- Dump the dough out onto a clean work surface and, using your hands, form it into 2 discs. Wrap the discs in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Lay a piece of parchment paper on your work surface, then top it with one of the discs and another piece of parchment paper. Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough so it is as thin as possible (about 1/16 inch) and then remove the top piece of parchment paper and set it aside.
- Using a pizza cutter, slice the dough into bite-size triangles about 1 1/2 inches per side, making sure to cut the crackers to uniform size so they bake evenly. Transfer the cracker-lined parchment paper to a baking sheet. Repeat this process with the other disc and then chill both sheets in the freezer for 5 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Remove the baking sheets from the freezer and then slide the cracker-lined parchment papers off. Replace with the 2 pieces of parchment paper you set aside earlier. Gently pop off the triangles and place them (close, but not touching) onto the newly lined baking sheets.
- Using a paring knife or fork, prick the crackers in several spots. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and bake until crispy, about 10-15 minutes, checking often and rotating the pans if necessary to promote even cooking.
- Allow the crackers to cool on the baking sheets before serving.
- Category: Crackers
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Snacks
Keywords: rosemary, buckwheat, cracker, cheese, cheddar
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Pulse Ingredients in Food Processor
Grate the cheddar, cut the butter, and chop the rosemary.
The dough comes together best and is easiest to work with when the butter is on the colder side. The butter also distributes more evenly if it’s chilled, as opposed to softening right into the flour, so you can freeze it for about 10 minutes beforehand to make sure it stays cold during the mixing process in a warm kitchen.
In a food processor, combine the cheddar, butter, flour, rosemary, black pepper, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Pulse until the mixture is crumbly.
Slowly add in the water 1 teaspoon at a time, pulsing in between each addition until the dough comes together.
You don’t want to overwork the dough, so the food processor shouldn’t be running constantly. Use short pulses to bring it together. The dough should be uniform and not sticky.
Step 2 – Wrap and Refrigerate
Dump the dough out onto a clean work surface and form it into 2 discs. Wrap the discs in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Lay a piece of parchment paper on your work surface, then top it with one of the discs and another piece of parchment paper.
Step 3 – Roll and Portion
Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough as paper-thin as possible (about 1/16 inch) and then remove the top piece of parchment paper and set it aside to use later.
If you don’t roll the crackers thin enough, they’ll be puffy and chewy rather than crunchy.
Using a pizza cutter, slice the dough into bite-size triangles, making sure to cut the crackers to a uniform size so they bake evenly. For me, these were about 1 1/2 inches per side, and I got about 60 crackers.
Gently form any leftover end pieces into small dough balls, flatten, and re-cut.
Step 4 – Preheat Oven, Chill and Transfer Dough to Pans
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Transfer the cracker-lined parchment paper to a baking sheet. Repeat this process with the other disc and then chill both sheets in the freezer for 5 minutes.
Remove the baking sheets from the freezer and then slide the cracker-lined parchment papers off. Replace with the 2 pieces of clean parchment paper you set aside earlier from rolling out the dough.
Gently pop off the triangles and place them so they are close together but not touching on the parchment-lined baking sheets.
Using a paring knife or fork, prick each cracker in several spots to aerate the dough and prevent it from puffing up while baking. You can also use a skewer. You only need a few holes per cracker.
Step 5 – Bake and Cool
Sprinkle evenly with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and bake, checking often and rotating the pans if necessary to promote even cooking. Bake until crispy, about 10-15 minutes.
Allow the crackers to cool on the baking sheets before serving.
Let’s Get Cracker-ing
I dig buckwheat’s strong personality, but if you’re not sharing these with gluten-free friends and are feeling a little iffy on the texture or flavor, you can sub in half the amount for whole wheat flour. Just keep a closer eye on the crackers as they may take a little less time in the oven.
Regular coarse salt (which gets pulsed into the dough and scattered on top of the cut crackers) provides plenty of flavor, but to up the crunch factor, I like to use a flaky Maldon finishing salt like this one for that pre-bake sprinkle. Its wonderfully jagged, irregular pieces will also add a touch of contrasting color to the finished product.
If crackers made from scratch sound appealing, you’ll love these other snack-worthy recipes to try next:
Sage and asiago? Oregano and parmesan? What other herb and cheese combinations will you craft for the most flavorful and delicious crackers?
Share your creative duos in the comments below! And don’t forget to give this recipe a five-star rating if you loved it.
Photos by Fanny Slater, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on March 3, 2015. Last updated on May 31, 2021.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Fanny Slater
Fanny Slater is a home-taught food enthusiast based in Wilmington, North Carolina who won the “Rachael Ray Show” Great American Cookbook Competition in 2014, and published her cookbook “Orange, Lavender & Figs” in 2016. Fanny is a food and beverage writer, recipe developer, and social media influencer. She was a co-host on the Food Network series “Kitchen Sink,” was featured on Cooking Channel’s longtime popular series “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” and continues to appear regularly on the “Rachael Ray Show.”