homemade wheat thins

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Homemade Wheat Thin Crackers
Adapted, just barely, from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking

I recommend traditional whole wheat flour for an accurate color but white whole wheat flour for a more delicate texture. I used the regular stuff. The original recipe called for 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract to be added along with the water, but I don’t associate the vanilla flavor with wheat thins at all (nor did I spot it on the ingredient list). Nevertheless, feel free to add this and/or any other seasonings that you’d like (onion or garlic powder, thyme or rosemary, black pepper, etc.)

Yield: About 3 dozen. I highly suggest doubling this recipe.

1 1/4 cups (155 grams) whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tablespoons (20 grams) sugar
1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) table salt, plus additional for topping
1/4 teaspoon paprika
4 tablespoons (55 grams) unsalted butter, cold is fine, cut into small bits

In a food processor: Combine the flour, sugar, salt, paprika and butter in a food processor, pulsing the mixture until the butter is evenly disbursed in the crumbs. Drizzle in 1/4 cup (60 ml) cold water with the machine running; run it until the mixture begins to form a ball.

By hand: Combine the flour, sugar, salt, paprika and butter in a medium bowl. Using a pastry blender or your fingertips, work the butter into the mixture until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Add 1/4 cup (60 ml) cold water, stir with spoon until combined. Knead once or twice on counter.

Heat your oven to 400 degrees. Either lightly grease baking sheets or line them with parchment paper.

Roll your dough out, half at a time, to a large, very, very thin rectangle-ish shape on a well-floured counter. Did I mention you should roll them thin? Thinner than you even think necessary is best. Frequently check to make sure your dough isn’t sticking; if it is, gently scrape a spatula underneath to lift it, then flour the counter again. Using a knife or pastry wheel, cut dough into about 1 1/2-inch squares. Dock crackers all over with a toothpick or pointy end of a thermometer. (Technically speaking, I noted a 9-dot docking pattern, like the 9 sides of a pair of dice, on my store-bought Wheat Thins. I highly recommend you do not drive yourself bonkers trying to emulate this.)

Transfer crackers to baking sheets, spacing them only a little as they really don’t spread. Sprinkle with additional table salt if you’d like to approximate the salty exteriors of the store-bought crackers. Bake crackers until crisp and bronzed, about 5 to 7 minutes but please keep a close watch on the first batch as thinner crackers (high-five!) will bake faster and thicker ones will take longer.

Cool in baking pans on racks. Crackers will keep in an airtight container officially for a week but ours are in fact two weeks old and still perfect. You can also freeze them in an airtight container between sheets of waxed paper for a couple months.

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