Doc Sci and both love Wheat Thins! Our boys also love Wheat Thins; they just don’t know it yet. When we have an occasional box stashed from a trip to the US or a care package from back home, we (ahem) don’t share. Before I hear from the haters, just know that the boys eat
all most of the cheddar Goldfish.
Why are whole grain crackers like Wheat Thins so awesome? I think it has to do with their versatility. Don’t get me wrong, they are secure enough in their taste to stand alone. But hook these babies up with cheese, fruit & veg, homemade peanut butter, salsa, cinnamon vanilla almond butter, or hummus and you’ve got dibs on the best snack in town.
And, speaking of hummus, if you missed my recipe for Roasted Red Pepper Hummus from earlier this week, you can find it here.
I’ve made crackers before (these cheese ones are pretty awesome) with varying results. Many times the crackers are just thin bread – no crunch. And, even if they come out of the oven all crisped up, they don’t stay that way when stored more than 30 seconds.
These little whole wheat gems, however, were snappy from the get go – AND they stayed that way for five days. I can’t really advise past that point because, well, I couldn’t possibly be asked to muster enough self control to keep these crackers around longer than that.
How do these homemade Wheat Thins stack up to the real deal? Doc Sci thought they weren’t as salty, and I thought they were a little more buttery than the originals. But, I did not have a sample on hand to compare, and I often buy the reduced fat variety, so don’t let my opinion sway you from giving these yummy, preservative-free, homemade snacks a try.
Homemade Wheat Thins
as seen on Smitten Kitchen
1 1/4 cups whole wheat or whole spelt flour
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt, plus more for sprinkling (optional)
1/4 teaspoon paprika
4 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter
1/4 cup cold water
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 400F/200C. Mix the flour, sugar, salt, and paprika together in a mixing bowl. Thank God for paprika; coming up with ways to make white flour, white sugar, and white salt in a white bowl look interesting is exhausting.Cut the butter into small pieces, and drop into the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender, a whisk that’s masquerading as a pastry blender, or two knives, work the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Or, if you’re in a hurry, just make sure there are no large pieces of butter remaining.Add the cold water and vanilla. Use a spatula or spoon to work the water into the flour as much as possible, and then knead several times in the bowl with your hands until a ball comes together. It’s pretty dense, but still short of hockey puck-grade.Split the dough in three equal parts. Taking one of the thirds, roll it out on a well floured piece of parchment paper. Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough as thin as humanly possible. Remember, thin = crispy; and thick = chewy.The edge of the dough will look like an old map, crinkly and tattered. You can cut these edges off or leave them. A little secret… they look the worst but taste the best!Using a pizza cutter or a knife, cut the dough into cracker-sized squares. Poke holes in the squares using a small fork. A toothpick or the end of a meat thermometer also work but will take much more time.
If you want to be all authentic about it, the real Wheat Thins have 9 holes per cracker. I promise that no one will care if you make 12. After all, it’s also a multiple of 3. But go all 11 on me, and, well, someone might guess that these are not actually Wheat Thins…The holes do not need to be perfect or pretty, but do not skip this step. Crackers with no holes puff up and have little to no crunch. I made one third of my dough this way, just for you to know what not to do. Yeah, you’re welcome.Slide the parchment paper onto a baking sheet. Sprinkle with extra salt, if desired. Bake for 5-7 minutes or until crisp. The funky crackers on the outside will be more crisp than the ones on the inside.
Keep an eye on these babies, and do not walk away! Burned Wheat Thins are worse than no Wheat Thins.
Repeat the rolling, cutting, poking, and baking for the remaining two thirds of the cracker dough.Let the baked Wheat Thins cool completely, and then store in an airtight container for 5 days (or more, if they last that long!).