Why bake your own crackers? One reason might be to blow the socks off your guests. Another would be to know what a fresh-baked cracker tastes like: flavorful and floury, with bright sparks of salt and flecks of fresh black pepper throughout.
Sunset JANUARY 2008
1. Preheat oven to 425°. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, 1 tbsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. pepper. Add butter and rub with fingers to work it into the flour mixture until no discernible pieces remain. Stir in milk. (Or you can pulse flour, sugar, 1 tbsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. pepper in a food processor to combine, add butter, pulse until no discernible pieces remain, and whirl in milk.) Turn mixture out onto a floured work surface and knead; form into a ball.
2. Divide dough ball in half. Working with one half at a time, pat each into a rectangle. Roll rectangles paper-thin and transfer each to its own baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cut lightly (not necessarily all the way through) into 2-in. squares. (Cut off uneven sides or simply have some uneven crackers.)
3. Bake 10 minutes. Switch position of sheets and continue baking until dough is starting to brown but is still mostly white or golden, about 5 minutes. Let cool on pans. Break into crackers and serve.
Note: Nutritional analysis is per cracker.
These crackers can be kept in airtight containers at room temperature for up to 2 days.
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