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This Winter, surprisingly, hasn't been a tough one for me. It's the first time I've ever not had a full-time corporate job, and I've had the pleasure of being a stay-at-home mom. I find myself in the kitchen from morning until night keeping up with the routine of cooking healthy meals for the family. We have been gluten-free, crap-free for months and it hasn't posed too much of a challenge. The biggest challenge of all has been keeping the kitchen stocked full of fresh fruits and vegetables and the fridge loaded with eggs. That being said, there are times when we have to put aside regimens and strict goals to follow what our instinct is calling for and just give the health hustle a rest. On my shopping trip last week I looked at the bag of rye flour on the shelf, among twenty other types of flours, and nearly salivated. I picked it up and really wanted to make something wholesome and couldn't wait.
I decided to make the rye cracker recipe listed on the back of the Bob's Red Mill package, but as always, wanted to add herbs and the things that were calling to me at the time. If you decide to bake these, I think you will love them. They hit the spot for all of us! I also added sesame seeds which added more crunch and added a beautiful topping. The real reason for this post is to express how making this recipe with my toddler made it more than just a chore. The process from start-to-finish was pure joy. Typically, I avoid baking with my children because I'm a neat freak and it always ends up way too messy for my liking. What has happened over these past several months of being home is the realization that a clean house is counterintuitive to creative play and it only makes me on edge. My home is a mess most days and accepting that takes off the pressure I used to self impose on myself. Sometimes we get into a cycle of doing what women before us did, and we just have to stop and ask ourselves, "is this making my life easier or more difficult?"
I decided to clear off the island in my kitchen and let little miss do most of the work. I took out mixing bowls, cookie cutters, sesame seeds, herbs from our garden, lots of spoons and let her play for a bit. It's interesting how children love helping at such young ages.
She mixed the dry ingredients - whole wheat flour, rye flour, sea salt, sugar, baking powder, caraway seeds, and herbs. She poured in the milk, carefully. I added the melted butter. She did her best to mix the dough with the wooden spoon, then we kneaded it into a dough.
Pat. Pat. Pat.
She even used the rolling pin.
It's not work when you're having fun.
I'm certain her favorite part was the sesame seeds. Adding that touch was priceless. Yes, that's her little foot up on the counter. She really got into this.
A little distraction from a tv cartoon while the crackers baked, so it didn't feel like an eternity, and voila! Next time I'll roll them out thinner, but they were on point.
The best part is, this isn't even an unhealthy snack. We try avoiding a lot of gluten and sugar, so this is a good compromise. I also feel good knowing there's herbs in there to add a little plant magic. I doubled the recipe, which yielded about 40 crackers. I would even make a bigger batch next time. They didn't last a day! Here is the recipe that I made, with a couple of additions, and I doubled the original recipe given on the back of the bag:
RYE CRACKERS (WITH A TOUCH OF HERBS)
• 1 C. whole wheat flour (recipe called for unbleached white, but I did whole wheat)
• 1 C. Bob's Red Mill Organic Dark Rye Flour
• 1 tsp. sea salt
• 2 Tbsp. sugar (I used raw)
• 2 Tbsp. dried basil (I used a coffee grinder to finely grind it)
• 2 Tbsp. dried oregano (I used a coffee grinder to finely grind it)
• 2 tsp. baking powder
• 3 Tbsp. sesame seeds
• 4 tsp. whole caraway seeds
• 8 Tbsp. butter
• 6 Tbsp. milk
Mix together dry ingredients and caraway seeds, reserve sesame seeds for later. Melt butter and add to dry ingredients. Stir in milk. Form into a ball and roll out to 1/8 to 1/16 inches. You can choose to roll the dough between wax paper, but it worked just fine without it. Cut with assorted cookie cutters. Prick with fork, then top with sesame seeds. Transfer to ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 400ºF for 5 to 6 minutes until lightly browned on edges. Cool on rack. Store in airtight container.
Makes about 40 yummy crackers.
These make an excellent gift too. Enjoy.
-Michaline and little Miss