Crisp, with a hint of sea salt and sesame seeds, these Olive Oil Crackers are the best reason to get the rolling pin out. They come together quickly and keep for days.
Ahh, the magic of homemade crackers! Once you realize how easy to make and superior in flavor they are, compared to commercial ones, there's no turning back.
I have been infatuated with Ottolenghi ever since his first cookbook, Plenty. I bought it by chance and discovered a whole new vegetarian world. I'm a meat eater, huge fan, so that says a lot. It turns out the whole planet had discovered him too, haha, and he climbed to celebrity chef status in no time.
Steps for making this recipe
- Make the dough: it's fairly simple since it doesn't have yeast.
- Let the dough rest: you mix all the ingredients and let the dough rest before rolling it - similar to the Cheese Naan Bread (image below, left).
- Cut and shape: cut small nuggets of dough (image below, right) and roll each individually. Put them in the oven sheet pan.
- Baking: brush with water and add seeds and salt. Bake until crispy and dry. Keep in airtight tins or containers.
If you’ve never made crackers at home, they’re a one-way trip. With simple ingredients, they’re easy to make and will make you look like a superstar. Which you are, of course. But that jaw-dropping when they find out you actually make crackers at home, no credit card buys that.
It’s such a supermarket and bakery staple, some people have a hard time understanding that we bakers actually find it enjoyable. Working with flour is therapeutical for me. So calming. And the smells! Nothing like baked things coming out from your oven to feel like everything is all right.
Tips & tricks
- Resting: once you have a good dough - no dry spots, not overly wet either - let it rest for 1 hour. The dough needs to relax in order to become pliable enough to roll thinly. Flour has gluten and it develops when you work it. The resting period makes this gluten structure relax and allow the dough to become more elastic.
- Rolling: the dough nuggets need to be rolled thin, otherwise, your crackers will be thick and not crunchy enough. If you see that you roll the dough and it shrinks back, it needs to relax some more. Leave it covered with a clean kitchen towel for a few minutes and try again. Eventually, it will roll to the desired thickness.
- Toppings: I brush the rolled pieces with water and sprinkle with Maldon salt and sesame seeds. Press them gently so they adhere to the dough. Many of them will fall anyway after baking, so you might consider adding the sesame seeds when you make the dough ball. So you have the seeds in the dough and not as a topping. Or omit them altogether.
- Keeping: they keep well for a week if kept in airtight tins (ideally) or containers. Metal tins with good lids are the best.
These olive oil crackers blister while baking and crash the minute they touch your teeth, with a subtle wheat flavor and the heat of spices, depending on how much you used. I also sprinkled some Maldon salt flakes on top, and that salty punch here and there was perfect.
And the second batch came out darker, and, in my opinion, better. This recipe is versatile. Use whatever spices and seeds you want. Maybe some dried thyme?
Related recipes you might like:
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Ottolenghi's Olive Oil Crackers
Crisp, with a hint of sea salt, these Olive Oil Crackers are the best reason to get the rolling pin out. The seeds add a lot of crunchiness.
- Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
- Yield: 25 medium
- Scant 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Scant ½ cup (115ml) water
- 5 teaspoons (25ml) olive oil, plus extra for brushing
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Sea salt flakes and sesame seeds, (for sprinkling)
- In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and spices.
- Add water, and olive oil.
- Mix with a fork first and your hands then, to form a soft dough. It needs to have a firm consistency, but add more water if too dry, a few drops at a time.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. This is necessary for the dough to relax so it can be stretched.
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF / 220ºC.
- Line baking sheets with wax paper.
- Turn out the dough onto a clean surface or countertop, lightly dusted with flour.
- Cut pieces of dough, about the size of a whole walnut.
- Roll each piece until as thin as possible without tearing. You need to work with several pieces at a time, stretching them as much as you can and letting them rest. Then go back to the first one and stretch it a little bit more.
- Place the dough rounds on the sheets, brush them with olive oil, and sprinkle them with sea salt flakes and sesame seeds. Press lightly into the dough so they stay put during baking.
- Bake for about 6 or 7 minutes, until blistered, golden, and dry.
- Remove from the baking sheet and let cool on a wire rack.
- Keep in a tin or airtight container.
Resting: once you have a good dough - no dry spots, not overly wet either - let it rest for 1 hour. The dough needs to relax in order to become pliable enough to roll thinly. Flour has gluten and it develops when you work it. The resting period makes this gluten structure relax and allow the dough to become more elastic.
Rolling: the dough nuggets need to be rolled thin, otherwise, your crackers will be thick and not crunchy enough. If you see that you roll the dough and it shrinks back, it needs to relax some more. Leave it covered with a clean kitchen towel for a few minutes and try again. Eventually, it will roll to the desired thickness.
Toppings: I brush the rolled pieces with water and sprinkle with Maldon salt and sesame seeds. Press them gently so they adhere to the dough. Many of them will fall anyway after baking, so you might consider adding the sesame seeds when you make the dough ball. So you have the seeds in the dough and not as a topping. Or omit them altogether.
Keeping: they keep well for a week if kept in airtight tins (ideally) or containers. Metal tins with good lids are the best.
- Prep Time: 75
- Cook Time: 10
- Category: Crackers
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: International
- Serving Size: 1/25
- Calories: 52
- Sugar: 0 g
- Sodium: 47.5 mg
- Fat: 1.6 g
- Carbohydrates: 8.2 g
- Fiber: 0.5 g
- Protein: 1.3 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: olive oil crackers, ottolenghi crackers
CHRISTINE KOCH says
Step one and step two both call for flour. What am I missing?
Paula Montenegro says
Hi Christine! It was a typo and it's corrected. Thanks for letting me know.
Fabulously quick and easy AND yes does last for a few days. Needs to be rolled very thin. Withstands heavy or thick dips✅
Paula Montenegro says
Happy you loved them Jen! Have a great 2023!
Can I substitute almond or coconut flour?
Paula Montenegro says
Hi, I never tried it with those flours and don't have much expertise with them. They might not bind the crackers enough is what comes to mind. I would try very fine almond flour and maybe add more oil if the dough is too crumbly. If you give it a try maybe scale it down and make 1/4 of the recipe so you don't waste too many ingredients if it doesn't turn out well. Happy holidays!
Hi! Came across your blog as doing shopping list on the go and could not remember what ingredients I needed to make the crackers.
Yottam's first book is Ottolenghi. Plenty was the second one. Obsession for me is real. Have cooked almost everything from the first 4 books.
The rest not there yet.
Love this recipe but don't you mean to use parchment paper instead of wax paper? Won't the wax melt in the oven?
Paula Montenegro says
Hi Siara, the one in the photo is waxed paper that I used to buy years ago, and they came out well. Nowadays I use a more matte parchment paper and it works also.
I went to make this recipe but realized afterwards it doesn’t say to put in the olive oil in the dough, except for brushing. I did a second batch using the full Ottolenghi’s recipe
Paula Montenegro says
I added it. It goes with the water. Thanks for the heads-up and apologies!
anna @ annamayeveryday says
You know what, I just went and bought the new Ottolenghi book, Plenty More - I just couldn't resist!! Haven't made these crackers yet but they look amazing.
Abbe@This is How I Cook says
I love cookbooks and I love Ottolenghi! I would happily be part of his harem. These crackers are one i haven't tried yet. BUT-I will!