I didn’t realize how much I missed cooking until today. As I’ve travelled, went home to my parents’, and stayed with friends over the past 3 months I’ve cooked a little bit here and there, but I haven’t really had the time or space to devote an evening to it. Of course, I’m extremely grateful for all of the experiences and the hospitality that I’ve had, but there is something to say for spending an evening in the kitchen, making whatever I please.
I don’t move into my new place for another week, but am currently housesitting for my best friend Erin’s family, so I have their whole lovely house to myself until Saturday, and I am taking full advantage of the kitchen (isn’t the light so nice in there?!) I spent hours yesterday perusing Erin’s mom’s cookbook collection, and I am absolutely smitten with Ottolenghi, a beautiful collection of middle Eastern recipes created by two chefs from Israel with restaurants in London (so sad I didn’t know to check them out while I was there!) They also have two other recipe books, Jerusalem and Plenty, which are almost equally as amazing, and a fourth coming out in October, Plenty More, and I’m slightly obsessed and will be buying all four of them as soon as I can justify it.
The first recipe that I decided on was Olive Oil Crackers, because they looked interesting and I’ve been meaning to try making homemade crackers for a while right now. The original recipe uses cayenne in addition to paprika, and they don’t have any rosemary, but my friends mom has an amazing garden that I am certainly not going to take for granted.
The crackers didn’t turn out exactly like I thought they would. The pictures in the book make them look more like chips than crackers, so I most likely didn’t roll mine out quite thin enough on account of I didn’t have an actual rolling pin (I really tried, though!) However, they are the best pita crackers I have had in my whole life (no lies), and while I will try to make them thinner next time for the sake of authenticity, I am thoroughly happy with my results, and I think you will be too. I had them as a snack with some tzatziki sauce (store-bought… oops) and they were perfect, but I can see them being lovely served with anything from hummus to cheese to fig jam.
Rosemary Olive Oil Pita Crackers
Adapted from Ottolenghi
Makes about 25 (large) crackers
2 cups All-Purpose Flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp Baking Powder
Scant 1/2 cup Lukewarm Water
5 tsp Olive Oil, plus extra for brushing
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Paprika
1 1/2 tsp Fresh Rosemary
1/4 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Coarse Sea Salt for sprinkling
1. In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients except the sea salt to form a soft dough. You can do this by hand or in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Work the dough until you get a firm consistency, then cover with plastic wrap and leave to rest in the fridge for 1 hour.
2. Preheat the oven to 425. Turn the dough onto a clean, lightly floured work surface. Using a sharp knife, cut off walnut-sized pieces (roughly 1/2 oz/ 15 g each) from the dough. Roll out each piece as thinly as possible with a rolling pin, dusting with plenty of flour. They should end up looking like long, oval tongues, almost paper-thin.
3. Place the crackers on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush them with plenty of olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for about 6 minutes, until crisp and golden. Let cool on baking sheets, and use spatula to remove from pan when ready to serve.