Real food crackers photo

No crackers? No problem!

Real food crackers photoCrackers have a short life span in my house. They disappear like potato chips, so I protect myself by rarely bringing crackers home. Crackers seem like healthy food, but if you check the nutrition information, you will find that most are loaded with salt and fat, plus come with a long list of additives. My general rule is that if I can’t pronounce an ingredient, I shouldn’t eat it. Crackers have plenty of tongue-twisting words in the ingredient list.They can also be pricey for the nutrition they deliver. You can easily make a much better cracker from tortillas.

Flour tortillas are a staple for me. I buy the largest size, because it is most versatile. A package of burrito-size tortillas is often the same price, or lower than smaller shells. You’ll see in future posts how I cut the tortilla to custom sizes, and gain a small side of chips from the scraps. For this method, I have used the full burrito-size.

Real food crackers prep photo
Fold tortilla twice to create wedge-shape and cut folded edges.

Real food cracker prep, cutting photo
Cut the stack into triangle (or desired) shapes.

Basically, I cut the tortilla into triangles and bake. Specifically, fold the tortilla twice to create a wedge-shape. Cut the folded edges to make four separate pieces. Following the pattern shown above, cut the stack into triangles of roughly the same size (click the photos for a full  version of the image). There is no reason for this particular shape, other than simplicity.

Place the triangles in a single layer in a flat pan. You can let the pieces overlap a little if you run out of space. If you want a bit of flavor in the chips, you can spray with water or oil, and sprinkle salt, garlic powder, chili powder, sesame seeds, etc., on top before baking.

I use a toaster oven to bake the crackers, though a full oven would work as well. In my old, non-convection oven, I simply set the oven to a light toast setting, and just toasted as I would with bread. To take advantage of the convection heat in my new oven, I set the temperature to 350º F. Bake for about five minutes. If you care to stand right by the oven, you can use a higher temperature and watch carefully. These cook very quickly, and burn even faster.Bake them until the edges barely start to turn brown — 5 minutes or less.

Dump them from the pan immediately after removing from the oven, as the pan can hold enough heat to take them past ideal browning. Or, take them from the oven a little before they are done and leave on the pan. Find the method that works best with your workflow.

I find these taste much like water crackers, and are excellent for any topping. Try tomato and cheese, hummus or even cream cheese and fruit. The bland background works with nearly any topping.

I used these crackers with hummus in a different article.

Note: Use this concept to experiment with other bread products to create your own special crackers. Slice bagels into thin pieces (try cutting vertically for little circles). Any bread can work if you cut it into very thin slices — let the bread dry a bit if it is fresh for easier cutting. Pita bread makes great crackers. Prepare much as for tortillas, separating the layers before baking. Experiment.

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