Yesterday, I wandered into Trader Joe’s while hungry… never a good idea. Luckily my only spontaneous purchase was a hunk of port salut cheese, which I carried home with 20 lbs. of groceries and a bag full of fresh basil and parsley from the farmers’ market. A mile. In my work clothes. In 85° heat.
Then, when I got home, I realized I had no crackers to munch on with my cheese! (Oh nos!) But that mini-crisis didn’t deter this girl. Meet homemade wheat thins! These, my friends, are the real deal. They taste just like the original, but better. And they take no time at all to whip up. (Unless, of course, you’re distracted and dump in 1 1/2 Tbs. of salt instead of 1 1/2 Tbs. of sugar and then have to carefully desalinate your cracker dough before proceeding. I have no idea who would do that.)
The trickiest part is rolling the dough thin enough. You want it so thin it’s almost transparent. Thin = crunchy!
Keep an eye on them while baking so they turn golden brown but don’t burn. And then comes the most difficult part of this recipe: try not to eat them all at once!
Homemade Wheat Thins
1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 Tbs. sugar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus extra for topping
1/4 tsp. paprika
4 Tbs. unsalted butter, chilled and chopped
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 400° F.
Stir together flour, sugar, salt, and paprika in a medium bowl. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients using a pastry blender. Combine the water and vanilla in a small measuring cup and add to the flour mixture. Stir/knead until a smooth dough forms.
Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface as thin as possible. (Aim for 1/16-inch thick at most.) Slice into one-inch squares and transfer to a baking sheet. Sprinkle the squares lightly with salt. Bake for 5-10 minutes, or until lightly browned and crisp. Let cool on a cooling rack.
Makes about 160 one-inch square crackers.
Nutrition facts (per 16 crackers): 100 calories, 4.9 g fat, 12.9 g carbs, 1.8 g fiber, 2.0 g protein.