If you ever look at the ingredient label of a box of Original Cheez-Its, you’ll see that there aren’t too many ingredients. Flour, vegetable oil, low fat cheese, salt, paprika, yeast, coloring (usually natural), and soy lecithin. If you look at the other flavors, they tend to have MSG, whey protein, butter, citric acid, and so on. In an attempt to get a little healthier by cutting out large amounts of processed food (but not all, because most things are processed to some extent), I started making cheese crackers from scratch. It’s ridiculously easy to mix up, contains 5 main ingredients, and is customizable too.
I tend to try to make things to cut down on the cost of a similar product at the store, but in the case of these delicious cheese crackers, you can usually buy them cheaper. However, the difference in taste in quality is priceless.
I like to do a lot of mixing by hand, but this can easily be adapted to use a stand mixer.
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup flour
2-3 Tablespoons ice water
- Add cheese, butter, and salt to mixing bowl.Mix ingredients until clumpy.
- Add flour and mix. The mixture will become crumbly.
- Add 2 Tablespoons water and combine gently. If it’s still too crumbly, add 1 teaspoon of water at a time. Dough should come together without being sticky.
- Form dough into a disk. Wrap in saran wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
- Preheat oven to 350° and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Remove dough from refrigerator and divide into two. Roll out dough very thinly, anywhere from 1/16″ to 1/8″.
- Cut rolled out dough into 1″ squares.
- Place squares on a parchment lined baking tray. Poke holes in the middle with a skewer, fork tine, whatever.
- Bake crackers for 15-25 minutes, or until golden brown on edges. If they vary in thickness, the thinner ones will be crispy and golden by the 18 minute mark, whereas the thicker ones will still be slightly under cooked.
- Remove from oven and let cool.
(We haven’t tried this yet, but we’ve tried to hypothesize gigantic cheese crackers. Not like the big ones they sell at the store, but 4 or 5 times the size. It would cut down on the tedious cutting of 1″ squares, and 1 cracker would be like a serving size.)