I’m so happy and relieved to finally begin writing down my thoughts and adventures with food and the various traditonal, vegetarian, and other good-living recipes I’ve collected over the years. Now to my first recipe post…
The Za’atar spice blend has been foreign to my kitchen for a while probably because in trying to do good, I stay away from blends…especially when I argue that I can make it myself. But because I love all things Middle-Eastern, this special mix of dried oregano, basil thyme, sumac, roasted sesame seeds, salt and other herbs is now a regular feature on my sandwhiches and a staple during snack times. The best and probably most common and recognised way that za’atar is enjoyed is by dipping some soft, fresh turkish bread into a nice helping of extra-virgin olive oil mixed-well with the za’atar so as you eat it there are no dry parts and it is just soaking in the oil. Divine! And ofcourse, enjoyed in moderation!
If you’re like me and love making home-made foods for a snack or to bring to a party, these are just ideal! These healthy crackers were created by substituting the parmesan cheese and elusive garlic powder with the abundance of za’atar in my pantry. (because at the markets and lebanese/middle-eastern grocers they sell these huge one kilo bags. It’s cheap but it’s also plentiful).
I found the recipe from Stephanie Petersen‘s blog and I was immediately impressed by the simplicity of the ingredient list and the straight-forward method. These crackers are a delicious bitter bite that will satisfy a savoury lover’s craving in afternoons to come!
1 3/4 cup cornmeal
1 cup whole wheat (or wholemeal flour)
1/4 cup za’atar
1 tsp baking powder
A pinch of sea salt and black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup water
Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Blend the wet ingredients (oil and water) in a food processor. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients until it is mixed through and makes a dough. Divide into two balls.
Then with a rolling pin, roll each ball out onto a metal tray layered with one sheet of baking paper. Roll them out thin or thick depending on your preference. (not too thin that they are fully crisp and loose all their nutrition). Make sure you trim the extra dough on the edges, adding them to the middle as you roll out a good even sheet of dough on the tray.
Then, use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut the crackers in your prefered shape. (I did square shapes but triangle is great too). Spray or sprinkle lightly with water to allow the salt to remain and making the crackers that more crispier.
Bake at 180°C for 20-30 minutes depending on the thickness of the crackers.
Enjoy by themselves or with home-made dips and spreads like hummus and pesto. Keep them in an airtight container up to a week though they are hard to resist when freshly baked.