21 September 2011

Made From Scratch

I've posted about making homemade crackers before, but I've slightly changed the way I do it, so I'm posting again.  I came across another website that suggested using olive oil instead of butter, and I really love them that way.  So here's the recipe I use:

2/3 c wholemeal flour
1 1/3 c plain or strong white flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
herbs/spices of your choice
2/3 c water
1/3 c olive oil

Preheat oven to 200C/400F.  Sift the dry ingredients together in a bowl.  Make a well in the centre and add wet ingredients.  Roll out directly onto a baking sheet (this recipe makes enough for two trays), either using a rolling pin or even just patting them out with your hand.  If you added herbs to the mix, then just cut with a pizza cutter now and pop in the oven.  Alternatively, brush a little olive oil on top and then sprinkle with your choice of toppings and then cut.  Bake on a middle rack until golden.  I usually either mix rosemary into the dry ingredients or top with freshly ground black pepper.  I hear from the funny-shaped woman that you can substitute a mix of gram and rice flours, and that it works well with pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.

Imperia pasta maker from Amazon UK
I also make my own pasta now.  My in-laws gave me a pasta maker (the hand-crank variety), and I love it.  I can use the rollers alone to make lasagne sheets, or I can use the cutter for spaghetti and tagliatelle.  It's really quite easy, too.  You start with 1 c of flour (technically this should be 00 flour, but I've successfully used plain and strong flour) and 1 egg.  I usually use half wholemeal and half white.  Mix those and add a little water at a time as needed.  Add more flour as you knead until the dough is elastic and not sticky.  I leave it to sit for a little while prior to running it through the crank.  Sometimes I find that I didn't knead it enough and need to go back and add more flour and knead some more, but after that it works well.  With lasagne I don't cook the pasta beforehand, as I find it turns out well just cooking in the lasagne.

I did try ravioli once, and it didn't turn out so well, but I know I overfilled the raviolis.  I'll try again sometime.

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