Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A Cheesy Review: Cotswald and Crackers

While out shopping today, we encountered the fabulous cheese counter at the Wild Oats store in Boulder. I was lucky enough to get the opinion of their cheese expert, who had personally tasted many of the cheeses.

When I selected Cotswald, she said it was one of her favorites. With a creamy, cheddar-like flavor, infused with onion, chive and other seasonings, it's easy to understand why!

This was an excellent cheese, good with fruit or plain.

But today, the Cotswald inspired me to bake some fresh crackers.

From How to Cook Everything
Makes about 4 servings

Time: About 15 minutes

Crackers are ridiculously easy to make, and once you produce your first batch you'll have little trouble figuring out how to create your favorites. Sprinkle them with salt, sesame seeds, or poppy seeds; work a tiny bit of garlic or herbs into the dough; or substitute whole wheat or rye flour for some or all of the white flour.

1 cup (about 4 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
About 1/4 cup water, plus more as needed

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit.
2. Place the flour, salt and butter together in a large bowl or in the container of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Blend with a fork or pulse, until the flour and better are combined. Add about 1/4 cup of water and blend, then continue to add water until the mixture holds together but is not sticky.
3. Roll out on a lightly floured surface until 1/4 inch thick, or even less. Don't worry about overhandling - add flour as needed, and keep rolling. Score lightly with a sharp knife or razor if you want to break these into nice squares or rectangles later on. Bake on a lightly floured baking sheet, or directly on baking stones, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Cool on a rack; serve warm or room temperature, or store in a tin.

Cream Crackers: These are quite rich and yummy; you'll have no trouble eating them with no toppings at all. Increase the butter to 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick). Substitute milk or cream for the water. Proceed as above.


Kristi said...

Yum. Cheese and crackers is one of my favorite snacks, and this cheese sounds yummy. And you baked your own crackers, which is very impressive!

vlb5757 said...

Those look killer. I just might have to break down tomorrow and cook again! I love cheese (in small amounts)!

Paz said...

I'm going to try this and the two recipes below!


Nerissa said...

One of the great things about making food from scratch is that you know fully well what is going into it. Sometimes I really wonder about those preservatives, colorants, etc put into off the shelf varieties. I really like crackers so maybe I should swipe this recipe and make my own when I get home.

Dawn said...

Hi Nerissa, I agree. My favorite part of making something like this at home is the fact that I know that I'm eating FRESH crackers along with my delicious, rich cheese, and not some cracker off the shelf which might cheapen the experience!

Rebecca said...

Yum! Yum! I love home made crackers! I've just found your sire while looking for other CO food bloggers. I am moving back to Denver in a couple months and was beginning to fear I would be the only one!