Ruby Tandoh, a former contestant of The Great British Bakeoff, shares her savory and sweet creations from the oven in Crumb.
I was put off cheese snacks for a long time by the only kind that I knew: the sort that leaves you with bright orange fingertips and contains (probably) no real cheese. But these crackers are a different story altogether: crisp, salty-sharp, and quite good enough to eat by themselves. You can replace the Stilton if you’re not keen on blue cheese, but I want to reassure you that the Stilton flavor here is quite mellow. If you do swap cheeses, be sure to choose a strongly flavored, hard cheese, as a softer cheese will add too much water to the mix, resulting in unacceptably chewy crackers.
- In a large bowl, rub the butter into the flour and salt. Crumble in the cheese and lightly rub this in, too, stopping when there are no longer any large chunks. Stir in the poppy seeds, then drizzle the water over the mixture. Using a small knife, cut through the mixture repeatedly to incorporate the water. The flour should all be moistened and coming together in clumps. If there’s still dry flour, add more water one drop at a time.
- Press the dough into one lump, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 15 minutes, until firmer but not rock solid. If chilling longer, give the dough a little time at room temperature afterward to make it slightly more manageable to roll. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of about ⅛ inch. It’ll be slightly crumbly thanks to the whole wheat flour and poppy seeds, but just patch any breakages with more dough. Cut into slim rectangles, perhaps about 1 by 4 inches, and arrange on the lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until just beginning to deepen to a golden-brown color at the edges.
Reprinted with permission from Crumb by Ruby Tandoh, copyright (c) 2015. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc.