Friday, October 16, 2015

Russian Black Bread Crackers

Here was the train of thought that lead me to this recipe:

"I wonder how hard it is to make homemade crackers... It can't be that hard, right?"<looks up several recipes for crackers>

"This doesn't look so hard, I'm going to try it... I HAVE to try this."

<random thought creeps in> "I bet I could make a cracker out of Grandpa's Russian black bread recipe... Rye, molasses, coffee, chocolate..." (recipe)

"And what to put on top of the cracker? Well, Grandpa always liked cream cheese on the bread, so that would be good... Or butter, you can't go wrong with butter. But not stick butter, the soft whipped kind..."

"Ah-hah! I'll make my own butter! Fresh  soft butter, that will do it justice!" <see how to make butter post here>

And without further random thoughts, here's how Mama makes Russian black bread crackers:

Russian black bread crackers 

Yield:  about 3 dozen crackers
- 1 stick of butter
- 1 c. Rye flour
- 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1/4 t. Salt (if using unsalted butter)
- 1 t. Sugar
- 1 T. Instant coffee
- 1 t. Crushed fennel
- 2 t. Cocoa powder
- 3 T. Molasses


1. In a mixer bowl, beat butter until smooth and creamy.  Meanwhile, crush the fennel and instant coffee granules. 

2. Add remaining ingredients to the butter, except molasses, and stir until just combined. 

3. Slowly beat in the molasses.  

4. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead together. Roll into a 13 inch log and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place the dough in the freezer to harden for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 months (be sure to wrap extra tightly if storing for that long). 

5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 25-28 minutes.

6.  Store in airtight container in the pantry for about a week (if they last that long!), refrigerator for 1 month, or freezer for 3 months.  You can also freeze the dough, wrapped tightly for up to 3 months to have on hand for a quick, fancy addition to your next cheese board.

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