I make a lot of different crackers. Seedy ones, cheesy ones, herby ones, nutty ones. I use different flours and grains and spices. Some with vegetable some without. And they are all usually pretty good. But sometimes you really just need a simple cracker so that the cheese is the star and this is where these buttermilk crackers come in. It’s a basic dough with the butter left fairly chunky so that flaky layers are created when it bakes and with a sprinkle of sesame seeds. And that’s it - no fancy flavours, just a crispy, flaky cracker that is perfect for a cheese board.
Makes about 12 large crackers
480g plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1½ teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of bicarbonate of soda
225g butter, very cold
325ml buttermilk, plus extra for brushing
sesame seeds for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 220° celsius. Line a couple of baking trays with baking paper.
Put all of the dry ingredients into the bowl of your food processor and pulse a couple of time to combine the ingredients.
Cut your butter into small squares, about the size of a pea. Add to the flour mixture in the food processor. use briefly, just a few times. You still want to be able to see chunks of butter.
Remove the flour and butter mixture from the food processor and into a bowl. Add the buttermilk and use a knife to bring the dough together. Don’t be tempted to do this in the food processor, the butter will end up more thoroughly mixed than you want and you won’t achieve the flaky layers you are looking for. Don’t over mix the dough, you want it to be a bit scraggly looking.
Break the dough into about 12 even pieces. Lightly flour your bench surface and roll out a ball into a long oval. You will see bits of butter in the dough. Roll out until it is about 3mm thick. Transfer onto the baking tray. Lightly brush the surface with extra buttermilk and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake for about 10 minutes. You want the crackers to be golden around the outside and slightly paler in the centre. Once cooked, remove from the oven and cooling on a cooling rack.
Continue to roll and bake the remaining dough.
These crackers keep well in an air tight container for a couple of weeks. Break them into shards to serve.