Thursday, December 27, 2012

Daring Bakers' December Challenge - Panettone


The December 2012 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by the talented Marcellina of Marcellina in
Cucina.  Marcellina challenged us to create our own custom Panettone, a traditional Italian holiday bread!

The challenge this month was a joy to do. I had never tasted Panettone before. I have seen it in the windows of Italian bakeries at the holiday time of year but never had the courage to try it. I am not a fan of candied fruit and there are so many other tempting treats to divert my attention.
When this challenge appeared, I resolved to make my own candied fruit. I knew it would be an extra step in what appeared to be already many, many steps, but I wanted to really get into this challenge.

I made the candied fruit from kumquats, navel oranges and Meyer lemons. I sliced the peel from the Meyer lemons and the oranges. I sliced and seeded the kumquats. Then I blanched the fruits three times to help remove any bitterness. I made a sugar syrup with equal amounts of sugar and water, simmering it about 10 minutes before adding the fruit.  I continued to simmer  for about 20 minutes. I drained the fruit through a strainer and spread the fruit on a rack, leaving it to set for about two days. Whew! I know, it was a labor of love for sure. But I grew to love candied kumquats and must admit to a bit of snacking during this slow progression.

The peel

Blanch three times
Cook in sugar syrup

I used the homemade candied fruits along with sultanas for the fruit. One bit of advice: Use a sharp knife to chop the candied fruits...the food processor is not up to the job.

Not working :(

Working :)

click on  RECIPE   for the Panettone.   Marcellina  has given a really wonderful recipe that turns out a beautiful bread. One slight variation I made was an Espresso glaze for the topping. I added it after the Panettone had cooked and cooled.  It gave the Panettone a nice richness.

Otherwise I followed  Marcellina's recipe to the letter. She did a great job of testing for us and you can rely on her instructions.

Friendly dough

Since it has turned downright cold here in New England, I allowed the dough to rise a little longer, and used my heating vent for some added boosting. I would like to give a shout out to my sweetest Lab, Pebbles, for not helping herself to the dough that was well within her grasp.

I am a good girl here in chilly Boston.
I found some really nice PANETTONE PAPERS. They were so perfect because I could bake and serve in the same container. I am not sure I will be making Panettone a lot and did not want to buy a pan so these disposable containers were the logical answer.

The final test was my dear friend, Karen, who knows Panettone and gave it a big thumbs up. Hooray!

Happy Holidays to all of you!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

October 2012 Daring Bakers Challenge - Puff Pastry

Well, I have been living a lie.
For many years, I have been buying  puff pastry instead of making it myself with the excuse that the frozen version actually tasted better than my homemade. I have never been good at the laminated (layered) dough. They always turned out a little tough.
But this month's challenge has changed my mind. I am never going back to frozen again.

Our October 2012 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Suz of Serenely Full. Suz challenged us to not only tackle buttery and flaky puff pastry, but then take it step further and create a sinfully delicious Mille Feuille dessert with it!

I had a rough start because I tried to make the puff pastry on an afternoon when I was really tired, I was not in tune with the dough and as silly as it may sound, I firmly believe that you have to be empathetic to your dough to understand what it needs for success.
Here is a picture of the puff pastry failure. Note the oozing butter through the dough. That is not a good thing.

BUT it got better from there. I started on an afternoon when I was not tired and had no other real pressing tasks.
I decided early on in the month that I wanted to make a Caramel Apple Napoleon. It is Autumn here in New England and the apples are everywhere. The days are getting shorter in daylight time but the temperature is still mild. I wanted to make something homey but still light.

Here is the recipe for Puff Pastry as Suz wrote it. It is a great recipe if you follow her suggestions:

Puff Pastry:
Servings: Makes 8-10 mille-feuille (yields: 675g pastry)
1¾ cup (250g) plain/all-purpose flour
Scant ¼ cup (55 ml) (1¾ oz)(50g) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
1 teaspoon (5ml) (6 gm) salt
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (5/8 cup)(150 ml) cold water
14 tablespoons (210 ml) (7 oz) (200g) butter (for the beurrage), room temperature
3½ tablespoons (55ml) (30g) plain flour (for the beurrage)
Additional flour for rolling/turning
1. Cut the larger quantity of butter into smallish pieces and set aside at room temperature.
2. Put the larger quantity of flour into a bowl with the salt and the cold, cubed butter.
3. Lightly rub the butter and flour between your fingertips until it forms a mealy breadcrumb texture.
4.Add the cold water and bring together with a fork or spoon until the mixture starts to cohere and come away from the sides of the bowl.
5. As the dough begins to come together, you can use your hands to start kneading and incorporating all the remaining loose bits. If the dough’s a little dry, you can add a touch more water.
6. Knead for three minutes on a floured surface until the dough is smooth.
7. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

8. While the dough is chilling, take your room temperature butter and mix with the smaller amount of plain flour until it forms a paste.
9. Place the butter paste between two sheets of clingfilm, and either with a rolling pin or your hands (I found hands easiest) shape it into a 4.5”/12cm square. You can use a ruler (or similar) to neaten the edges.

10. Refrigerate for about 10-15 minutes so the butter firms up slightly. If it’s still soft, leave it a bit longer. If it’s too hard and inflexible, leave it out to soften a touch. You want it to be solid but still malleable.
11. Once the dough has chilled, roll it out on a floured surface into a 6”/15cm square. Place the square of butter in the middle, with each corner touching the centre of the square’s sides.
12. Fold each corner of dough over the butter so they meet the centre (you might have to stretch them a little) and it resembles an envelope, and seal up the edges with your fingers. You’ll be left with a little square parcel.
13. Turn the dough parcel over and tap the length of it with your rolling pan to flatten it slightly.
14. Keeping the work surface well floured, roll the dough carefully into a rectangle ¼ inch /6 mm in thickness.
15. With the longest side facing you, fold one third (on the right) inwards, so it’s covering the middle section, and ensure that it is lined up .
16.Then, fold the remaining flap of dough (on the left) inwards, so you’re left with a narrow three-layered strip.
17. Repeat steps 14, 15, 16.
18. Wrap up in clingfilm and chill for at least 30 minutes.
19. Repeat steps 14, 15, 16 twice.
20. Wrap up in clingfilm and chill again for at least 30 minutes.
21. Repeat steps 14, 15, 16 two final times.
22. Wrap in clingfilm and chill 30 minutes or until ready to use.

I made a Caramel Pastry Cream that was a little complicated but turned out delicious. 
3/4 cup (6 oz,177ml)sugar
1/3 cup (80ml) water
1 1/3 cup (330ml)milk
2 large egg yolks
2 TBSP (1/2 oz, 14 gm) cornstarch
3/4 cup (6 oz,177ml)  heavy/whipping cream 

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, tilt and stir sugar with water until melted then turn heat to high and cook until amber-colored, 8 to 10 minutes. Pour onto a sheet of foil (about 12 by 18 in.) and let cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Peel off foil and break caramel into chunks; put in a food processor or blender and whirl into a fine powder. Try to use right away as it will clump if not. If it clumps, just disolve it a bit with the milk and proceed.

  1. Combine milk and caramel powder in a 1 1/2- to 2-quart pan; stir over medium heat just until caramel is dissolved (it will form lumps, then melt; do not boil), 9 to 10 minutes.

  1. In a small bowl, beat egg yolks to blend. Add cornstarch and 
  2. whisk until smooth. Pour about 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture into yolks and whisk until blended, then whisk yolk mixture into pan and stir over medium-high heat just until mixture boils and thickens, 3 to 4 minutes.
  3.  Rub pastry cream through a fine strainer set over a bowl; discard residue. Cover pastry cream and chill about 1 hour, or nest bowl in ice water and stir until cool, about 30 minutes.
I got this cool metal elevation tray at an Asian grocery store-perfect for colling things quickly.

  1.  In a large bowl, with a mixer on high speed, beat the whipping cream until it holds soft peaks. Gently stir the whipped cream into the cool pastry cream.

Mille-Feuille/ Napoleon/ Custard Slice
Servings: Makes 8- 10
1 x batch pâte feuilletée/puff pastry (see above)
1 x batch creme patissiere/pastry cream (see above)
2 ¾ cups (660 ml) (12⅓oz) (350gm) icing sugar
2 teaspoons (10 ml) lemon juice
1 TBSP Meringue Powder( dried egg whites)
½ cup (2¾ oz) (80gm) caramel sauce

1. Preheat oven to moderately hot 200 °C /400°F/gas mark 6.
2. Lightly dust your work space with flour and remove your dough from the fridge.
3. Roll into a large rectangle, the thickness of cardboard. The recipe I followed specified no other dimensions, but I rolled mine to about 12”/30cm x 18”/46cm.
4. Cut into three equal pieces and place on a baking tray. If you don’t have space for all three, you can bake them separately.
5. Prick the pastry sheets all over with a fork.
6. Place another sheet of greaseproof paper over the top and then a heavy baking tray. This will prevent the layers from puffing up too much. I also used a Pyrex dish to add more weight.
7. Bake each sheet for about 25 minutes in a moderately hot oven 200 °C /400°F/gas mark 6, removing the top layer of greaseproof paper/tray 10 minutes before the end for the tops to brown. Keep an eye on them periodically and lower the temperature if you think they’re browning too much.
8. Remove the baked sheets from the oven and leave on a wire rack to cool.
9. Once the pastry has cooled, you’re ready to assemble your mille-feuille. Get a sturdy flat board, your pastry and the chilled crème patissiere from the fridge.
10. Lay one sheet on the board and spread half the crème patisserie evenly over the top.
11. Take the second sheet and place it on top, pressing down lightly with your hands to ensure that it sticks to the filling.
12. Spread the remaining crème patisseries and place the last sheet of pastry on top, pressing down again. (Don’t worry if there’s some oozing at the sides. That can be neatened later.)
13. Pop in the fridge while you prepare the icing /caramel sauce.
14. Make a caramel with 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water, add 1/2 cup heavy cream to the caramel and cook over low heat to melt the caramel and thicken sauce.

15. To make the icing,  Whisk  about (2 cups) 300gm of the icing sugar on a low setting with the meringue powder and about 1/4 cup water until smooth and combined,, adding more water if necessary to achieve a thick pourable consistency The mixture should be thick enough to leave trails on the surface. If it’s too thin, whisk in a bit more icing sugar.

17. Once ready, immediately pour over the top of the mille-feuille and spread evenly. I found that I didn’t quite need all of the icing.

18. Still working quickly, pipe a row of caramel sauce along the widest length of your pastry sheet  You can make them as far apart/close together as you like.

19. STILL working quickly (phew), take a sharp knife and lightly draw it down (from top to bottom) through the rows of chocolate. A centimeter (½ inch) or so further across, draw the knife up the way this time, from bottom to top. Move along, draw it down again. Then up. And so on, moving along the rows of caramel until the top is covered in a pretty swirly pattern.

20. Once you’ve decorated your mille-feuille, with a sharp knife, trim the edges and cut your slices.

Constructing the dessert was not complicated but time consuming and I was impatient. It is not a pristine version of a  Napoleon but it was really yummy.
And I had leftover pastry! So, I cut it into strips, wrapped it around some jalapeno stuffed olives and baked them for about 20 minutes in a 425 degree oven.

They were so good with that ice cold beer that I ruined my appetite for dinner. Thank goodness I got it back for dessert.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Daring Bakers' September 2012 Challenge - Empanada Gallega

Patri of the blog, Asi Son Los Cosas, was our September 2012 Daring Bakers’ hostess and she decided to tempt us with one of her family’s favorite recipes for Empanadas! We were given two dough recipes to choose from and encouraged to fill our Empanadas as creatively as we wished!
I was reluctant to participate in this months challenge. I have a couple of picky eaters when it comes to savory food and I thought I might be the only one eating this months challenge.
I kept delayed the start until close to deadline day  thinking that I would pull out of the challenge. Then came one of those lazy afternoons when I had the recipe in front of me and all the ingredients to get the dough started. So I gave it a whirl! And I am very glad I did try this recipe. The dough was very easy and I went the even easier route and made it in the mixer with the dough hook. I did not even clean the bowl, just oiled it and plopped the dough back in. While the dough was rising, I scooted to the grocery store for filling ingredients. I could not decide whether to go with chicken or pork so...I got both. Back at home, I got the filling cooking and noticed a jar of chipotles in adobe sauce in the the pantry. There was the kick I was looking for in the filling.

 I thought the shredded mozzarella with jalapeno might be overkill but it was not overwhelming and added a nice creaminess to the Empanada. I used some in the filling and a little on top. The topping really did nothing and next time (I always yearn for that next time), I will save a little dough as recommended by Petri for decoration.
I think this dish is excellent for football night. Cook it up, slice it and serve on a big platter. If our team makes it to the Super Bowl, I am going to make this for game night. It is very easy to eat. My fork and knife hubby sliced his up while I grabbed the thing like a slice of pizza and chomped away. It holds together really well.

I served this with an avocado and orange salad dressing it with just a squeeze of fresh orange juice and a drizzle of extra special all the way from Paris extra virgin olive oil. I also had a sauce of sour cream, lime juice and chili powder that I made for another dish but I found it not to be necessary or beneficial to the dish. It was fine on its own.
I dream up fillings for this dish daily. It seems so easy for sweet and savory. Thanks Petri for a great challenge!!
Here is the recipe:

Empanada Gallega adapted from a recipe by Petri from Asi Son Las Cosas


Dough Ingredients:

2 ½ plus 1 tablespoons (640 ml) (375 gm) bread flour
1cups (240 ml) of lukewarm water (about 85°F/30ºC), approximately
1/2 satchel (1/2 tablespoon) (7.5 gm) dry yeast or (1/2 oz.) (15 gm) fresh yeast
1 teaspoons (5ml) (5.5 gm) salt
2 tablespoons (30 ml) oil (you can use oil from the pan where you have cooked the filling)
1 large egg, for egg wash

Before Rising
Dough Directions:

Measure out all the ingredients.
 Sift the flour into a big bowl and make a well in the middle. Rub the yeast in with your fingers.
In a small bowl, mix the water and the salt.
Now, using your fingers or a wooden spoon, start adding the water and mixing it with the flour-yeast mixture. Keep on working with your fingers or spoon until you have added enough water and all the flour has been incorporated and you have a messy ball of dough.
On a clean counter top, knead the dough for approximately 10 minutes
 You could do all the above using a stand mixer, in that case mix the ingredients with the paddle attachment until mixed and then switch to a dough hook and knead on low for about 6 minutes.
 Clean and oil the big bowl you used for mixing and place the kneaded dough in it. Cover it with a napkin or piece of linen and keep it in a warm, draft-free place for approximately 40 to 50 minutes.



2 tablespoons olive oil
½ red onion, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
½ red pepper, chopped finely
1 chipotle pepper in adobe sauce, chopped finely
1 chicken breast, grilled or poached in chicken stock chopped finely
1 pork chop, grilled or sautéed and finely chopped
¼ cup (56.7 grams) canned black beans, drained, rinsed and rough chopped
1 /2 cup (113.4 grams) shredded Mozzarella cheese with jalapeno pepper

Heat oil in medium sauté pan. Add onion and red pepper and cook over medium heat stirring often. Add garlic and chipotle pepper. Cook for about a minute. Add the two meats and stir to combine. Add the black beans. 2.Remove from heat and allow to cool before filling.

To Assemble:

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured rolling mat or counter top, roll half the dough to about 1/8th inch thick. Place on parchment covered baking sheet. Sprinkle ½ of the cheese in the center of the pastry leaving about a 2 inch wide margin around the edges. Spoon the cooled filling on top of the cheese.

Roll 3/4‘s of the rest of the dough (it should be slightly smaller the first piece. Lay on top of the dough and then roll up the bottom piece of dough over the top piece pinching as you move around the perimeter to seal the dough. Prick a hole in the top center or use a fork to prick several holes on top for steam to escape.Mix together 1 egg with 1tablespoon (15ml) water and to make an egg wash. Brush the top of the pastry with the egg wash.

Using the rest of the dough, make an attractive decoration such as leaves to decorate the top. (I did not do this step but I think you should!)

Bake in preheated oven for about 45 minutes or until bottom crusts looks lightly browned and crispy. Remove from oven, cut into slices with a sharp knife. Serve warm.


Yield 4 to 6 servings.


Monday, August 27, 2012

August Daring Baker Challenge - Pate A Choux

Pate a choux and I are old friends. It was one of the only things I could do well at culinary school. I loved the magic that seemed to ooze from a few simple ingredients  puffing up with  color and taste. I made gougeres, eclairs, cream puffs...anything I could find to make with pate a choux, I would try. But, I never made swans and in recent years, I have not had much reason to make any pate a choux. So, it was a real delight to see  this month's challenge.

Kat of The Bobwhites was our August 2012 Daring Baker hostess who inspired
us to have fun in creating pate a choux shapes, filled with crème patisserie or Chantilly cream. We
were encouraged to create swans or any shape we wanted and to go crazy with filling flavors
allowing our creativity to go wild!

The recipe looked sound. I remembered a few techniques that helped the pate a choux rise and dry nicely so I added those in when making the recipe. Then I got crabby....really crabby. I decided that if I could make swans, I could make crabs. so I piped a lot of  crabby looking shapes in addition to swans and baked them.

I put my little crabs filled with crabmeat salad of course on the dinner plate with an orange and avocado salad. Hubby was deeeelighted.

For dessert, yes, we had swans. I made them into profiteroles filled Sweet Scoops Ginger Frozen Yogurt and perched on Coops Hot Fudge Sauce, my new obsession. The taste is rich but not overwhelming. It is better than homemade around this house.

Here is the recipe for Pate A Choux. It is a great one and easier than you may think!

Pate a Choux
(cannot be doubled)
½ cup (120 ml) (115 gm) (4 oz) butter 1 cup (240 ml) water ¼ teaspoon (1½ gm) salt 1 cup (240 ml) (140 gm) (5 oz) all-purpose flour 4 large eggs
1. Line at least two baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper, or grease pans well.
2. Preheat oven to moderately hot 375°F/190°C/gas mark 5 .
3. In a small saucepot, combine butter, water, and salt. Heat over until butter melts, then remove from stove.
4. Add flour all at once and beat, beat, beat the mixture until the dough pulls away from the sides of the pot. I put the pot back on low heat and stir it allowing water to evaporate.
5. Add one egg, and beat until well combined. Add remaining eggs individually, beating vigorously after each addition.  I use a mixer on medium low speed to add the eggs. I add them one at a tinme allowing the eggs to incorprate before adding more. Many times, I do not need to add all the eggs. I look for a consistency that is firm but loose enough to pipe through a pastry tube. Resulting mixture should be somewhat glossy, very smooth, and somewhat thick.
6. Using a ¼” (6 mm) tip on a pastry bag, pipe out about 36 swan heads. You’re aiming for something between a numeral 2 and a question mark, with a little beak if you’re skilled and/or lucky.
7. Remove the tip from the bag and pipe out 36 swan bodies. These will be about 1.5” (40 mm) long, and about 1” (25 mm) wide. One end should be a bit narrower than the other.
8. Bake the heads and bodies until golden and puffy. The heads will be done a few minutes before the bodies, so keep a close eye on the baking process.
9. Remove the pastries to a cooling rack, and let cool completely before filling.

Friday, August 10, 2012

National S'Mores Day

Happy S'mores Day to You!

There seems to be a lot of attention to S'mores this year. At the supermarket, there is an entire section devoted to marshmallows for S'mores. There is another section close by the marshmallows dedicated to all things S'more. S'more flavored candies, equipment for making your own S'mores and of course, the necessary ingredients(in addition to marshmallows) that make the S'more.
I had my first S'more at summer camp about 200 years ago when we were using fire to cook our food on a regular basis. We had walked close to 500 miles,it seemed, up a rocky path to a beautiful vista called Goat something or other and dangled our tiny legs over a deep ravine while our counselors made a giant fire in the middle of the woods. So wholesome.  They doled out the graham crackers, hershey bars and marshmallows. We had to find our own stick to toast the marshmallows. The S'mores were messy but chocolaty so I fell in love with them.
I have not had S'mores since that day but after enough trips past the S'more section of the supermarket, the marketing strategy reeled me in.
I wanted to make a less messy S'more however. I wanted it to be compact like a sandwich and easy to  serve  guests. I thought the main effort should be toasting the marshmallow followed by the big S'more reward.

I played around with a few recipes online for a chocolate chip graham cracker cookie. Then I toasted a few marshmallows and sandwiched them between two cookies. Delightful!!

The cookies, on their own are really tasty. With the toasted marshmallow, the smoky flavor comes through and elevates the cookie sandwich to nirvana. I recommend eating the cookie sandwich soon after smashing the marshmallow between two cookies. This is not a make ahead dessert or snack or breakfast item..whatever you want to label it. The marshmallow does not improve when it cools down to room temperature and the warmth of slight melting of the chocolate chips is lost. So toast up, and eat up!
Happy National S"more Day to you!

Chocolate Chip Graham Cracker Cookie
                                                      Yield: 24 cookies or 12 S'more sandwiches
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
Blend in egg and vanilla. Add combined flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda and salt.
 Mix well. Stir in chocolate chips
 Drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets about 3 inches apart . Press to flatten slightly.
Bake in pre-heated oven 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on sheet about 3 minute and remove to wire racks. Cool to room temperature.

To make a S'More sandwich:

Stick a marshmallow on the end of a skewer or a stick if you're at Goat something gulch and toast the marshmallow over an open flame being careful not to toast yourself.
Set the marshmallow on the flat side of one cookie. Lay another cookie on top sandwiching the marshmallow as you remove the skewer so you won't burn your fingers on the hot mallow. Wait a minute to eat your treat so the hot marshmallow does not singe the roof of your mouth because that is a pain that no one deserves. You can use that time to get yourself a cold glass of milk.


Monday, July 30, 2012

July Daring bakers Challenge - Crackers

Cracker Crazy!

Our July 2012 Daring Bakers’ Host was Dana McFarland and she challenged us to make homemade crackers! Dana showed us some techniques for making crackers and encouraged to use our creativity to make each cracker our own by using ingredients we love.

When the challenge to make crackers came out this month, I thought I might be too busy to be able to do it. But reading through the suggestions and recipes, I felt better about tackling this project. I love crackers. I never thought to make them because, frankly, I am not picky about crackers. I like them all. But now that I have tried the recipes listed here, I may never buy another cracker. They are that good and that easy. I usually tweak the recipes a bit for the challenges but my creative karma was directed elsewhere. I followed the recipes as written and they both worked perfectly. I froze half the dough of each because the recipes make a lot of crackers and I was not showing any self control in eating them.
I am tardy about the posting(it was supposed to be last Friday) but since it is still July, I am hoping to be given grace. I am looking forward to getting creative with the ingredients and of course I will keep you posted! For those of you who come for Thanksgiving at my house...I hope you like crackers!

Spicy Pepper Jack Crackers with Cool Gazpacho
Pepper Jack and Oregano Crackers (Roll with pasta rollers or by hand):
Servings: Approximately 80 crackers
1⅔ cups (400 ml) (235 gm) (8¼ oz) all-purpose (plain) flour
2¼ cups (540 ml) (225 gm/8 oz) grated pepper jack cheese, firmly packed
2 teaspoons (10 ml) (1 gm) dried oregano
½ teaspoon (2½ ml) (3 gm) salt
½ teaspoon (2½ ml) (½ gm) black pepper
½ cup (120 ml) (4 fl oz) vegetable oil
½ cup (120 ml) (4 fl oz) water
Spice topping
¼ teaspoon (1¼ ml) (1/8 gm) cayenne
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (3 gm) kosher salt
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (5 gm) sugar

Ready to Mix
Dough Fresh from the Processor
Interesting Cuters make Interesting Crackers

Ready to Bake!

1. Combinethe spice topping and set aside.
2. Grate the cheese and put in the bowl of a food processor with flour, oregano, salt and pepper and pulse to combine. This can also be done by hand.
3. Add the oil and pulse until the consistency of wet sand is reached.
4. Add enough water for the dough to come together.
5. Form the dough into two disks, wrap with cling film and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
6. Heat the oven to moderate 325°F/160°C/gas mark 3.
7. Working with a quarter of the dough at a time, either use a rolling pin or roll out in your pasta rollers to 1/8 of an inch (3 mm) thick. If you use pasta rollers, ensure the dough is well floured so as not to stick.
8. Cut the strips into cracker shapes or cut out using a cookie cutter.
9. Transfer to a parchment lined cookies sheet and sprinkle with the spice mixture.
10. Bake for 20-25 minutes until medium golden brown.
11. Store in an airtight container and eat within three days.

Health Crackers with Goat Cheese and Pastis

Health Crackers (Roll these by hand):
Servings: Approximately 80 crackers
3 cups (720 ml) (240 gm)(8½ oz) rolled oats
2 cups (480 ml) (280 gm/10 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
1 cup (240 ml) (80 gm) (2¾ oz) wheat germ
3 tablespoons (45 ml) (40 gm)(1½ oz) sugar
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 gm) salt
¾ cup (180 ml) vegetable oil
1 cup (240 ml) water
1 large egg white
Cracker topping:
Sesame seeds, poppy seeds, nigella (onion) seeds, salt
Salt sprinkling

1.Mix the oats, flour, wheat germ sugar and salt together in a large bowl or bowl for the stand up mixer.
2. Combine the water and oil and stir into the oat mixture until it comes together and a dough forms.
3.3. Form dough into a disk and allow to rest in the fridge for about 20 minutes but up to a day if you are making the ahead.
4. Preheat the oven to moderate 325°F/160°C/gas mark 3.
5. Divide the dough into quarters and work with one piece at a time, allowing the remaining pieces to stay in the fridge as you proceed with rolling out the crackers.

6. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to about 1/16 inch (1½ mm) thick and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet by carefully wrapping the dough around the rolling pin7. Brush the dough with the egg white mixed briefly with a tablespoon of water and sprinkle with seeds and salt of your choice.
8. Cut the dough with a pizza wheel and bake for 25-30 minutes until browned. Crackers that are not crispy once cooled may be returned to the oven.

9. Store in an airtight container and eat within two weeks.