Crispy Cracker Bread


Joanne Weir Cooking Class Second SeasonI am a sucker for good bread, so when I heard about the paper-thin, unleavened, crisp bread that Sardinia is famous for, in the name of research I just had to investigate. One bite, and I knew I had to learn to make it. I love this bread hot from the oven, drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and scattered with aromatic rosemary needles.

3 cups unbleached bread flour
1 1/2 cups fine semolina flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups warm (110°F) water
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary needles (optional)
Coarse salt (optional)

In a bowl, mix together the flour, semolina, and salt. Add the water slowly to form a ball, making sure that the dough isn’t too sticky or elastic. If the dough is sticky, dust it with flour. Divide the dough into 15 equal pieces. Form them into small balls without working them too much and place on a floured baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place (about 75°F) for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place a pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven and heat for at least 30 minutes.

Place 1 piece of dough on a floured surface. Flatten with the palm of your hand. Dust the top with flour. Roll the dough into a very thin circle, 8 to 10 inches in diameter and less than 1/16 inch thick. Place 1 at a time on a well-floured pizza peel and transfer to the pizza stone. Bake until it begins to blister, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the bread over and continue to bake until it is golden and crisp, about 2 minutes. Watch the bread closely, because it burns quickly. Cool on a rack and continue to bake the remaining breads. Sprinkle with rosemary and coarse salt.

Serve warm in a large basket.

Serves 8

TO DRINK: Sparkling wine