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Wholewheat Crackers with Mastic

The mastic tree that only grows in a specific area in Chios island in Greece gives a unique aroma to these crackers. They are perfect to accompany all dips with a Mediterranean flavor.

 

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Ingredients:

150 g (1 cup) wholewheat flour
300 g (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for shaping and kneading
2 1/4 teaspoon (1 package) easy bake yeast
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground mastic
extra virgin olive oil to grease a bowl and to brush crackers

Procedure:

1. Mix the flours, yeast, salt and mastic in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Gradually add 1 cup and 2 tablespoons (280 ml) warm water, bringing in the flour as you go along. Knead until you have a rough ball of dough.

2. Move the dough onto your lightly floured work surface. Sprinkle with a little flour and knead for 2–3 minutes. Invert the bowl over the dough. Let sit for 15 minutes — this is my version of the professional autolyse where bakers let dough rest to hydrate properly before kneading it with the leavening. Knead for 3 more minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.

3. Grease a large bowl with a little olive oil. Shape the dough into a ball and place in the bowl, turning it to coat all over. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 2 hours. Fold after the first hour. The best way to do this is to invert the bowl gently to receive the ball of dough onto the palm of your hand. Slide it onto your lightly floured work surface and after flouring your hands, gently pat it into a circle. Fold one third over from the top, brushing off any excess flour, then the other third from the bottom. Then do the same from the sides to make a square. Replace the dough in the bowl with the folded side down and return to rise for another hour. By the end, the dough should have doubled in volume.

4. Preheat the oven to 240º C.

5. Move the dough onto your work surface. Divide in two equal pieces, and divide each half into six equal pieces. Roll each into a ball. Cover the balls loosely with cling film. Then take one ball, starting with the first you have shaped, and roll it out into a thin circle. With a dough cutter, divide the circle into four triangles. Transfer onto a large non-stick baking sheet and prick all over with a fork — this is done so that the crackers don’t puff up. You can also leave the circles as they are or divide them into long flat strips, whichever shape you like.

6. Bake the crackers for 6 to 12 minutes, depending on how thin they are. Remove from the oven. Let cool on a wire rack. Serve at room temperature or store in a hermetically sealed container to serve later. They will keep for a few weeks.

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