A Work in Progress

If you’ve ever had Dr. Kracker crackers you know they’re extremely crunchy, amazingly delicious, and kind of expensive. I love them, not only because they taste so good, but at just 2 weight watchers points per cracker (and they’re big crackers) they’re a great deal point-wise. Mark and I even have a nickname for them – lembas; the elven bread that sustained  Frodo and Sam on their journey to Mordor – that is, when we’re not calling them “five dollar crackers” (no, they’re not really that expensive). So you can imagine how excited I was when I opened my email inbox and found a clone recipe for them from the folks over at King Arthur Flour. I couldn’t wait to try it out; baking them in my Global Sun Oven of course.

This is the first time I’ve ever baked any kind of cracker in any kind of oven. I didn’t make any changes to the actual recipe – which you can find by clicking here – but baking them in the Sun Ovens presented a few challenges that I’m still working on. Here are a few things I learned from today’s baking session. First, about the ingredients, the recipe calls for instant yeast and something called “non-diastatic malt powder”. Instant yeast can be found in most grocery stores, I used Fleischmann’s RapidRise. There may be other brands out there but you’ll have to read the fine print to make sure it’s instant. The non-diastatic malt powder proved harder to find. I used sugar (the recipe says it can be used as a substitute) but after a few online searches I managed to track some down at a local brewery supply store; I’ll use it in my next batch. And now for the baking part, in a conventional oven the crackers are baked at 350ºF for 20 minutes, then the oven is turned off, after 15 minutes the door is opened and the crackers are left in the oven to cool completely. In the Sun Oven I baked mine in three batches, with the glass door latched for the first 30 minutes, then propped open for another 15.

I removed the crackers from the Sun Oven to finish cooling. The first batch came out a little too chewy, the second was better, but the third was by far the best. It took me until the third batch to realize that the goal was to dry the crackers out without burning them and it just so happens that Sun Oven can also be a food dehydrator.

I’m going to try fitting all the crackers in the cooking chamber in one go next time. I’ll have to stack the trays to do this. After the initial baking, which will probably be longer with the cooking chamber full, I’ll prop the door open and focus the Sun Oven slightly away from the sun to finish up. I’m pretty sure this will work and ‘ll definitely keep you posted.

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corin