Aug 31, 2014

Ottolenghi's Olive Oil Crackers

Ottolenghi's Olive Oil Crackers

I realized a few months ago that no matter how much I try, I always find a way to pile up more cookbooks onto my life. The last batch was virtual, so I don’t even notice my buying is out of control again. Except for the credit card bill. No, don’t worry, it’s not really something to be worried about, but hey, the buy-with-1-click button is not helping. Just saying.

Ottolenghi's Olive Oil Crackers

Ottolenghi's Olive Oil Crackers

I was pretty proud of myself for buying very few cookbooks in the last year, and then I got an ipad. 
I want to say I need it for work, but really, it’s a moveable cookbook. No need to print the recipes or move the laptop to the kitchen. This innocent gadget is really all you need. Zoom in, zoom out, go to library, buy with 1-click… it’s dangerous. And they’re not even paying me to write this, ha.

The thing is that I went on a kindle cookbook shopping spree. One of the books was Ottolenghi, because well, once you put your eye on one of his recipes - this vegetable tatin, the famous eggplant with yogurt sauce, the pasta with peas and chile - there’s no turning back. You want to go live in his kitchen, or at least own all of his books. I bought Jerusalem this morning, and already own Plenty. I heard there’s a second Plenty…

Ottolenghi's Olive Oil Crackers

Ottolenghi's Olive Oil Crackers

Ottolenghi's Olive Oil Crackers

Anyway, let’s turn our attention to these olive oil crackers.

If you’ve never made crackers at home, they’re a one way trip. With simple ingredients, they’re easy to make and will make you look like a super star. Which you are, of course. But that jaw dropping when they find out you actually make crackers at home, no credit card buys that.
It’s such a supermarket and bakery staple, some people have a hard time understanding that we bakers actually find it enjoyable. Working with flour is therapeutical for me. So calming. And the smells! Nothing like breads and such coming out from your oven to feel like everything is all right.

Ottolenghi's Olive Oil Crackers

These olive oil crackers blister while baking and crash the minute they touch your teeth, with a subtle wheaty flavor and the heat of spices, depending on how much you used. I also sprinkled some maldon salt flakes on top, and that salty punch here and there was perfect. What didn’t work were the sesame seeds on top, because by the time my friends started to eat them, they were all in the bottom of the tin where I carried the crackers. Next time, I’m kneading them right into the dough.

Ottolenghi's Olive Oil Crackers

And the second batch came out darker, and in my opinion better. Just like with the strawberry thumbprints.
This recipe is versatile. Use whatever spices and seeds you want. And let me know what works.

from Ottolenghi The Cookbook, by Yotam Ottolenghi

Makes about 25


Scant 2 cups (250g) all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1 teaspoon baking powder
Scant ½ cup (115ml) water
5 teaspoons (25ml) olive oil, plus extra for brushing
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
Pinch of cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Sea salt flakes and sesame seeds, for sprinkling 


In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt and spices.
Add flour and water, and mix with a fork first and your hands then, to form a soft dough. It needs to have a firm consistency, but add more water if too dry, a few drops at a time.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. This is necessary for the dough to relax so it can be stretched.
Preheat the oven to 425ºF / 220ºC. Line baking sheets with wax paper.
Turn out the dough onto a clean surface or countertop, lightly dusted with flour.
Cut pieces of dough, about the size of a whole walnut.
Roll each piece until as thin as possible without tearing. You need to work with several pieces at a time, stretching them as much as you can and letting them rest. Then go back to the first one and stretch it a little bit more.
Place the dough rounds on the sheets, brush them with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt flakes and sesame seeds.
Bake for about 6 or 7 minutes, until blistered, golden and dry.
Remove from baking sheet and let cool on wire rack.
Keep on a tin.


  1. I am trying to stop myself from buying more cookbooks or magazines.. :)
    These crackers look very addictive!

  2. Oh I love this recipe - and I totally agree, there is no going back once you start making your own bread & crackers! I love the spices you used, I might try it with some cracked red pepper as well.

  3. In your own words somewhere else, I couldn´t agree more...about everything! Haha! Genius crackers...trying them, flour and kneading mean the same to me!!

  4. I think most of us food bloggers have the same problem! I love cookbooks and the ottolenghi ones are among my favourites! These crackers look divine Paula, I can imagine how wonderful they would be with creamy dips! It's such fun making crackers, I only tried making them for the first time a few months ago snd I don't think I'd go back to prepacked ones! Hope you are well lovely, I've gotten so behind on reading during my travels xxx

  5. I just started buying a few magazines again. I haven't added to my cookbook collection lately though. I really should. And thanks for the great suggestions of ones to get along with a scrumptious cracker recipe too.

  6. I still don't own a single cookbook from Yotam Ottolenghi. . what is wrong with me?! I want Plenty and Jerusalem!! love these olive oil crackers!! They look amazing. . beautiful photos!!! How is that you come back to blogging after a long break and still manage to take amazing photos?! Beautiful!

    1. You should have at least one Alice! And thanks for the comment, it's taking me a while to get used to such a different light here, kudos for picmonkey...jaja!

  7. Haha cookbooks are an addiction! I'm actually thankful I don't have any money to spare on them and that I'm always on the move, making it hard to keep many books (it's quite sad, but otherwise I'ld be piling them up too).
    These crackers a-ma-zing! I may be trying them out soon :)
    Have a nice week!

  8. Are you reading my mind? Well, just an hour ago before we were sitting down for dinner, I told my beloved that I need to do SOMETHING about my addiction to cookbooks, that I don't like to be addicted to anything, but felt powerless....

    his answer - "what's wrong with getting a cookbook? You are too hard on yourself...

    (sigh, sigh, sigh)

    Great recipe, I had these crackers mentally bookmarked, but you beat me by a long shot ;-)

  9. I guess we all have the same problem with buying way too many cookbooks! These crackers look evenly thin and crisp...perfect!
    Have a marvelous week ahead, Paula!

  10. Cookbook addiction is one of my better ones :P
    But your crackers could also become an addiction - it looks so crispy and delicious!

    Choc Chip Uru

  11. There are so many cookbooks on my to-buy list and I've been really really good at not ordering all of them. I wish I could just buy them all with complete abandon! I've never made crackers before and you're definitely inspiring me to. I'd do it right before a dinner party so that I can impress the socks off all of my guests ;) These look delicious, Paula! Perfectly, delightfully crunchy.

  12. Oh, I've been trying to reel back my cookbook purchases, but this is one I've wanted for a LONG time! Your crackers look outstanding!!! xo

  13. Getting my hands on a new cookbook is always a thrill--I think I'd be in real danger with an iPad! Those crackers look delicious!

  14. Yo ando medio adicta a los libros de cocina, así que de vez en cuando ando comprando en Amazon, pero los e-book si son terrible, porque como dice, eso de que en un click ya lo tengas es un peligro.
    Estas galletitas se ver súper crocantes, las voy a hacer para cuando tenga una reu con amigos en la casa.

  15. I hear you on the cookbook addiction - is there a support group for that? Oh wait, that's food blogging. These crackers look absolutely incredible!

  16. Everything Ottolenghi touches is superb. I do a pretty good job of resisting cookbooks -- I have way too many. But of course I still buy them.;-) Great recipe -- thanks.

  17. Love these crackers, Paula…they look so tempting! I have wanted to buy Ottolenghi’s cookbooks for awhile now…I keep trying to cut back my habit!!

  18. I am such an Ottolenghi addict. There should be a 12-step program... I have all three, plus Plenty More is on order. I haven't tried these crackers will be doing so soon. The surprise tatin is a favorite as is the chicken with arak and clementines from Jerusalem... As is everything in Plenty! You will love this... I was having insomnia and was flipping through cookbook sites on my iPad at 2:00am. I saw the cover of Plenty (the American version) and ordered the real book on Amazon with one click ,knowing it would arrive in 2 days. Yet at 3:00am I wanted to see more so I bought the e-book! So glad I did as he now is with me everywhere I go!

  19. how did i miss these/! they look so deliciously crunchy.

  20. I love cookbooks and I love Ottolenghi! I would happily be part of his harem. These crackers are one i haven't tried yet. BUT-I will!

  21. You know what, I just went and bought the new Ottolenghi book, Plenty More - I just couldn't resist!! Haven't made these crackers yet but they look amazing.


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