a recipe: homemade yogurt & spelt crackers

Homemade crackers are well-loved in our home – rustic, flavorful and tender, they’ve become a favorite of both visiting children and adults.  While preparing homemade crackers doesn’t require too much time or kitchen know-how (even a novice can master the slow techniques of mixing, kneading and rolling), the results are simply lovely – a reminder of a time gone-by when everything served at the supper table was made with love, and always from scratch.

In our version of homemade crackers, we rely on whole grain flour for its rich and earthy flavor and nutritive value.  First whole grain flour is combined with fresh yogurt, and allowed to rest overnight which fulfills the dual purpose of not only improve the tenderness of the grain, but also improving its nutrient profile.  All whole grains contain antinutrients – naturally present substances like food phytates which keep the grain from sprouting until conditions for the plants growth are optimal, but also bind up with minerals in our digestive tracts, preventing their full absorption.  Fortunately, the traditional methods of soaking, sprouting or souring grains prior to preparing breads, cakes, muffins and even homemade crackers not only improves the bioavailability of minerals, but also improves their digestibility and flavor.

In this recipe for homemade crackers, we use whole, full-fat yogurt to soak the flour before combining the dough with good quality grass-fed butter, which creates a flaky texture and crumb.  Season the crackers with coarse sea salt, dried chives or dill, or leave them plain, anyway you make them is worth your time and effort.

homemade yogurt & spelt crackers

homemade-crackers

By support Published: October 26, 2010

  • Yield: 120 crackers (12 Servings)
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 7 mins
  • Ready In: 27 mins

Flaky, tender, crispy – these homemade crackers take little effort; however, they’re prepared first by soaking whole grain spelt flour in fresh yogurt which both tenderizes the flour and improves its nutritive qualities. Consider adding dried herbs to the dough for a variation in flavor.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups whole grain spelt flour
  • 1 teaspoon unrefined sea salt
  • 1 cup full-fat yogurt (try making raw milk yogurt)
  • 1/2 cup butter (plus 2 tablespoons melted butter)

Instructions

  1. Stir three cups whole grain spelt flour and one teaspoon unrefined sea salt with one cup full fat yogurt in the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with a dough hook. Continue to process until the dough forms a smooth ball.
  2. Place the dough in a mixing bowl and cover it with a tea cloth. Leave the dough to rest at room temperature overnight and up to twenty-four hours.
  3. Once the dough has rested overnight or up to a full day, preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Knead one-half cup softened butter into the dough, then divide the it into four separate balls to make rolling it more manageable.
  5. Flour your working surface and your rolling pin, place one ball of dough into the center of your work surface and roll it to 1/8-inch. Cut the dough into rounds with a biscuit cutter, or into triangles or squares with a pizza cutter or sharp knife.
  6. Brush each unbaked cracker with melted butter, prick with the tines of a fork to prevent puffing and bake in an oven preheated to 450 degrees Fahrenheit until brown and crispy, about six or seven minutes.

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What people are saying

  1. Cathy says

    Thanks for the lovely recipe. I can’t wait to try them. What’s the best way to store them and what is their shelf life?

  2. says

    I just made these with buckwheat and lard (more than you’ve listed, as my yogurt is so stiff) and they came out well. Except for the batch that I turned my back on – those are little briquettes. Did yours sort of fry on the baking stone, or is that a function of the added oils in mine?

  3. Erin H. says

    For the love of pete… how does one knead 1/2 c. softened butter into the thick dough-ball? Short of being slathered in butter up to my elbows, my dough hook/bowl are merely spinning the dough with the extra lubrication. Tips? Thank you!

    • jenny says

      Get slathered up to your elbows in butter. ;) Don’t use a machine for this; rather, physically knead the chilled butter into the dough.

    • Jules says

      I tried these last night and they were very tasty. Instead of kneading the dough, I laminated it. I rolled out the dough slathered it with the soft butter then folded and repeated the process until it was well incorporated into the dough. Laminating takes a bit more time but the results were excellent. However, I did find that in order to crisp these crackers up I had to let them sit longer in the oven (more than the 6-7 minutes). After cooking them at the temperature recommended here, I turned the oven off and cracked the door slightly to allow the crackers to sit and dry out a bit more – I had to keep an eye on them to make sure they did not burn or brown too much. In the end they were very close to the consistency of a Dr Kracker – but richer because of the butter and yogurt. I will continue to play with my food here, working from this great base recipe. Thanks..

  4. Alexis says

    Are they supposed to be more flakey or crunchy? Maybe I didn’t roll mine thin enough. I found that if I rolled them out on parchment paper it was a lot easier to just move the paper to the cookie sheet then each cracker.

    • alexis says

      Figured it out! I just spread the.second batch with my hands so I could feel the thickness. They are a huge it in this.house!

  5. Lynne says

    Jenny, I’m confused. In the recipe, you said use softened butter and now you are saying use chilled butter. Please explain further. Thanks

    • Randa says

      Hmm… I’m not seeing a reference to chilled butter – where are you seeing that? I used softened butter to mix into the dough (after the dough had sat w/ yogurt mixed in for 24 hours), and then I brushed a little melted butter over the top of the rolled-out dough. Tasted great.

      I probably didn’t roll mine thin enough, because they weren’t crispy after 15 minutes in the oven, so I put them in the dehydrator for a few hours. Had a nice crunch after that.

  6. Liz Rollings says

    Could i use something non dairy in place of the yogurt and butter? They sound fab but i’m trying not to eat yogurt. Thanks

    • Debmom4ca says

      There are non-dairy yogurts available. My favorite is almond. I am going to make this with goat yogurt as I can’t tolerate cow milk.

  7. Sebastian says

    Jenny, will there reduced break down of the phytic acid/ antinutrients/gluten due to the use of yoghurt (calsium) in this recipe?

    -G.M

  8. says

    I’m interested in making this recipe but the only problem is that I have a really bad dairy allergy. I was wondering if you think it might work with plain soy yogurt and the butter with Earth Balance?

  9. Julie says

    I just made a batch of these today, using kefir in place of the yogurt and 1/2 the suggested butter. They turned out really nice. We eat so much butter already, that I couldn’t get myself to use 2 full cubes. I could only fit half the dough on my stoneware pizza pan, so the other half is yet to be baked. Baking time was 10 minutes before the outer crackers began to brown. I put the inner crackers into the toaster oven for a cycle and they crisped right up. Thank you for posting this recipe. This is the first time i have done a soaked grain recipe. I have sprouted my own wheat and ground it for bread and muffins. The naysayers of sprouted grains may say that there isn’t much of a difference btwn sprouted and not, but my body tells me otherwise! I am interested to see what it says about soaked ;)

  10. Leah G says

    Just finished baking last batch….very easy and nice. The 20mo helped mix all along. The kids LOVE them. I just rolled out on parchment and used a spice bottle cap to cut the perfect cracker size. Thanks Jenny!

  11. Mary Ruth says

    Can’t wait to try these! I have been wanting to try crackers in my oven for a while. I am grateful for the comments left so that I can understand more of the process. I tend to make something for the first time with the exact instructions and ingredients, then make changes to my diet/preference later on. Thank you for posting this recipe, I gladly open my subscription on Facebook and ALWAYS find something informative and useful to try! Love this site!

  12. isabel says

    Hi there, I tried making this and encountered a few problems. First, the dough was very stiff, it wouldn’t become smooth, so I added more yogurt. Then after leaving overnight the surface seemed to have dried out. I kneaded the soft butter in, and incorporated it well, but the result was a very sticky dough. Do I add more flour or put it in the fridge to chill it? At this point it is impossible to roll out. Any advice would be appreciated, thanks!

    • Leah G says

      Isabel, we make these all the time. The dough is pretty dry and stiff. I cover with a tea towel over night and yes the outside gets a lil drier still. The soft butter changes it all though. Once its incorporated in its perfect. I do have to sprinkle spelt flour over it as I roll it since I just have a wooden rolling pin. The warmer it gets the stickier. Also I now just roll on parchment and cut with a pizza cutter before baking. I also tend to finish them in the dehydrator for about 20 min after baking.

  13. Lan says

    I don’t mean to make changes to your recipe but I don’t have whole grain spelt flour, a stand mixer and I don’t make yogurt ever. Can I use sprouted spelt flour, a food processor (or my hands??) and kefir cream or *thick* kefir in their places? Thank you! I’m really looking to make crackers at home for my daughter to eat with liver paté.

  14. Elise says

    Do you think I could use rye flour instead of spelt? Or should I do a mixture of spelt and rye to get the right consistency? I’ve never worked with rye flour before, but it sounds like it might be good.

  15. lynne says

    I was wondering if anyone has tried it with the raw milk kefir, as queried above. If so, what amount did you use? I have an abundance of kefir that I’m look for ways to use! Also, if anyone used hard white wheat, which is what I have on hand. I just hate to waste ingredients if someone has already tried it and has some advice. Thanks

  16. Brittany says

    Can I freeze the dough? If so, at what point can I freeze? (After I make it or after it sits out for a day)

    How long do the crackers stay good?

    Can I make break out of this dough or only crackers?

  17. nadine says

    i like the dehydrator idea. mine were not as crispy as i had hoped, more like a flatbread if i left them in for 7 min, and burned if i left them for 8. still delicious. will try to dehydrate next. used raw yogurt made from our goats, and emmer flour ground up in the blender. will try with sprouted spelt flour next to see if i can get a nuttier flavor out of them, too.

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