Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Brioche Crackers and Dressed Up Tuna Salad

Sarah from All Our Fingers in the Pie was our February 2013 Daring Bakers’ host and she challenges us to use our creativity in making our own Crisp Flatbreads and Crackers!

You may recall, the Daring Bakers had a cracker challenge in the past.  I had really wanted to make a brioche cracker but chose instead to try my hand at graham crackers and maple bacon crackers...and this month I got a chance to complete my goal!

brioche cracker, boursin cheese, tuna salad, radish sprouts
I love fancy tuna salad on Ritz crackers so that's what I was shooting for in this challenge.  My crackers were only a half success, really, since any that I rolled out too thick were kind of soft, and our challenge clearly called for "crispy." I would recommend rolling them thin, baking them to a deep color, and brushing them with butter before baking.  The melted butter might seem like overkill since there's SO much butter in the dough already, but it will give you better flavor and texture in your crackers.

I made a few crackers for my fancy salad, and with the scraps I prepared the dough for some pull apart rolls.

prepared pull apart dough, before the rise

Holy cow, these were awesome fresh from the oven!  I didn't even stop to put anything on them.  Just ate them warm and straight from the pan as I moaned in fresh baked brioche ecstasy.  I wasn't sure if the rolls would turn out since I had worked the dough quite a bit and left them unbaked in the fridge for a whole extra day.  When I was ready to bake them, I just brought them room temp and let them rise to the double size.  They turned out better than I could have hoped.  Brioche is one of those things that I never thought I'd be capable of making.  Turns out it's not so hard after all and the dough is actually quite forgiving!

Click here for the original Daring Bakers challenge. 

And see below for my recipes, adapted from the Joy of Cooking.

Brioche Crackers

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/3 cup slightly warm milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
3 eggs, at room temp, beaten
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups bread flour
3/4 cup butter, softened and sliced into narrow pieces

Combine yeast and warm milk in a large bowl to foam for about 5 minutes.

Add all-purpose flour, sugar, eggs, 2 tablespoons milk and salt and combine using dough hooks on an electric hand mixer on low. Continuing with the mixer on low, gradually mix in bread flour and continue to mix for several minutes or until all ingredients are well blended. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured counter top. Using a bench blade or a wide putty knife, knead the dough by sliding the blade under half of the mound of dough, pulling it up from the counter top and folding it firmly onto itself. Continue in this manner from all sides. The dough will be moist and sticky. Do not add more flour. Continue kneading with the blade for about 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and no longer sticking in bits to the counter top (though it will feel sticky to your hands).

Press the dough out somewhat flat and dot the dough with half of your softened butter. Roll the butter up into the dough and knead vigorously until the butter is running through the dough in small bits and streaks. Flatten the dough, add the remaining butter and continue to knead. The dough will be very sticky to your hands at this time. Once the butter is just about completely incorporated into the dough, you may wash your hands and continue kneading with a clean putty knife if you wish. The whole process of kneading the butter into the dough will take about 5 minutes. The dough is ready to rise when it is smooth with no visible streaks of butter.

Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover and let rise in a cold oven with the light on for 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size. Punch the dough down and refrigerate about 5 hours or overnight. If the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and move on to shaping. If the dough has not doubled in size, let it sit at room temperature until doubled, then move on to shaping.

Shaping and baking crackers:

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is no thicker than 1/8 inch. Slice into shapes using a pizza cutter or biscuit cutter. Prick each shaped dough in several places with the tines of a fork. [Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with a light salting of sea salt or kosher salt.*] Bake at 425F for 6 to 10 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cool completely on wire racks before serving.

Shaping and baking pull apart rolls:

Roll walnut size pieces of dough into balls and place three in each cup of a buttered muffin tin. You may also roll out the dough about 1/2 inch thick and cut into 3 inch squares. Sandwich 5 or 6 squares together and press into buttered cups of a muffin tin. Let the rolls rise until doubled in size. Brush the tops of the rolls with melted butter and sprinkle with a bit of sugar. Bake at 375F for 25 to 30 minutes or until deep golden brown on top. Serve warm and fresh.

*I did not do this, though I would recommend it based on my results.

Dressed Up Tuna Salad
Makes enough salad to fill 2 large dinner sized sandwich rolls.

1/3 cup of celery, preferably from the center including leaves, diced small
1/2 a small onion, finely chopped
One generous handful dried cranberries
One generous handful toasted chopped walnuts
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 small tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon finely chopped dill pickle or sour relish
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
12 ounce can of high-quality tuna, packed in water, drained well
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix everything but the tuna, salt and pepper together in a bowl. Add tuna and stir until the salad is nearly the consistency you prefer. Season with salt and pepper to taste and complete the stirring. Serve chilled on toast or crackers with Boursin cheese, sliced avocado, lettuce or sprouts.



  1. Oh man, all these recipes look fantastic! I love brioche so much.

  2. Yaaaaah! That tuna salad is just so mouth-watering. Are the green ones on top the raddish sprouts? I'm not aware of them but they look crunchy.

    1. Yes, crunchy radish sprouts on top. They are kind of spicy and I love them! I love all kinds of sprouts with tuna salad...yum.

  3. Great post. I have never thought to look in Joy of Cooking for a cracker recipe. I like the sounds of this one. Thanks for participating.

  4. I've never heard of brioche crackers but holy crap do they ever sound good! The tuna salad really takes it over the top.

  5. I've never made crackers before and your recipe looks like the place to start! Looks and sounds delicious! I'm going to try this over the weekend. Have a great day Hannah!

  6. I have never made brioche before either. The crackers just look fantastic! I know I will have to make them.

    I made grissini, pop over and say, you could link up using the linky tool for a blog hop if you want to direct more traffic to your site :)

  7. Brioche should be the 8th wonder of the world. I love the feel of brioche dough when making it and nothing beats it's tender crumb. Well done

  8. Gorgeous! I never would have thought about brioche crackers, but yes, how perfect! And yes, Ritz crackers are sooo buttery and soo good! :) Awesome job!


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