These easy homemade Rosemary Sea Salt Crackers are the perfect addition to your cheese plate, or just to have on hand for snacking. They are so simple to make, and take less than thirty minutes. Also, how to make a killer cheese plate with ingredients from the regular grocery store!
I have mentioned before that I love happy hour and that my husband and I regularly make dinner out of a few appetizers. The truth is that a cheese board makes a regular appearance in our kitchen year round. So I don’t think that a killer cheese plate is really something that is only reserved for the holidays. However, it does become a more frequent occasion, with extra entertaining, fancy dinners and lots of guests during this time of year. That is why I wanted to show you how I throw together a cheese plate that looks impressive but takes minimal effort, and everything on it can be found at the regular grocery store. I also decided to make some rosemary sea salt crackers to have on the side and you would not believe how easy and delicious they are.
When putting together a cheese plate, I like to have a variety of cheeses, a few cured meats, a little fruit, and of course some bread and crackers. I picked up all of these cheeses at my local Fred Meyer, which is my favorite grocery store. I love that they have the perfect balance of high quality ingredients with good prices. My store has a “fancy cheese” section where I picked up all of these cheeses. This is becoming more and more common in regular grocery stores, so if the store you normally shop at doesn’t have one, check around! You may find a store that does.
You can of course go with any cheese your heart desires, but it is a good idea to get a few different kinds to give people a variety. The cheeses I decided to go with were:
Dubliner – an aged Irish cheese similar to cheddar, made with cow’s milk. Always a winner.
Humbolt Fog – a tangy, soft goats cheese. One of my favorites.
Merlot Bellavitano – a rich and nutty cheese, sort of like a cross between cheddar and parmesan, soaked in wine. SO GOOD. This may be my all time favorite cheese.
Manchego – a sheep’s milk cheese, firm in texture and buttery.
Murray’s Sulle Gruyere – a raw cows milk cheese from Switzerland.
Yancy’s Champagne Cheddar – A pasteurized cows cheese, with a bit of a champagne flavor. Similar to a mild cheddar. I bought this one on a whim for the first time and it was OK.
The top three choices are my favorites, and ones that I buy all the time. The bottom three were also all good, it just depends on your personal preference. It is also a great idea to have a brie and possibly a blue cheese. This depends on how many guests you are having and what they like. I personally don’t like blue cheese, and neither does my husband, so I tend not to buy it.
I also like to include one or two cured meats on the cheese board. My favorite is Soppresatta, which is an Italian dry salami. Boar’s Head is a good bet for a widely available brand. I couldn’t find it last time I went to the store so I picked up a Genoa salami from Boars Head and that was also really good. I prefer to buy a whole salami and slice it myself, rather than buying the pre-sliced kind . It tastes much better and lasts much longer. Since I was making this cheese plate “X-tra Fancy” I decided to also throw on some prosciutto for good measure, which is never a bad idea. I actually got the Fred Meyer store brand (Private Selection) and I was really happy with it.
To balance all the rich, salty and sometimes pungent flavors from the meat and cheese, it is a good idea to add something sweet to the plate. I like to include some fruit and a nice jam. Grapes, apples and pears go really well with cheese, and of course figs if you can catch them in season. Dried fruit is a great accompaniment as well, and you can also add some nuts if you want. I added some almonds this time around. For the jam, I usually use what I have on hand, but Dalmatia makes an excellent fig spread that is usually available near the fancy cheeses in the grocery store.
Now, of course you need some crackers and bread to go with this cheese. I normally buy or make some artisanal bread, and also grab some crackers. Lately I have been really wishing for some rosemary flavored crackers, and so I decided to give homemade crackers a shot. I never have before because I thought it would be really time-consuming and just not worth the effort. Well, let me tell you – it is SO easy, and the homemade crackers are delicious. Totally worth it. Plus if you casually mention that you made those crackers your guests are going to think you are amazing (P.S., you are amazing, they don’t have to know how easy it was!)
Just a few ingredients and less than thirty minutes, and you have some fancy crackers that you made yourself. I decided to use rosemary and sea salt because I get really into rosemary in the winter and it goes so well with cheese. And I sprinkled sea salt on top because I like my crackers a little salty. But you can really flavor this with any herb or spice that you want. I have a few combinations in my head that I might test out and share in the future. I wanted these to be super crispy and have a few air pockets in them which gives them a rustic look and a nice crunch.
When I first envisioned these crackers, I imagined cute little rounds. However, I quickly found that I prefer to just cut these into squares because it is about 10 times faster, and also you don’t waste any of the dough like you do when you cut them into rounds. The easiest and fastest way to do this is to roll the dough out right on a piece of parchment paper, cut them with a pizza cutter and then transfer the parchment paper right onto a cookie sheet. The first time I made them, I carefully rolled them out on my counter and then transferred them one by one to the cookie sheet, but this is not only time-consuming, it also means you have to use so much more flour to keep if from sticking to the counter and the cookie sheet. This means that the crackers have excess flour on them after baking, which is not ideal. If you roll it out on the parchment you don’t need to use as much flour, and it saves you a bit of a mess, which is a win/win. Of course, feel free to cut them out into shapes if you want, you can use cookie cutters or even a small jar or glass.
A few notes that will help ensure crispy, lovely crackers. When rolling out the dough, try to make it as thin and even as possible. They need to be thin in order to get crispy, but if some parts are thinnner than others they will bake unevenly. It is OK if you don’t get it perfect, just keep in mind that thinner areas will cook faster, so they are more likely to get very browned or even burn. The edges tend to get thinner, so for this batch I trimmed them. You don’t need to do that if you don’t want to, but be aware that the edges might get brown. Also, when placing on the baking sheet, try to make sure the dough lays completely flat. If the edges turn up (because they hit the edge of the baking sheet) those parts will not get as crispy and the tops will burn a bit. And because I wanted these to get really crisp, I preheated the oven at 500 degrees so that it was really hot when they went in, which creates steam. But be sure to turn the oven down to 425 right when you put them in so they don’t burn.
Rosemary Sea Salt Crackers
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary finely chopped
- 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup water
- extra sea salt for topping if desired.
- Preheat oven to 500°F degrees.
- Place flour, salt, sugar and rosemary in a bowl, whisk to combine.
- Stir in water and oil, stir until fully combined.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured piece of parchment paper (slightly larger than your baking sheet.)
- Roll the dough until it is about 1/8th of an inch thick. you may need to add a bit of flour because the dough is quite sticky. Try to keep the thickness as even as possible.
- Trim the edges if you want. The edges tend to be thinner and so they may burn in the oven before the rest of the crackers are done.
- Cut the dough into squares using a pizza cutter. Brush with a little water and sprinkle with more sea salt if desired. Use a fork to prick each square a few times.
- Transfer the dough, still on the parchment paper, onto a baking sheet and place it in the oven. Immediately reduce heat to 425°F.
- Bake for 12-17 minutes, or until crackers are starting to become golden.
**This only makes about 30-40 crackers, so make a double batch (or more) if you are having a party. If you make a double batch, split dough in half and roll out in two batches.
Adapted from The Kitchn
What is your favorite cheese? Have you ever made your own crackers before?
Disclaimer: I was compensated by Fred Meyer to share my experience with them, however, my opinions, as always, are 100% my own. Integrity is important to me, and I only share brands and products that I think are awesome. None of the other brands mentioned are sponsored, I just like to share when I find a brand that I like. Thank you for supporting Fox and Briar!