Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Swedish Oatmeal Hardtack

July 21, 2015 at 12:01 am | Posted in BWJ, groups, savory things, snacks, tuesdays with dorie | 11 Comments
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swedish oatmeal hardtack

I admit that is was pretty hard to turn on the oven to make crackers in this sticky summer heat.  My main motivation for doing so was really to have cheese and crackers with a cold glass of white wine at the end of the process.  At least Beatrice Ojakangas’s Swedish Oatmeal Hardtack recipe doesn’t use yeast, or I’m sure I would have had an overproofed dough-blob situation going on in my kitchen.

This was actually an easy, make-by-hand dough to knead together.  It has oatmeal in it to give it a rustic texture.  Technically, it calls for quick oats, which I didn’t have.  I approximated them by plusing my regular rolled oats in the food processor a couple of times to break them up a little, and then hydrated them in the buttermilk for a few minutes while I gathered everything else together.  Since the dough uses oatmeal, I thought a little whole wheat would be good, too, and swapped 1/2 cup of AP flour for WW.  With some chilling time and good amount of flour, I was able to roll and cut the dough right on the sheet tray.  I had a hard time getting my first tray to color and crisp in the oven (especially in the center) so I upped the temperature to 350ºand increased the baking time by several minutes.

I’ve never had hardtack before and, based on the name, anticipated a trip to the dentist with a cracked tooth! The texture, however, is not rock hard but a bit sandy. There’s a little sugar creamed into the fat in the dough, so they are slightly sweet, slightly salty.  I bumped up the salt factor a bit by sprinkling a pinch of fleur de sel on top before baking.   They were good with cheese, and also with peanut butter.  As separate snacks, I mean…not too sure about a cheese and PB combo.

swedish oatmeal hardtack

For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan.  The second half of this video shows Beatrice and Julia making the hardtack together.  Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!


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  1. I’ve found that crackers really need to be right on the 60% hydration point. More and they are sticky and messy to roll out. So when you added the buttermilk was it included in the liquid calculation? Also did you use oil? If so, how much?

    • yes, the buttermilk was the entire liquid component of this dough. it had shortening and butter that were creamed into the little bit of sugar. i’d say these had almost a cookie-like texture rather than the straight-up crunch of a “regular” cracker.

  2. That looks delicious! Always looking for new cracker …errr hardtack? Recipes 🙂

  3. I had trouble getting these to brown in the center too! I lost track of how long I actually had to cook them..just kept adding minutes until I thought they were golden. These weren’t a winner at my house…Hard to follow the recent recipes haha! Yours look great!

  4. Nice looking, I really liked how easy these were to make.

  5. So golden and even! I love that you used a ruler! I definitely think they had a “cookie-like texture” as well. I had a few problems with stickiness and had to add quite a bit of flour while rolling out the dough. Yay, peanut butter and cheese! …great minds think alike, haha! I will have to try them with salt added on top if I make them again. That sounds extra yummy!

  6. These look delicious and easy to make, i will be trying these soon!!

  7. These look good – and I love your You Rule ruler.

  8. I.Am. Swooning! I am sooooooooooooooo happy I found your blog. I LOVE Dorie Greenspan. LOVE HER! Have you made her Madeleines? The best! The best!!!!!!! I’m now looking forward to Tuesdays! Plus–you are a Brooklyn girl! I’m an ex-New Yawka! Sweet Mother of Mary, I am so friggin’ happy!

    • Thank you! So glad you took the time to comment! (And yes, I’ve made several of Dorie’s madeleine recipes…you can search for them on the blog.)

  9. I love your adaptations!

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