Mark Bittman’s Eggless Pasta And Crackers

by A.J. Coltrane

No, it’s not pasta with crackers, it’s pasta and crackers. What got my attention is that they’re basically the same recipe:

Eggless Pasta Ingredient Crackers
2 cups Flour 1 cup
1/2 cup (hot) Water 1/4 cup
2 TBP (Olive) Butter or Oil 2 TBP (Corn)
1 tsp Salt 1/2 tsp

These are both “4 servings.” I’ll rescale the pasta recipe so that the flour is equal in both:

Eggless Pasta Ingredient Crackers
1 cup Flour 1 cup
1/4 cup (hot) Water 1/4 cup
1 TBP (Olive) Butter or Oil 2 TBP (Corn)
1/2 tsp Salt 1/2 tsp

The more I cook the more I’m convinced that most recipes are just variations on a theme. For example, compare those two recipes to Ming Tsai’s shallot pancake recipe that I posted in January 2011:

1 cup flour:  Check.

1/2 cup (hot) water: This is the variation, it’s wetter, as it’s a bread/dough rather than pasta or crackers. Related sidenote – I’m beginning to think a key to making crackers may be keeping them as dry as possible without totally dehydrating the flour.

1 TBP Oil: Check again, in this case it’s sesame oil.

1/2 tsp salt: Check.

As far as the actual recipes go —

The pasta recipe recommends letting the pasta dough rest for at least 30 minutes after kneading, then rolling out and cutting the dough. (Again, the Ming Tsai Shallot Pancake recipe calls for a rest too, as do many recipes that involve hydrating flour.)

The cracker recipe does not specify a rest, though I’ve seen cracker recipes that do. Roll out the cracker dough thinly and cook in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Source for the Bittman recipes: The excellent “How To Cook Everything Vegetarian“, which also gets a “Favorite Cookbooks” recommendation.

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