This Sunday, it will officially be the first day of Australian winter. Three long months of cold nights, overcast days, frosted windows and patchy downpours of variable rain. All-in-all, it sounds pretty miserable. Unless… well, unless you’re someone like me.
I think I’ve mentioned elsewhere on this blog that I love wintry weather and all that it entails; particularly hot soup, slow-cooking and the feel of soft leather against my skin. In fact, I’ve been in my element during this past week of rain. I’ve spent hours pottering in our tiny kitchen, coaxing spelt flour into elastic dough, chia into gel and charred aubergines into creamy bagaghanouj.
All without raising a sweat.
Now, that’s not to say that summer cooking isn’t beautiful in its own way, but have you ever attempted pastry in a heatwave? One word: butter. Or more specifically, melted butter. It’s an absolute nightmare.
Something that’s not a nightmare is the gorgeous cold-pressed macadamia oil produced by the good folks at Brookfarm. Packed with monounsaturates, Omega 3 and 6, Brookfarm’s oil is perfect for quick snacks and salads alike.
The recipe below is one of my experiments from the weekend-that-was: rustic flatbread crackers made with macadamia oil, fragrant herbs and a touch of flaked sea salt. When baked, we broke bread together, nibbling intermittently whilst sipping on organic red wine. A blissful combination; crunchy, salty and savoury in the most satisfying of ways.
These crackers are wonderful as part of a cheese platter or as a stand-alone crunchy snack.
However if you’ve got a little time up your sleeve (ha! Who am I kidding) they’d be even better with a smooth, creamy white bean dip (like this one from David Lebovitz) or soft, mild, creamy homemade labne (like this beauty from Julie Goodwin). Snacking at its finest.
Rosemary, Sea Salt and Macadamia Oil Crackers
Makes 3 rounds of about ten crackers
- 1 3/4 cups plain flour, sifted
- 1 tbsp roughly chopped rosemary and thyme leaves (plus a few sprigs to decorate)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp flaked sea salt (plus about 1/4 tsp extra to sprinkle)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup macadamia oil (I used Brookfarm cold-pressed macadamia oil, you can substitute good olive oil in a pinch)
Set oven at 230 degrees C (450 degrees f). Place two heavy baking trays on the centre shelves of the oven to preheat.
Stir together the flour, chopped herbs, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, then add the oil and water. Gradually stir into the flour until a soft, sticky dough forms.
Turn out onto a well floured surface and knead for 5 minutes or until a smooth, elastic dough forms.
Divide the dough into 3 pieces. Place a large sheet of baking parchment onto a flat surface and roll out one piece of dough until it is a 10×10 inch round (shape isn’t very important; just ensure that the dough is less than 5mm thick).
Transfer the dough onto one of the preheated baking sheets and brush it with some reserved macadamia oil. Sprinkle over some of the residual sea salt and rosemary leaves, pressing lightly to ensure adhesion.
Slide the tray back into the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes or until pale golden with blistered and browned spots (the flatbread should be crisped).
Repeat process with remaining mixture, macadamia oil, salt and herbs (do not oil the flatbreads until just prior to baking). Once baked, transfer flatbread onto a wire rack to cool. Break into pieces to serve.
Note: Flatbread can be made 2 days ahead and cooled completely, then kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks. Brookfarm provided me with a sample of their cold-pressed macadamia oil for recipe testing, however I was not compensated and as always, all opinions are my own.