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SERVES: Approximately 6-8 dozen crackers, depending on size
• 2 cups (9 ounces by weight) whole wheat or whole rye flour, or a combination of the two
• 4 tablespoons hulled sunflower seeds
• 4 tablespoons hulled pumpkin seeds
• 4 tablespoons flax seeds (red or golden)
• 8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) "natural" sesame seeds (tan, rather than pure white)
• 1/4 teaspoon table salt (or 1/3 teaspoon kosher salt)
• 2 tablespoons honey or agave' syrup
• 2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil such as canola, peanut, or corn
• 6 to 8 ounces water (approx.), room temperature
• Honey glaze or egg wash (see below) and extra sesame seeds or seasoning salts for garnishing
1. Grind the sunflower and pumpkin seeds into a fine powder (or flour), in a blender or seed/coffee grinder. Be careful not to blend too long or they will turn into seed butter. Separately, grind the flax seeds also into powder or flour. (The sesame seeds, however, do not need to be ground.)
2. In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients and either mix with a paddle attachment or by hand to form a firm ball of dough. It should not be sticky. Add more water, if needed, to hydrate all the dry ingredients. Knead the dough by hand on a lightly floured counter for about 30 seconds to be sure all the ingredients are evenly distributed and that the dough ball holds together. It should be slightly tacky but not sticky.
3. Preheat the oven to 300 º F. (275º if convection) and prepare three baking pans by lining them with parchment or a silicon baking liner. You do not need to oil the paper or liner.
4. Divide the dough ball into three pieces of approximately the same size. Set two of the pieces aside and roll out the remaining piece on a floured counter with a floured rolling pin. Continually lift the dough as you roll it to be sure it is not sticking to the counter, and dust more flour under it if need be. You can also flip the dough over and continue rolling with the bottom side up. The goal is to roll it to less than 1/8" in thickness, or nearly paper thin. If the dough resists, lift it gently and set it aside and begin rolling out one of the other pieces. You can return to the first piece after a few minutes and it will roll more easily. Continue rolling out all three pieces in this manner until they are all ready to be egg washed or honey-glazed, garnished with sesame seeds or savory salt, cut, and baked.
5. Use a pizza roller knife to cut the rolled dough into rectangular or diamond shaped crackers (you can also use a small biscuit cutter, dipped in flour, to make round crackers, but this takes longer). The crackers do not all need to be the same size. Carefully transferred the cut crackers to the baking pans. The pieces can be nearly touching, as the crackers will not spread or rise. Fill each pan as full as it will allow.
6. If your oven has enough shelves to accommodate all the pans, you can bake them all at once. If not, bake them in shifts. After placing the pans in the oven, set the timer for 10 minutes. Rotate the pans to insure an even bake, and bake for another 10 minutes. Make one final rotation and continue baking until they are done (the thinner you roll them the faster they will bake-they typically take about 25-30 minutes total baking time, but this can vary from oven to oven). The crackers will develop a rich golden brown, caramelized color and should be fairly dry and crisp when they come out of the oven. Leave them on the pans to cool; after they cool they will crisp up even more. If they do not snap cleanly after they cool, return the pan to the hot oven for a few more minutes until they dry sufficiently to snap when broken.
7. Cool and serve. After they are thoroughly cooled, the leftover crackers can be stored in an airtight container or zipper-style freezer bag and kept for at least 8 days at room temperature or indefinitely in the freezer.