Flaky Cheddar-Parmesan Crackers

February 26, 2018
3 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Makes About 3 dozen bite-size crackers
Author Notes

This cracker dough is made a bit like rough puff pastry, with lots of shredded cheese added through a series of folds, which make it insanely flavorful and super flaky. Whole wheat pastry flour makes a more tender cracker than traditional whole wheat, while also lending a nutty flavor to these addictive crackers. —Erin Jeanne McDowell

Test Kitchen Notes

For more on how to make crackers, see the full article. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup (96 g) whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup (60 g) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 g) fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 g) freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1 g) smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1 g) cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 8 tablespoons (113 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 3/4 cup (170 g) cold whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons (28 g) cold water
  • 1 1/2 cups (170 g) coarsely grated sharp white cheddar
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the whole wheat pastry flour, all purpose flour, salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne, and parmesan together to combine.
  3. Add the cubed butter and toss to separate the cubes from each other and coat each piece in flour. Use your fingers or a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour until the pieces are about the size of walnut halves – don’t overmix!
  4. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the milk and water to it. Toss the mixture with your hands a few times to begin to combine it, then gently knead it just until it is fully combined.
  5. Form the dough into a square about 1 inch thick, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes – 1 hour.
  6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a square about 1/3 inch thick. Sprinkle about 1/3 of the cheese over the dough. Fold the dough into thirds (much like you might fold a standard piece of paper to fit into a business envelope). First, divide the dough visually into thirds. Fold the right 1/3 of the dough over onto the middle 1/3, then fold the left 1/3 over onto the middle 1/3.
  7. Repeat this process two more times, using 1/3 of the cheese each time and folding the same way.
  8. Wrap the dough tightly with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes more.
  9. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to ¼ inch thick. Use a pastry wheel to cut the dough into 1x1 inch squares.
  10. Transfer the squares to a baking sheet – they won’t spread, so they can be quite close together. Dock each piece once with the tines of fork.
  11. Bake until the crackers are evenly (and deeply!) golden brown, 10-13 minutes. Cool completely.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • JanaH
  • Sugartoast
  • Kmacd1741
  • Malinda**
I always have three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's wrapped in a pastry crust. My newest cookbook, Savory Baking, came out in Fall of 2022 - is full of recipes to translate a love of baking into recipes for breakfast, dinner, and everything in between!

8 Reviews

Kmacd1741 February 10, 2024
Mine also came out too too wet , I measured in grams so I added more flour but I think this needs a retest - it was good but not great
Malinda** December 24, 2022
The amount of milk can't possibly be right. It made was too wet to possibly knead. I added at a least another half cup of flour.

I wonder if it was meant to be 3-4 tablespoons of milk, rather than 3/4 cup?
Charmaine January 15, 2021
Is this correct - 1 1/2 cups flour to 3/4 cups milk?
Michele M. June 19, 2020
Erin, I always know your recipes will be well thought out and delicious. I'm looking forward to trying this recipe and reading your cookbook which arrives tomorrow.
JanaH June 16, 2018
Can these be made ahead and frozen uncooked?
WHB April 22, 2018
Divine! Have made these twice. First time (as written), they were delicious, but I felt they needed more salt. May have been the cheese I used. Second time, with 1 tsp salt, they were amazing. I found the thin edge scraps cooked up more crisp than the middle "crackers." Next time, I will experiment with cutting in long strips and twisting, like a cheese straw. Great recipe!
Sugartoast April 9, 2018
Can I sub while wheat AP for the whole wheat pastry flour?
N March 14, 2018
These are a tasty, fall-out-of-bed-easy crackers to make. I have now made them twice and have a few suggestions to consider. First, in following the directions, I find them slightly too spicy. Consider an Aleppo or Korean red pepper instead of the cayenne. It allows the nuttiness of the other ingredients to shine through. Also, if you roll out the dough to exactly 1/4” and cut as directed, bake them for 10 minutes at high heat and the turn the oven down to 375 to finish baking. I had a hard time getting the center cooked through at high heat.
For my second batch, I rolled the dough to 1/8” and then cut it into thin strips 1/4” wide. I baked these on parchment paper at 425 for 16 minutes. (Do NOT turn your back on them for an instant or they will burn quickly!). Sprinkle then lightly with super fine (popcorn) salt as they come out of the oven. Great cocktail munchies no matter which way you make them!