The hearty rye flavor of these dark brown crackers makes them an ideal complement to smoked cheeses and the best cured meats and fish you can find. Make these crackers the base of your next charcuterie board and enjoy the inevitable raves.
To make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flours, dry milk, baking powder, and yeast.
Add the vinegar, salt, caraway, and oil. Use the flat beater attachment to mix until combined; the mixture will be crumbly.
In a small bowl, whisk the warmed milk and egg white together, then add to the flour mixture.
Mix everything together to make a smooth dough. It’ll be quite soft and sticky initially; scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue mixing, and it’ll come together after a few minutes.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and let the dough rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
Refrigerate the dough for several hours, or for up to 24 hours. Don’t expect a big, bread-like rise; it’ll just become a bit puffy. But the dough’s flavor will continue to improve as it rests.
To shape the crackers: Divide the dough in half. Shape each piece into a rough rectangle, and place onto a lightly floured work surface or two lightly floured pieces of parchment.
Roll each piece of dough into a 7” x 9” rectangle a scant 1/8” thick. The dough may crack around the edges; use a bench knife or table knife to bring the cracks together and straighten the edges. If the dough starts to shrink or tear, cover it and let it rest for at least a few minutes before continuing.
Prick (dock) the dough all over with a fork.
Cut the dough into rectangles (a generous 1” by 2” works well), diamonds, or triangles using a pizza wheel, pastry cutter, or bench knife.
For extra-crispy texture, separate the crackers slightly. For more tender texture, let them bake all together; you can break them apart along the score lines after baking.
Place the pieces of parchment with the crackers onto two baking sheets. Or transfer the crackers from your work surface to two lightly greased baking sheets.
To make the egg wash: Mix the reserved egg yolk with the tablespoon of milk or water.
Brush the top of the crackers with the egg wash and let them rest, covered, for 1 hour.
While the crackers are resting, preheat the oven to 375°F.
Bake the crackers for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven heat to 325°F and continue to bake for 30 to 40 minutes. The crackers should be a deep golden brown and feel firm when pressed; you'll also catch the aroma of caraway when the crackers are done.
Remove the crackers from the oven and transfer them to a rack to cool completely.
Storage information: Store the crackers airtight at room temperature for up to five days; freeze for longer storage.
Tips from our Bakers
Do you need a stand mixer to make these crackers? The dough is very sticky initially, so having the help of a stand mixer is helpful. If you don’t have a stand mixer, try mixing the dough with a bowl scraper or rubber spatula. Transfer to a greased work surface and use your wet hands to knead until smooth.