Preheat oven to 450F. Proof the yeast in the water with a little sugar until it foams. Then...
Mix together all the above ingredients. Knead them to form a smooth dough, and place in a large, greased bowl, turning to coat all over with oil. Cover it and let rise for 1 hour, or until nicely puffed.
Punch dough down, shape into a ball and let rest for 10 minutes. In the meantime, lightly oil the bottom of three half-sheet pans (13 x 18-inch).*
I use a hand cranked pasta machine to feed small balls of dough into, creating successively thinner sheets. Best results seem to come from very thin dough. I can then fit two 4 inch wide sheets of dough per cookie sheet.
Lightly brush dough with oil, and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds, and coarsely ground pepper and salt, if desired. You can roll the seeds into the dough or just use the heel of your hand. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes (this depends on your oven), or until bread is very brown. Remove it from the oven and let cool; bread will become crisp as it cools, and is actually better 24 hours after you bake it.
*Any type of large, flat pan will work here. The point is, you want a large enough pan -- or enough smaller pans -- to be able to roll the dough very thinly. Since this bread bakes so quickly, you can do the whole thing using only one pan, if you have to; it'll simply take longer.
This recipe was augmented from one in The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. III, No. 6, July-August 1992 issue.
Experiment with different degrees of doneness to your liking. If you use the pasta machine method this recipe will make enough crackers to feed an army.... really. I can make enough crackers for my family for a week, (two bread-bags full), and still have enough dough leftover to make two large loaves of bread. (Same recipe and dough exactly by the way.) Using a rolling pin will make much less.
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|Serving Size: 1 Serving (7g)|
|Recipe Makes: 200 Servings|
|Calories from Fat: 4 (17%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 0.5g||1 %|
|Saturated Fat 0.1g||0 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 0.1g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 0.2g|
|Cholesterol 0mg||0 %|
|Sodium 0.6mg||0 %|
|Potassium 20.9mg||1 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 4g||1 %|
|Dietary Fiber 0.4g||2 %|
|Sugars, other 3.6g|
|Protein 0.8g||1 %|
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Calories per serving: 23
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