Today I did something kinda crazy, I made crackers. Crackers? Really? What and why would this have anything to do with beer or brewing? The simple answer would be that crackers can be made with yeast, so like beer they can have all the same necessary ingredients. But as always we never believe in simple answers.
There are some personal reasons why I did it but also there are some wider range reasons why others might want to do it. Among my personal reasons for making them I mark the fact that at my house we really like crackers. This isn’t something I walked into blind, I have made them before (but not since I was in culinary school).
Something else occurred to me while I was rolling out the dough, the craft beer community tends to lean more towards a conservationist life style. Look at the breweries that have gone green. Or the home brewer who will find ways to repurpose items for use in their brewery.
Making products that you would just as easily be able to buy at the store is in a small way part of the whole process of living greener. We may be using engergy to create these products but at the same time we are throwing less post consumer waste into landfills. The time I just spent making my own crackers is time I spent making something I like but also doing a bit more to help with the environment (at least thats what I like to tell myself anyway).
The recipe I used was for a true soda cracker. This means that the only leavening agent in use was baking soda. (Here comes a little nerdism) Baking soda is a twice acting leavener. This means that two agents will work to get the chemical reaction that releases the gas to make the dough rise. One of these agents is acide (in the recipe that follows it is the vinegar). The other agent is heat. Which comes from the baking. Baking powder is different than baking soda in that it is only heat activated.