Crispy! Spicy Shrimp Crackers

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A few weeks ago I made Spicy Shrimp Crackers with Tuna Tartare for the first time. I was very happy with the combination of the flavors, but the crackers were not as crispy as I had hoped for. I looked up what Harold McGee has to say about crackers. He says to roll out the dough very thin and to bake in a moderate oven until dry and crisp (which is longer than I did). I asked my readers for suggestions and it was Vinny Grette who made the excellent suggestion to use a pasta machine to make them thinner (thank you!). I checked out some more recipes for regular crackers and concluded that adding baking powder should also help. I used all of these suggestions and with success: very crispy crackers! The only drawback is that they don’t stay completely flat, but that is a small price to pay and doesn’t even look bad.

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Another improvement I made is that I added the olive oil to the shrimp heads before whizzing them, which makes it easier to process them.

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I added 1 tsp baking powder at the same time as the salt and cayenne pepper.

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I made sure the dough had the same consistency as pasta dough (by not adding too much or too little flour) and let it rest, covered in plastic wrap, for a hour in the refrigerator.

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I used the pasta machine to roll out the dough very thin, using the same method as for making fresh pasta. This includes folding and passing the dough through the widest setting a few times.

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I still used a pastry wheel to cut the dough into crackers before baking.

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I baked them again at 210C/425F, but now a bit longer (about 20 minutes). The important thing is to wait until they have a darker color (not just starting to color) and are completely dry.

I enjoyed them again with tuna tartare, this time adding some soy sauce and wasabi for a nice Japanese flavor.

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