Tuesday, February 07, 2023


2023 has been a challenging food year for me. Two of my favorite foods, fresh cranberries and Ryvita rye crackers, have become scarce because of weather issues and political issues. Rye flour, the major ingredient in Ryvita, is now really expensive. It is so expensive that the Ryvita company seems to be diversifying in its choice of grains. This package, which came a few months ago in a shipment from the UK, expires in October. I fear that Ryvita won't be available again at any kind of affordable price for a long time.

How I long for the days when I could top my Ryvita crackers with homemade cranberry sauce with reckless abandon!
Since I can no longer rely on Ryvita for my cracker habit, I decided to take matters into my own hands and oven. I didn't have rye flour handy, but I did have some nice whole wheat pastry flour from Bob's Red Mill. I mixed 1 cup water, 1/2-1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp baking soda, and around 2T olive oil together. I added enough of the flour (I never measure flour when making bread) to make a smooth dough, rolled it out on a half-sheet pan lined with a silicone mat, and used a pizza cutter to cut rectangular pieces. I poked holes in each piece with a fork, and baked the crackers at 400 for 20 minutes or so. Then I lowered the heat to 350 and let them cook until they were golden brown (I tend to time by instinct). Then I cooled them on a rack.

They had the taste and texture I love in a wheat cracker. Next time I am able to buy some rye flour I intend to try making them with rye.

I might need to raise the amount of baking soda and salt, but we'll see. And I'll post the results.

Rye update: The results with rye were disappointing for me. It might be the taste of the baking soda. I'm sticking with whole wheat pastry flour for these crackers.

1 comment:

Marc in Eugene said...

Love Ryvita, too, but they're generally rather beyond the budget imposed by the retirement income; haven't looked in months, though. I did try their 'Fruit and Oats' variety once; no idea what I was expecting (they are crackers) but as I recall the 'fruit' was a bit of chopped currant and then honey and cane sugar.

I had been using Krusteaz mixes to bake (most often their version of a cinnamon quick bread) but recently decided to go the from scratch route after experimenting with my own additions to the prepared mix (e.g. chopped apples and raisins) for a while. The first from scratch effort turned out well if a bit dry. Practice, practice.