November 7, 2010 § 11 Comments
It’s interesting how inspiration comes knocking. Last Sunday, my brother treated me to a brunch for my birthday. Over a heaping plate full of bacon and eggs, he was raving about his recent experience of making and eating a bacon explosion with some friends. If you haven’t heard of a bacon explosion, as I hadn’t as of last week, it is bacon strips woven together in the style of a basket weave, topped with ground meat and rolled into a heart attack-inducing meatloaf. It couldn’t all quite register as I had a moment of eureka in the basket weave part. See, before last weekend, I was experimenting with creating shapes out of a whole wheat cracker recipe that I made one day by accidentally over crisping homemade tortillas. Since, I have been racking my brain for ideas on ways to make creative crackers. And my brother’s fervent blather about woven bacon was exactly the inspiration I needed. Thanks, bro!
So, that is how this whole wheat cornucopia cracker and cheese platter has come to be, and just in time for American Thanksgiving, unlike my many other belated ideas.
I must admit, this is an enormous task for a cracker and cheese platter (I realize my 15″ square oversize platter diminishes the horn which is in fact 10″ long and 5″ in diameter enormous). But it is well worth the effort. It is a beautiful addition to your Thanksgiving spread.
1. A large stainless steel cocktail shaker and aluminum foil.
2. Cut three pieces of foil, each one foot in length. Crumple the first piece, then hang on the lip of the cocktail shaker. Crumpling it before attaching it to the shaker saves on the use of foil (it gives shape, without having to use too much). It is crucial that only a small piece of foil is inside the shaker, because the shaker must be easily removed from the foil after baking.
3. Do the same for the other two pieces of foil.
4. Take a piece of foil about one and a half feet in length and wrap around the shaker. Make sure that the bulk of the crumpled foil is towards the mouth of the shaker, to have a nice cone shape.
Combine 1/2 c of hot water, 1/8 c of melted butter, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar, and 1 c of whole wheat flour into a dough.
1. Separate the dough into two parts. For both, roll out the dough on a floured surface until very thin. Using a pizza cutter and a clean strip of paper measuring 5/8″ wide as a guide, cut strips of the dough.
2. Weave the strips together. The best trick is to move the strips back when you are adding a new strip under.
3. Continue to weave.
4. Make sure the weave is larger than the foil-covered cocktail shaker.
5. Place the foil-covered cocktail shaker on the weave and roll until your weave forms a cornucopia.
6. Carefully place the cracker on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Using a sharp knife, trim any excess strips and ensure that the foil at the mouth is not covered. This is crucial in removing your shaker once the cracker is baked.
7. Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
8. To remove the shaker, first lift the foil from the lip of the shaker. Slide the shaker out carefully. Then working from inside out, slide out the pieces of foil.