Jennifer Bravo here! I’m a professional food photographer and recipe developer located in Portland, Maine. I’m so excited to share one of my easy recipes with you today, thanks Allagash for inviting me “over”!
The genesis of this recipe comes from a collaborative project I did a little while back with fellow Portland creative, Campfire Studios. Kristen Camp, founder and lead potter, and I created a collection of hand-built everyday ceramics to add a little beauty back into our food routines. The collection was inspired by my vintage prop endeavors and food photography, and brought to life because of the desire to bring two different female entrepreneurs together in uncertain times to create something new and wonderful.
When I sat down to really craft what I hoped our pieces would look like—and the feelings I hoped they would evoke in our customers—I drew from my desire to continually make everything beautiful, but nothing too precious to enjoy. I wanted to create a line that inspired the art of gathering. Of course, it wouldn’t be my collaboration if I didn’t also include an easy recipe to help make those gatherings all the more nourishing.
This recipe, Herby Whipped Feta with Thyme Yeasted Crackers, is something you can “whip” together in a flash to make room for delicious and impromptu gatherings. It’s one of those recipes that, as soon as you make it once, you can pretty much commit it to memory and make it without much extra effort. I chose this recipe to share with you today because it’s the perfect noshing dish to tide you over until a meal, right when you’re ready to crack open a beer. I hope this recipe inspires a few more at-home happy hours for you are your loved ones.
About the beer pairing
This section is written by us at Allagash, to help you understand why we picked our Little Grove beers for this particular pairing. Those beers are brewed to be light and tart with a hint of fruit in the flavor. When preparing a charcuterie board, cheese and crackers are perfectly complemented by a bit of fresh fruit. Feta, for its part, is a tangy and mild white cheese. Often it’s crumbly, but this recipe turns it into a whipped, smooth spread. The combination of unctuous cheese (with a little olive oil drizzle) and herbed crackers called for a beer that was light and a bit tart. The notable carbonation in our Little Grove beers also help to clear the palate, preparing you for another deliciously rich and cheesy bite.
Homemade Yeasted Crackers
- ¾ c. hot water (110-115F)
- 1 tsp. Dry active yeast
- 2 tsp. Sugar
- 260g (approx. 2 cups + 1 tablespoon) all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 tbsp. dried thyme or rosemary
- 1 tsp. Salt plus more for sprinkling
- In a large bowl, whisk together hot water, dry active yeast, and sugar. Set aside for about 5 minutes in a warm spot until the yeast begins to froth. Add in the flour, 1 tablespoon of oil, salt and seasonings and mix using a wooden spoon or your hand until incorporated. The dough will be a bit sticky, but should form a loose ball. Add a tablespoon more flour if needed.
- Using either your hands (my preferred method) or the dough hook attachment on your standing mixer, knead the dough for about 7-10 minutes, or more, until the dough forms a smooth ball and bounces back when gently poked.
- Pour remaining tablespoon of oil into the large, now empty bowl, and coat all sides before placing the kneaded ball back into the bowl to rest. Place the dough in and flip it once to coat each side with oil. Cover the bowl with a towel and let it rest in a warm spot for about 30-45 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Once the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and begin to roll out the dough. Oil a clean wooden work surface, if needed, and cut the dough into thirds. Roll the dough into a very thin 9 x 13” rectangle. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into medium sized crackers. Place onto a baking sheet and sprinkle generously with salt. Repeat until all of the dough has been rolled and cut. The dough should be rolled as paper-thin as possible, and if you’re getting too much shrink as you roll, feel free to roll out each cracker individually to insure a nice thin, crunchy cracker
- Bake the cracker for 10-15 minutes until cooked through and golden brown. Let the cracker cool entirely so the centers become crunchy before serving alongside the whipped feta.
Click here for the full recipe for Herby Whipped Feta