The Cracker Crack Pipe



Nothing good ever comes of an addiction. Cigarettes make you cough up a lung. Alcohol rots your liver. Porn scorches your eyes. And snacks...well, snacks make your jeans shrink up real tight. They make the scale tip way too far in the wrong direction. Extra pounds appear seemingly overnight. Yet despite the horrible side effects, we think nothing of bending our elbow toward our mouth for another hit from the snack crack pipe.

My latest snack addiction is these Sensible Portions Pita Bites. You'd think they'd be all good-for-you healthy and stuff and they probably are, but the words sensible and portions should be a clue that CONTROL is key to proper addiction management. When my beloved Harris Teeter advertises these little bites of cracker meth for BOGO, you can bet my pantry is stocked for just those occasions when I'm in desperate need of a hit.

So what do you think happened the one night that I rounded the kitchen corner, peered into the pantry and suddenly realized I was facing an empty shelf? I got an adrenaline rush, my heart raced, my blood pressure sky-rocketed, I shook like a leaf, my pupils dilated as large as saucers, my hairs stood on end, and I broke into a cold sweat. Classic symptoms of the DTs.

Thank heavens for Smitten Kitchen's rendition of Gourmet magazine's Crisp Rosemary Flatbreads. Now I can feed the addiction any time I damn well please. If you're a straight shooter like me, you'll enjoy these on their own but they're also perfect with cheeses and any dip or spread that you can conjure up.

Pass the pipe over this way, would ya? And get me some bigger jeans while you're at it.



Crisp Rosemary Flatbread
Adapted from Gourmet, July 2008
Stolen shamelessly from Smitten Kitchen. (All notes are those of SK's)

Nothing could be easier than making this cracker, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t tell people you slaved all day over it because they’re going to be impressed, really impressed, and I see no reason not to milk it.

I think you could easily swap the rosemary for other herbs, such as thyme or tarragon, or punch it up with black pepper or other spices, but personally, I like it just the way it is here.

1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary plus 2 (6-inch) sprigs
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup olive oil plus more for brushing
Flaky sea salt such as Maldon

Preheat oven to 450°F with a heavy baking sheet on rack in middle.

Stir together flour, chopped rosemary, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in center, then add water and oil and gradually stir into flour with a wooden spoon until a dough forms. Knead dough gently on a work surface 4 or 5 times.

Divide dough into 3 pieces and roll out 1 piece (keep remaining pieces covered with plastic wrap) on a sheet of parchment paper into a 10-inch round (shape can be rustic; dough should be thin).

Lightly brush top with additional oil and scatter small clusters of rosemary leaves on top, pressing in slightly. Sprinkle with sea salt. Slide round (still on parchment) onto preheated baking sheet and bake until pale golden and browned in spots, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer flatbread (discard parchment) to a rack to cool, then make 2 more rounds (1 at a time) on fresh parchment (do not oil or salt until just before baking). Break into pieces.

Flatbread can be made 2 days ahead and cooled completely, then kept in an airtight container at room temperature.

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