Making Cheese Crackers is easy and you can make a large batch at once.
Cheese crackers (sýrové sušenky) and cheese sticks (sýrové tyčinky) are very common among Czech snacks. Although crackers and sticks made from puff pastry are probably more common, I would like to show you how to make them from a much simpler dough.
This recipe is time-demanding but most of it is just the resting of the dough.
These amounts are for two baking trays full of cheese crackers:
- 200 g of all-purpose flour or hladká mouka (see the Czech Flour Guide)
- 120 g of butter at room temperature
- 100 g of hard cheese such as Eidamer
- 1/4 tsp of salt
- 1 tsp of baking powder
- 3 tbsp of milk
- 1 egg for glazing
- topping: salt, caraway seeds, poppy seeds (not ground)
Cheese Crackers – recipe
In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Grate the cheese finely and add them to the flour, stir well. The cheese might tend to stick together and this will help separate the small grated pieces by covering each in flour and the cheese will be equally divided in the dough.
Then cut the butter in small pieces and add it to the mixture together with the milk. Knead with your hands until the dough is smooth. This will take a while and it will seem impossible at first, there will be a lot of crumbles but don’t worry, little by little, they will incorporate in the dough.
The dough has to rest and be really cold when you cut it, so wrap it in a foil and let it rest for 1 – 1,5 hours in the fridge or for about half an hour in the freezer. The dough is a little hard to roll when it’s a large piece, so I recommend cutting it into 2 or 3 pieces before wrapping it. I also flatten each piece with my hand a little which helps even more with the rolling. We do this step because this dough would stick to the rolling pin if not enough cold (and we don’t want to sprinkle the rolling table with flour for this recipe).
Roll the dough to about 0,5 cm and then cut to desired shape (if you still find the dough too sticky and don’t want to let it rest anymore, toll it between two sheets of baking paper). You can use a cookie cutter but if you don’t want to have any dough leftovers, it’s best to cut it into rectangles with a knife or with a tool called rádýlko in Czech, which looks like a small pizza cutter with wavy blade. Place the cheese crackers on a baking tray.
Whisk the egg and glaze the crackers, then sprinkle them with the topping, caraway seeds are very common.
Bake the cheese crackers in an oven preheated to 170°C for 15 minutes or until golden.