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Make These Fancy Crackers in Your Air Fryer

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I’m not a wild spender when it comes to dining out, but a girl does like to be pampered sometimes. A few times a month, I don some “real clothes” (instead of my WFH duds) and I expect to be rewarded for it with an interesting cocktail and tasty morsels. These were provided recently at a Tom Colicchio spot I went to with friends, and the most amazing thing happened—we got a cheese board with salty, crunchy, seed-studded bread crackers. The amazing thing wasn’t that the crackers were expensive, flavorful, and interesting, but rather the realization that anyone can make very similar high-end crackers at home, for a fraction of the price, in an air fryer. 

The air fryer makes quick crackers

Whether you’ve come to terms with this or not, the air fryer stinks for toasting toast, but it’s excellent for drying bread to a shattering crisp. The mini convection oven with its hot, high velocity winds is the ideal setting for drawing out moisture, and it does this much faster than a conventional oven. This is excellent news if you have any seeded loaves, especially stale ones you don’t see much of a future for. 

I’ve noticed that whether they’re packaged in stores or on wine bar cheese boards, the fanciest of crackers are often “rustic”—thick brown bread and chock full of whole grains, seeds, or nuts. While you can turn most loaves into pretty good crackers with this technique, I like using ones with a more dense crumb (few big air pockets), and plenty of seeds and nuts. Both have natural oils that toast up nicely to reveal lots of flavor in the finished cracker, and that’s more than a lot of other crackers can say for themselves.

How to make fancy crackers in the air fryer

As an added bonus, there’s very little technique required to making a bangin’ bread cracker. The only challenge is ensuring the slice is thin enough but not so papery that it burns. I’ve found the best size is splitting the average factory slice in half. That’s about a quarter-inch thick if you’re cutting an unsliced loaf of bread. 

1. Slice the bread

Cutting a thin slice of bread to be even thinner isn’t something you should rush. Using the same technique as you would to safely slice a bagel, slice horizontally using a serrated knife and keep your fingers up and out of the way. 

2. An optional salty swipe

I snatched this idea from the same Tom Colicchio experience because crackers can be bland, and salt is good. Dissolve a quarter-teaspoon of salt in a tablespoon of hot water. Use a pastry brush to swipe the salty water over one side of each slice. The water will evaporate, leaving behind a thin layer of salt. 

3. Air fry your slices

Lay the slices of bread in your air fryer basket and air fry at 325°F for 10 to 15 minutes. Flip the slices halfway through the cooking time, and check on them every now and again to see how they’re drying out. 

Depending on the hydration of the bread, its thickness, and your air fryer, give or take a few minutes. Mine is an Instant Vortex and the sunflower seed bread was finished in about 12 minutes. The crackers should feel crisp, and if it’s a light colored bread it should be evenly and slightly browned. Cool them briefly on a wire rack before enjoying with your favorite cheeses, meats, spreads, and dips. Keep any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for about a week. 

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