I’m always amazed and thrilled by homemade crackers. It’s goofy, I realize, but they’re always so easy and so much better than anything in a package. These rustic flatbreads are no exception. I started making these when I was working with Mark Bittman. We tested and tested to get this very delicate and very rich combination just right. He likened them to olive oil matzoh, but I’ve added fresh rosemary and flake salt, so to me, this version resembles something more Italian. They’re also really delicious with a generous sprinkle of za’atar (a Middle Eastern seasoning of thyme, sesame seeds, and sumac), if you’re in the mood for a hit of the exotic.

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Ingredients

  • cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
  • Flake sea salt (optional)

Method

Preheat the oven to 500°F.

In a measuring cup, combine the oil and water. Put the flour and salt in a food processor and turn the machine on. Add the olive oil mixture through the feed tube and continue to process until the dough forms a firm ball, rides around on the blade, and is not at all sticky.

Cut the dough into 12 small balls and flatten each into a 3- to 4-inch patty. On a well-floured surface, with a rolling pin, roll each piece of dough into a 6- to 8-inch round. The shapes can and should be irregular, but the dough should be so thin you can practically see through it. Top each piece with some of the rosemary and roll the leaves into the dough as best you can.

Baking in batches, transfer the flatbreads to baking sheets, sprinkle with a bit of flake sea salt if you like, and bake until just puffing up and beginning to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the breads and cook for another minute or so. Be careful though—because they’re so thin these can burn quickly, so it’s important to pay attention. Let cool completely on a rack before serving.

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