These homemade cheez its are incredibly easy, taste 1000% better than the store bought version and require only 6 ingredients that you already have on hand.
I hate myself. I hate myself SO much for ever perfecting this recipe. I’m so full of self hatred that I almost forget how much I looove myself for it. I love having a container of addictive, salty, crunchy, cheesy crackers that have layer after layer of buttery goodness and golden, crispy edges every time I’m craving something salty. I love the smell of melting butter and cheese that fills my house while I’m baking the crackers and I love that I know every single ingredient that goes in to them. I love that there are no colors or preservatives or funky ingredients that I can’t pronounce. I love that they’re made with 100% butter, unrefined Himalayan pink salt, unbleached local flour, raw cane sugar, organic onion powder and local cheese. I love that they won’t last for a year on a shelf and I love that each cracker was hand cut and rolled out with love by my own two hands.
I hate that I can’t stop eating them. I can’t resist putting them in my chilli or soup, I can’t NOT eat them at night when I’m feeling snacky and I can’t stop myself from eating them with a cider before and with dinner.
Yes, I could stop making them. I could. But we all know that isn’t going to happen. Nobody will let me stop. Mark asks for them at least twice a week, friends ask me to sell them to them, Kevin’s wife orders them by the thousand and now everyone wants me to bring ‘the snacks’ at get togethers. I did a very bad, wonderful thing.
I also, for the first time, really miss my bakery. Okay that’s kind of a lie. I don’t miss the bakery, I miss the equipment. I miss my beautiful convection oven that cooked everything evenly 100% of the time, heated from the back of the oven instead of the top and bottom and could hold 10x what my oven can hold all at once, without ever having to change racks. The fact that we didn’t have to pay the hydro bill didn’t hurt, either.
My oven at home? It’s been kind of a bitch. The first time I made these since leaving the bakery, I burned them and was pretty livid. Mark didn’t see anything wrong with them and was actually quite happy to eat the entire batch without me taking any of them. The next round was better but still waaay darker than I like them to be.
It took FOUR rounds of making these amazing, addictive little devils to finally figure that damn oven out. For cooking? No problem. It cooks everything beautifully. For quickbreads? No worries. Muffins? I had that figured out. Homemade Cheez its? Nightmare.
At least it’s finally sorted: bake for 7 minutes on the third top rack. Turn tray. Bake for another 5 minutes on the same rack. Move to bottom third rack and bake for another 2 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet.
Are they still worth it? Absolutely. Will it be the same case with your oven? I friggen hope not. Either way, though, these homemde cheez its are amazing. They’re 1000000% better than store bought and you don’t have to question a single thing in them. They’re super easy to make and will keep in a container for a good 2 weeks. Your only real problem with these is learning how to stop eating them because lemme tell ya, it isn’t easy. It also doesn’t get easier with time.
Consider yourself warned.
Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and if you make a recipe, tag your photo #thepretendbaker so I can see what you’re whipping up!
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ TBSP cane sugar
- ¼ cup cold butter, cubed
- 2 cups lightly packed sharp white cheddar cheese (the older the better)
- 2-3 TBSP cold water
- Sift together flour, salt, sugar, onion powder and sugar in a medium sized bowl.
- Add butter and, using your fingers, rub the butter in to the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
- Add cheese and mix until completely combined.
- Add water, starting with 2 TBSP and mix/knead the dough by hand until it comes together, adding up to 1 TBSP of water if the dough seems dry. It can take a few minutes to completely work the water in so don't be too quick to add more water. Knead the dough for a few minutes before adding more.
- Turn dough on to a lightly floured work surface and continue to knead in to a tight ball.
- Flatted dough in to a disc and wrap with plastic wrap.
- Place in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes and up to 3 days.
- Remove dough from the fridge, divide in 2 and, working one at a time, roll out each half on a lightly floured surface until very thin. The thinner you roll them, the crispier they will be.
- Using a pizza cutter, cut desired size of crackers then, using a fork or toothpick/cake tester, prick holes in every cracker.
- Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and put in the freezer while the oven heats up (I do two sheets, one sheet at a time and work on rolling out the second while the first is chilling in the freezer).
- Preheat oven to 375F and place racks on the upper ⅓rd of the oven and bottom ⅓rd.
- When oven is ready, place the first sheet on the top rack and bake for 10 minutes, turning the pan after 5 minutes.
- Transfer sheet to bottom 3rd rack and bake for an additional 3-5 minutes, checking to make sure the bottoms aren't burnt.
- Repeat with remaining tray.
- Allow crackers to cool on the baking sheets then transfer them to an airtight container.
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