This post will be about the joy of Crackers for Cheese and Classes from Awn Kitchen. In case you haven’t heard, The Ruby Apron cooking school in Edmonton is now Awn Kitchen. Owner Kaelin Whittaker changed the name to reflect her love of baking with the abundant grains in Alberta. The awn is the bristly fuzzy part on grasses like wheat. Or more accurately:
Awn — noun botany – a stiff bristle, especially one of those growing from the flower of barley, rye and many grasses.
Kaelin is featured in Food Artisans of Alberta and that is how I first got to know her. I’m going to share one of Kaelin’s great cracker recipes in this post as well as my experience attending one of her “Alberta Table Class and Dinner” evenings.
Kaelin Whittaker is a graduate of Ballymaloe Cookery School in Shanagarry, Co. Cork, Ireland. And, she’s a world class baker, sourdough bread mentor and founder of Real Bread Alberta. She is living proof how one person can have a huge impact on their community. Through the Real Bread group’s purchasing community, tens of thousands of dollars each year go directly to Alberta flour producers like Highwood Crossing, Gold Forest Grains, Sunny Boy and Heritage Harvest. Hundreds of cooks have learned the art of bread-making and many more have learned how to source and eat Alberta produce from this dedicated young cook.
With my co-author Tilly Sanchez, I attended an Alberta Table cooking class and dinner. Kaelin hosted 10 students and she invited Tilly and I to share stories about where the ingredients came from, what it takes for farmers and ranchers to produce our food and a few fun tales from the massive road trips we did to write Food Artisans of Alberta.
The meal included bright orange Pickled Carrots, Red Fife crackers, Parmesan Shortbreads and the Crackers for Cheese (which I’m going to share the recipe for) plus local cheeses to start. The guests prepped the salads as the main course braised in the oven and dessert sat patiently waiting on the cupboard.
When we gathered at the table, we shared the food family style. After cooking together that felt so right.
We enjoyed Green Salad with greens from Kaelin’s backyard garden, Beetroot, Raspberry, Honey and Mint Salad, Tomato Salad and Beef Stew with Root Vegetables, Dessert was a rustic Saskatoon Galette and of course, throughout the meal we nibbled on Kaelin’s toothsome sourdough bread with fresh whipped butter on the side.
Everyone went home with a bag of her homemade granola and a recipe booklet loaded with information about Alberta’s seven signature foods, recipes and sourcing.
Kaelin is currently offering Virtual Classes and Sourdough Workshops where the participants pick up a bag of supplies or sourdough starter and then join her live for the class from the comfort of their own homes. You can find the upcoming class schedule here.
I hope you’ll join Kaelin sometime. And now, let’s get on to sharing that yummy Crackers for Cheese recipe.Print
Crackers for Cheese
Crackers are easier than you think to make.
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 20
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: few dozen
- Category: Appetizers/Snacks
- Method: baking
- Cuisine: Canadian
- 110 grams whole grain flour (Kaelin used Red Fife Wheat)
- 110 grams unbleached all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 30 grams unsalted butter
- 150 mLs whipping cream
- Preheat the oven to 375℉.
- Mix the flours, salt and baking powder into a bowl and rub in the butter with your hands until the mixture is crumbly.
- Add in the cream and pull it together into a firm doughball.
- Roll it out into a thin square or rectangular shape.
- Poke fork tines into the dough to make a regular pattern and then slice into the size crackers you desire.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Enjoy with a selection of local cheeses.
Equipment: measuring cups, spoons, bowl, baking sheet
Keywords: homemade crackers