Baking| Ottolenghi’s Olive Oil Crackers … catering to the dieting diva!

“I have never gone to the bathroom in my life that a small voice on the other side of the door hasn’t whined, “Are you saving the bananas for anything?”
Erma Bombeck

Olive Oil Crackers“I’m on a diet!!” she declared yet again, perhaps trying to convince herself more than anyone else. It was the typical troubling tiresome teen time all over again. The diet drama is into its second week, but is wildly swinging, and so is the mood!Olive Oil CrackersMost discussion takes place over the after school snack. Much to his delight, junior happily tries to grab the cookies off her plate. “I’ll take it if she doesn’t want it,” he charmingly whispers. One withering look from me, and the cookie is left alone, under her nose, tempting her, yet not quite. Then I sit and try and get her attention. “I haven’t eaten anything all day,” she mumbles. Do I sense self pity?  Low fat food

Then the Mama begins to talk, maybe preach. “Eat sensibly. These cookies have oats and whole wheat. These are healthy, eat them”. Home made fresh lime juice is grabbed out of the fridge and guzzled. How long can we stay hungry? Milk is given a withering look, yet its arrival in the garb of a strawberry banana  smoothie {banana not disclosed} meets sweet surrender. Slurrrp!! Game on! Next day… “Will you have some chocolate granola? It’s got complex carbs, no butter, well almost none”. “Yes please.” An orange is always eaten without a whine…she loves it! Vary the platter is my inner call, so it’s Orange Marmalade Oats Energy Bars on offer another day … always a winner!Olive Oil CrackersAll this drama got me thinking, and reminded me of these olive oil crackers. A sweet charming Delhi foodie called me a few days ago, was between jobs, and wondered if I would teach her to decorate a cake. ‘Of course’, I said. She was over a few days later. We talked non stop for the 3 hours that she was here. While the banter hung around cookbooks for a longtime, we discussed Ottolenghi The Cookbook, and she mentioned making the olive oil crackers from an Ottolenghi recipe off the net. She was determined to get herself a copy of the book as she leafed through mine. {I ♥ that book that Hilda gave me}.Cake deco demoWe had a great morning decorating her home baked cake. Nidhi is a quick learner and a wonderful person. She brought an eggless cake {she’s severely allergic to eggs}, and we gave it a dark chocolate ganache, a spiderweb on top, made a chocolate lace border and topped it with a fanned out strawberry… all in the span of an hour. She loved it!!The cracker conversationcame back to me a few days later when the teen said she was ‘still’ on a diet. Ottolenghi time again,  a cookbook I love to use. I’m surprised I never did these crackers before! They’ve become a staple at home. I’ve made them over and over again with different toppings. I substituted a little plain flour with whole wheat flour, and they were very very good indeed.  Toppings I used were sea salt, Tuscan dried herbs, minced garlic, pepper, sesame, poppy seeds. The next batch included garlic paste added to the dough … yes, we love garlic! Did I tell you I finally got my Thermomix? Santa got here late,  but in many ways, better late than never is great!! Making this dough is an absolute cinch in the machine!Olive Oil CrackersMade a roasted red bell pepper garlic dip to go with the crackers, spiced by a dash of home made sriracha type sweet chili garlic sauce which was finger licking good. For another batch I made a home made quark dip – tangy, garlicky and ever so creamy! Ottolenghi has the dough divided into 25 walnut shaped balls, and each rolled as thin as possible into ‘witches tongue‘ like shapes! I just divided the dough into 4, rolled it out as thin as possible, splashed it with EVOO, sprinkled the toppings and cut rectangles with a pastry wheel. I think this is a lot easier than rolling individual crackers, though the witches tongues sound wickedly enticing! You must try whichever grabs your fancy, and if you like crisp savoury crackers then these are for you! Healthy and addictive!!

Olive Oil Crackers

Olive Oil Crackers
200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
50gm whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
115ml water
25ml extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Maldon flaky salt, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, minced garlic etc for sprinkling/topping

Olive Oil CrackersMethod:
Combine all the ingredients except the sea salt in a large bowl. Bring it together, and then turn onto a work surface and knead briefly until smooth. Wrap in cling film and leave it to rest for an hour in the fridge. {I kept a batch overnight as well, and it worked just fine}.
Line 2-3 trays with baking parchment.
Preheat the oven to 220°C . On a well floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll a quarter of the dough at a time, as thin as possible. {or you can divide the dough into 25 pieces and roll out thin tongues as described by Ottolenghi.}
Use lots of flour to ensure the dough doesn’t stick to the surface. Brush the top generously with olive oil, then sprinkle on the sea salt, or topping of your choice. Cut into rectangles with a pastry cutter.
Place the crackers on the prepared tray. Bake for 6 – 7 minutes, until crisp and golden brown. Store in an airtight container.
Olive Oil CrackersThank you for stopping by


Featured as the Food News Journal Daily Recipe for March 28th, 2011

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About me: I am a freelance food writer, recipe developer and photographer. Food is my passion - baking, cooking, developing recipes, making recipes healthier, using fresh seasonal produce and local products, keeping a check on my carbon footprint and being a responsible foodie! I enjoy food styling, food photography, recipe development and product reviews. I express this through my food photographs which I style and the recipes I blog. My strength lies in 'Doing Food From Scratch'; it must taste as good as it looks, and be healthy too. Baking in India, often my biggest challenge is the non-availability of baking ingredients, and this has now become a platform to get creative on. I enjoy cooking immensely as well.


  1. Give me that Olive Oil crackers! Nidhi’s cake is so beautiful :) Gotta visit you when I am down in Gurgaon in the future :)
    Kiran´s last blog post ..Valentine’s Day MenuMy Profile

  2. I have to try these crackers! They look so crunchy. The dips sound great too. Love the color of the red bell pepper garlic dip.
    lisaiscooking´s last blog post ..German Chocolate CakeMy Profile

  3. Haha all the young girls must go through that phase these days. Love these crackers and am especially eager to try my hand at more crackers since my homemade wheat thins turned out well a few weeks ago. Great clicks, too, Deeba!
    Xiaolu´s last blog post ..Pomegranate Almond Cream Cheese DanishMy Profile

  4. Love, love, love the dip! And the crackers sound and look great as well!
    Saee Koranne-Khandekar´s last blog post ..Coffee and cream for Baba Recipe- Low sugar Coffee and cream cakeMy Profile

  5. We love crackers and I make a batch at least once a month! Such a great snack to have on hand!

    I think it was the Roasted Red Pepper Dip that we first ever talked about on twitter!
    And it’s one of my all time favs!!!!
    Michelle´s last blog post ..Tuxedo Pasta Aglio e OlioMy Profile

  6. A beautiful cake and gorgeous crackers!



  7. Perfection! In the way you tell the story, and in your presentation in the photos! I am falling into your spell with these, now I have to make my own! LOL Have a great day!
    Chef E´s last blog post ..Tandoori Seafood Feast!My Profile

  8. Wow deeba. The decorated cake looks so good. And I just adore the cracker and the dip recipe. It’s just awesome :)

  9. this is my kind of a snack, Deebs- anything w olive oil goes down a real treat! x shayma
    shayma´s last blog post ..Sohan-e-Asali- Almond Saffron Brittle in the Persian MannerMy Profile

  10. These are some mouth watering crackers Deeba. Yum.
    Lora´s last blog post ..Momofukus Milk Bar NYCMy Profile

  11. Love this. I remember looking for a good cracker recipe last year, and everything was laden with butter. Will definitely try this out! My favourite way to eat crackers is with truffle ‘pate’ that I bought when I was in Florence! :)
    Su-yin´s last blog post ..Chinese New Year ‘cakes’My Profile

  12. I can just picture myself devouring all thise crackers in one sitting. Maybe I shouldn’t make them :-(. I do feel for your daughter though, hope the diet fad permanently goes away ;-). Love the cake you made with Nidhi – its PERFECT!

  13. TOTALLY LOVE your blog – Congratulations on being the best blog of 2010-2011 – I cannot think of anyone more worthy — may be one day…….;))

  14. I made similar olive oil crackers using a recipe from 101cookbooks but yours look nicer. I will do them definitely :)
    Kind regards
    MAGDALENA KASPRZYK – CHEVRAIUX´s last blog post ..Citrus – Tomato Chicken with a Polish Touch- Silesian DumplingsMy Profile

  15. I always eat the crackers with the big bubbles first – they are the best :)
    Helena´s last blog post ..Cheesecaked Chocolate CakeMy Profile

  16. Haha, I can so relate to the dieting stories. Done them a lot, now I have more sense, and eat healthy instead, and work out more! But you’re an awesome mom to make these, they look awesome :)
    Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes)´s last blog post ..Chocolate Salted Caramel CakeMy Profile

  17. Want some right NOW! 😀
    Alessio´s last blog post ..Dark as SaltMy Profile

  18. Deeba, I just made olive oil crackers not too long ago and know how good they are. This recipe is inspiring me to make them again!
    Nisrine | Dinners & Dreams´s last blog post ..PallébéMy Profile

  19. I love making crackers. I will be trying this for sure.
    Sarah Galvin (All Our Fingers in the Pie)´s last blog post ..Peek Preview of my New KitchenMy Profile

  20. The olive oil crackers sound divine! I’m bookmarking this one, looks like a must try!

  21. delicious crackers and pictures following your lovely site

  22. gorgeous pics as usual and i LOVE the decorated cake too :)
    nags´s last blog post ..Super Quick Cauliflower – Gobi Biryani RecipeMy Profile

  23. Perfect Deeba, although I would have no problem consuming any of those snacks:D

  24. oh my gosh, these crackers look SO good Deeba! I’m on a diet all the time myself although unlike ur teenager the oath breaks as soon as I see a mighty piece of cake. But thanks to her ur low fat recipes might help me take it further a li’l more :-)
    I’m gonna try this recipe! BOOKMARKING.
    Prerna@IndianSimmer´s last blog post ..Chocolate and Pear Tart – To Love!My Profile

  25. These look delicious as usual. I make a deep fried version with cumin in the dough. So this is definitely more helty!
    Sukaina´s last blog post ..Frosting For The Cause- Cinnabon Cupcakes With Cream Cheese GlazeMy Profile

  26. I’ve been eyeing that book for some time now, I’m happy to be able to try out one of the recipes for myself. I’ve been going through a cracker phase at the moment so this is just perfect!
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen´s last blog post liquid memoriesMy Profile

  27. These crackers are fantastic and I love the sound of the roasted red pepper dip to go along with them. And sounds like a wonderful afternoon with your friend :)
    Magic of Spice´s last blog post ..Whats on the side Sunflower Salad with Pineapple EmulsionMy Profile

  28. sana rizvi says:

    dear deeba,
    hi these crackers look yummmm
    going to try soon as i am also on diet.
    take care,
    happy baking
    some more recipies for people in diet maybe some low cal chocolate cake.
    take care,

  29. nidhi says:

    Awww… i feel so famous! ur a swtheart xoxo

  30. Gosh, I’d love to be on a diet at your place with these lovely crackers & dips. Nice one Deeba :)
    I do love the spiderwork design on the cake too., awesome :)
    Anna Johnston´s last blog post ..COOKIES DIARY – Pt 12My Profile

  31. I will have to try your crackers’ recipe: they look awesome and yummy. I should also learn to decorate a cake with you!!!

  32. Firstly congratulations on your new arrival! And oh dear, dieting teens. I can still remember the crazy diets I went on 😛

  33. A cake decorated in an hour with such wonderful dexterity could surely have a Deeba’s touch :) Love the crackers and these are surely going to become a staple in my cookies jar! I don’t get the black color poppy seeds anywhere Deeba, any particular store from where I can get it ordered?
    Sanjeeta kk´s last blog post ..Cinnamon rolls – A Healthy Twist with Palm Sugar- honey and walnutsMy Profile

  34. would love to have been your daughter hehehe… growing up… diet days meant pumpkin juice, wheatgrass juice… but when you got stuff like chocolate granola! its a whole new ballgame all together.

    and great looking cake there, and beautiful Nidhi… thanks for sharing.

    excellent recipe!!! i will try it this week!
    Rajani´s last blog post ..Raw Canapés anyone Mangetout and Cucumber MélangeMy Profile

  35. Your posts are always crammed with wonderful stories and gorgeous photographs. These crackers look delicious. Thank you so much for sharing!
    Sharlene´s last blog post ..Red Velvet Swirl BrowniesMy Profile

  36. Cakelaw says:

    OMG – what a gorgeous cake! The crackers look delicious too, but I am not on a diet – and I couyld really use a slice of that cake …

  37. Diet? What’s that? I know not what this diet thing is that you speak of! I just know that these look delicious and I’m going to make them this weekend – YUMMY!!!

  38. Deeba, I am bookmarking this recipe., sounds quite tempting.
    elra´s last blog post ..Rosemary-Lemon Knot RollsMy Profile

  39. Sheetal says:

    Deeba, where do we get cayenne pepper in India? I

  40. I love cracker recipes – these look really incredible. The photo of them stacked said it all for me. I am in! This is one of Heavenly Housewife’s favourite cookbooks – and definitely a favourite restaurant of hers to visit. I just missed going when we were last there. Next time.
    A Canadian Foodie´s last blog post ..Michael Ruhlman’s Artisan Sausage with Allan Suddaby at Edmonton Cooking School- Taste Tripping Kielbasa- Spicy Italian- MerguezMy Profile

  41. Hi Deeba

    Wonderful post & great recipes, absolutely love your space.



  42. Wow! I’m always looking for snacks to make for the kids. I need to start making crackers. Lovely recipe and photos. I wish I could go on your families’ diet!
    Lael Hazan @educatedpalate´s last blog post ..Valentine’s Day Strawberry Gelato RecipeMy Profile

  43. Deeba, I have seen these all over the internet this weekend – TS, FG, Tasteologie I think and each time, I meant to comment but I was sneaking a “break” in my studies and kept it on the list for later. I LOVE this recipe and hope to try is sometime soon. Gorgeous pictures too! Alas, I do not have a thermomix so would have to grapple with this by, err, hand.
    Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite´s last blog post ..International Incident Party- SundaesMy Profile

  44. For 4 years I was in Delhi and all over the internet surfing all the food blogs and now I find yours. Love, love ,love what you do & those amazing photographs. I am taking that decoration class from you the next time I’m in Delhi.

  45. I would truely love to have you cater to me with these crackers! They look delicious!
    Shelby´s last blog post ..Shes a Lady and hes a TrampMy Profile

  46. Deeba,

    That cake is amazing! I can’t believe you put that together in one hour. It would have taken me all day and it still wouldn’t have been that beautiful. Those crackers look perfect for just about anything from a snack to an appetizer. Just delicious and beautiful snaps as well!

  47. fantastic all around. i love the recipe for the roasted pepper dip! swoon!
    Bren´s last blog post ..Vermont Organics Pancakes In Search of Happy &amp YumminessMy Profile

  48. Those crackers looks amazingly crispy and that cake is just plain beautiful!
    Simone´s last blog post ..New cooking club!!My Profile

  49. I love cheese and crackers and sometimes I want a more impressive cracker. I dont know about India but you should see the prices on some of the crackers that are on the shelves here in California. Outrageous!! These look terrific and something I would like to try! Bookmarking for my next cheese platter.
    I did make the granola and love it. Mine got a little toastier then I would have liked but I’ll watch my next batch much closer!Thank you for a healthier granola and delicious recipe! :)

  50. The crackers are pure perfection. And you’ve got me salivating at the thought of a garlicky quark cheese dip. Recipe please!
    Grapefruit´s last blog post ..Baking With Dorie- Honey Nut SconesMy Profile

  51. how in earth do you keep your chocolate lace from melting in this hot and humid weather :S
    leemz´s last blog post ..Cuppa Cuppa Cake with fresh fruitsMy Profile

    • The fridge in my saviour…. piped, into the fridge flat until barely set, then wrapped around the cake and thrown back into the fridge in a hurry. Once it sets it isn’t a problem…I mean not too much


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