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Today's Case:

Darryl's Restaurant Crackers

Re: Darryls restaurant home made crackers
From: Jacqueline
Date: 1/12/2024, 3:25 PM
To: Jacqueline 

On 1/11/2024 8:45 PM, Jacqueline wrote:

Dear Phaedrus,                                              

There used to be a recipe for home made crackers that the restaurant 
had named darryls in lexington ky. Please contact me at this email if 
you have the recipe. Thanks.  

Thanks, Jacqueline

Hello Jacqueline,

I did a search for Darryl's crackers recipe ten years ago. See:  4-23-2012

Sadly, none of the links that I found back then are viable now, including the one that led to a supposed recipe. That link was to a blog here: https://www.emtannerdesigns.com/blog/2010/07/21/the-flat-cracker-recipe-i-have-been-searching-high-and-low-for/

At that time, I also found a message board post on Chowhound - a food themed message board that is also gone from the web - by a former manager of Darryl's who said this: The crackers were simply pizza dough rolled thin on a sheet pan... hit it with a pizza docker and a sprinkle of kosher salt..... we had to bake four or five 55-gal trashcans full to get ready for a busy night...  A "pizza docker" is a device that looks like a roller with a handle and studded with pins. The dough is rolled out flat and thin and then rolled over with the docker to puncture any bubbles and prevent unwanted rising of the dough as it cooks.

So, you could probably use your favorite pizza dough to make crackers like Darryl's. If you don't have or want a "docker," you can pierce the rolled out dough all over with a fork.

However, I can imagine people thinking to themselves that there has to be more to it than that... and they didn't taste like pizza crust to me..., so I decided to use a little trick that I know to try to retrieve that vanished blog page. At first, I kept getting messages that "that page doesn't exist," but I persisted, and I finally found a backdoor way to find the missing blog page. The recipe that is on that page gives no provenance. The blogger, probably a fan of Darryl's crackers herself, doesn't say whether she got the recipe from someone connected with Darryl's or whether she simply created a copycat recipe herself.  She calls it a "cracker," but she also calls it a "pizza dough":

This is a fantastic, reliable, everyday pizza dough, which can also be 
used to make bread. It’s best made with Italian Tipo “00″ flour, which 
is finer ground than normal flour, and it will give your dough an 
incredible super-smooth texture. Look for it in Italian markets and 
good supermarkets. If using white bread flour instead, make sure… 
it’s a strong one that’s high in gluten, as this will transform into a 
lovely, elastic dough, which is what you want. Mix in some semolina 
flour for a bit of color and flavor if you like. They used to make this in 
giant trash cans everyday because they would go through it in no time.

7 cups strong white bread flour or Tipo “00″ flour or 5 cups strong white - 
- bread flour or Tipo “00″ flour, plus 2 cups finely ground semolina flour
1 level tablespoon fine sea salt
2 (1/4-ounce) packets active dried yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 cups lukewarm water

Sift the flours and salt onto a clean work surface and make a well in 
the middle. In a large measuring cup, mix the yeast, sugar and olive 
oil into the water and leave for a few minutes, then pour into the well. 
Using a fork, bring the flour in gradually from the sides and swirl it 
into the liquid. Keep mixing, drawing larger amounts of flour in, and 
when it all starts to come together, work the rest of the flour in with 
your clean, flour-dusted hands. Knead until you have a smooth, 
springy dough.

Place the ball of dough in a large flour-dusted bowl and flour the top 
of it. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and place in a warm room for 
about 1 hour until the dough has doubled in size. I put mine on the 
top of the fridge where is it is warm to double.

Now remove the dough to a flour-dusted surface and knead it around 
a bit to push the air out with your hands – this is called punching 
down the dough. You can either use it immediately, or keep it, 
wrapped in plastic wrap, in the fridge (or freezer) until required. 
If using straightaway, divide the dough up into as many little balls 
as you want to make pizzas – this amount of dough is enough to 
make about six to eight medium pizzas or countless cracker size.

Timing-wise, it’s a good idea to roll the pizzas out about 15 to 20 
minutes before you want to cook them. Don’t roll them out and 
leave them hanging around for a few hours, though – if you are 
working in advance like this it’s better to leave your dough, 
covered with plastic wrap, in the refrigerator. However, if you 
want to get them rolled out so there’s 1 less thing to do when 
your guests are round, simply roll the dough out into rough 
circles, about 1/4-inch thick, and place them on slightly larger 
pieces of olive-oil-rubbed and flour-dusted aluminum foil. 
You can then stack the pizzas, cover them with plastic wrap, 
and pop them into the refrigerator.

THE KEY TO COOKING THEM! Pierce the dough with a fork and 
if you haven’t already brushed them with a light coating of olive 
oil do so now and sprinkle with kosher salt but I prefer a good 
sea salt. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees and I always use a 
pizza stone to make these on but you don’t have to. Preheat 
your pizza stone as well and get it super hot. If you prefer to 
not use a pizza stone place the thinly rolled out dough on the 
bare racks in the bottom shelf of your oven. Just make sure not 
to get them to big if you prefer this method or they are difficult to 
maneuver. Cook for 7-10 minutes until golden and crispy. watch 
them closely as they take no time to cook. 

I also found another recipe for for "Darryls-like" crackers on another message board:


2 cups all purpose flour 
1 tsp salt* 
2/3 c milk 
2 Tbs cold butter 
1/2 tsp baking soda 

Combine the dry ingredients, cut in the butter, then stir in the 
milk. Form into a ball and knead briefly. Divide dough into 
several pieces and place on a floured board. Roll very thin 
and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt 
and pierce with a fork. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 
minutes or until lightly browned.

I have never found a recipe or a copycat or a tastes-like for Darryl's crackers other than these.