Introduction: Carta Di Musica
Carta di Musica means "music sheet" in Italian. These crispy and delicious crackers are so light and thin that "one could almost read music through them."
Straightforward to bake, they are great as snacks, part of an appetizer, or as a accompaniment to soups..
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 cup Caputo 00 or Semolina flour*
• 1 1/2 tsp table salt or fine ground sea salt
• 1 cup lukewarm water**
• Bowl and bowl scraper
• Pastry roller
• Optional baking stone
*Semolina is best used as a pasta flour, while Caputo 00 works best in pizza dough, flatbreads, and crackers.
**The ratio of water to flour here is strictly an approximation. As any baker will tell you, the amount of water can vary based on brand and type of flour, altitude, humidity, and even temperature. If the dough doesn't appear to have the same consistency as that pictured, try adding small amounts of water or flour if it is too soft or too dry respectively. I myself adjust the water using only a tablespoon at at time.
Step 1: Mix All Ingredients...while Listening to Pavarotti Sing "Nessun Dorma"
Just kidding, Pavarotti is an entirely optional step.
Simply add all the ingredients in a bowl and using a bowl scraper, stir, mix, and incorporate them into a happy and soft dough ball. This could be done in a stand mixer, but mine was busy making butter at the time. :)
Step 2: Preheat
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and if using a stone, place it in the oven. TIP: If baking on just a baking sheet, simply preheating the oven to the desired temperature is sufficient. If using a stone, add a least 15 to 20 minutes so the stone is preheated as well. Breads and doughs on a fully preheated stone come out more evenly baked.
Step 3: Knead, Knead, Knead...
This step is significantly easier with a stand mixer. However, the butter in mine was not yet finished, so I kneaded the dough by hand for 7 minutes. Using a stand mixer with a dough hook is much easier. The goal here is to get the dough nice and elastic. I've included before and after pictures to give you a better idea of what it should look like. TIP: Kneading this dough on a polyethylene cutting board eliminates the need to grease your work surface, because the dough won't stick (yes, for carta the surface is greased, not floured).
Step 4: Roll and Cut...
This step couldn't be simpler. Just roll the dough into a log, cut into 12-16 pieces. Twelve pieces will give you 8"-9" carta, Sixteen will give you 6"-7" carta. Once cut, roll each piece into a ball.
Step 5: Cover and Rest...
Cover the dough balls with a towel and let them rest for 15 minutes. I use surgical huck towels since they are lint free and inexpensive.
Step 6: Roll Flat
Using a pastry roller, roll out the dough balls as flat as possible, at least 1/8" thick. I find that working from the center out, spinning the dough as I go produces the most consistently thin carta.
Step 7: Bake, Flip, Bake...Carte Di Musica!
Place the carta on the baking stone in the oven in threes or fours. Bake first for 4 minutes, then flip, and bake an additional 2-3 minutes. Remove and allow to cool then enjoy!