Parmesan Crackers w/ Fennel Seed & Cracked Black Pepper

Makes about 30 (3") crackers (serves 8 as a snack)


  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup semolina flour
  • ¼ cup finely-grated Parmesan cheese + extra for topping
  • 1 tbsp whole fennel seeds
  • 1½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into ½” cubes & chilled
  • ⅔ cup buttermilk

Special Equipment

  • stand mixer with paddle attachment
  • plastic wrap
  • rolling pin
  • parchment paper
  • baking sheet
  • pizza cutter
  • cheese grater


Mix & Chill Dough

  1. Combine flour, semolina, Parmesan, salt, pepper, fennel seeds and cubed butter in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed until the mixture looks like coarse sand and there are no large chunks of butter left
  2. Pour in the buttermilk and mix on low until the dough forms a ball
  3. Scrape all the dough out and wrap the dough in plastic, pressing it into a flat rectangle about 1” thick.  Chill the dough for at least 3 hours or overnight

Roll & Bake

  1. Preheat oven to 350º
  2. Work with ½ of the dough at a time, keeping the other ½ refrigerated to keep cold
  3. Liberally flour your work surface, and top of  dough. Roll each half into a rectangle that is about ⅛" thick. Add more flour as needed to prevent sticking; try to keep dough rectangular shape of baking sheet as you roll
  4. Move the cracker dough onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet by rolling the dough over the rolling pin and unrolling it onto the pan
  5. Using a fork, dock the dough by pricking little holes all over. Using a pizza wheel or a knife, cut the dough into 3” squares. Grate Parmesan cheese on top
  6. Follow same procedure for the remaining refrigerated dough
  7. Bake crackers for 20-24 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking time for even browning. Let cool on pan. Crackers will store for up to 3 days in an airtight container