Originally from the Italian island of Sardinia, Carta di Musica are thin, crispy crackers that are quite easy to make. Add some cheese and a bottle of wine for an excellent appetizer idea!
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I recognize that a cracker recipe isn’t going to burn up the interwebs. I mean how many folks actually make homemade crackers? I’m quite passionate about baking, so I’m on board here. It doesn’t matter whether it’s breads, cakes or crackers. I just love the process of baking. If you enjoy baking, too, then try your hand at making Carta di Musica. These crackers are light and airy, and they’re also pretty easy to make.
The term Carta di Musica is actually Italian for ‘sheet music.’ (These crackers hail from the Italian island of Sardinia.) So what does sheet music have to do with these crackers? Well according to legend, it’s because the dough should be thin enough that you can read sheet music through it. In fact, sometimes this recipe is called ‘music paper bread.”
Whether or not that’s actually true is up for debate, but the point remains that this dough is very thin. However, no special equipment is needed to make Carta di Musica. You just need a mixer (although you could do it by hand – your arm would just be very tired) and a rolling pin.
One helpful item here is a baking stone. If you don’t have a baking stone, you can mimic one by using an overturned sheet pan. The baking stone (or baking sheet) stays in the oven while it preheats, so it is scorching hot by the time you’re ready to bake. (If you don’t have a baking stone, I recommend getting one. We have a couple, but I like this one a lot.)
Once that thin dough hits the hot baking stone, it only takes a couple minutes to bake up into a nice crispy cracker. And speaking of baking, each piece of dough puffs up quite a bit. Once it cools off, you can break that dough into smaller crackers. (And it’s actually really fun to break these Carta di Musica apart!)
Carta di Musica
These crackers (flatbreads?) rely on a combination of all-purpose flour and semolina flour. (Semolina is often used in pasta.) By themselves, these crackers are kinda boring. The texture is great, but there’s not much there in terms of flavor. However, brush the dough lightly with olive oil and then sprinkle a bit of coarse salt and/or Italian seasonings on top? Now you’re talking! (Speaking of sea salt, we love this Maldon flaked sea salt for recipes like this.)
Just make sure to do this to both sides of the dough. As noted above, Carta di Musica puff up in the oven. Once cooled, you tap them lightly to break ’em apart, and both the tops and bottoms become ‘crackers’ for serving.
While these Carta di Musica could be served by themselves, we actually enjoy making a batch and then serving them with a nice piece of cheese (Parmigiano-reggiano is a great choice), an assortment of olives and a good bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. (If it’s a hot summer day, we’ll opt for a dry Chardonnay instead.)
These crackers not only feature a fun story about the sheet music, but it’s also pretty fun to say you made homemade crackers. So if you’re at all intrigued, give these a shot! They’re definitely a fun way to mix up the routine. Happy baking!
Did you make a batch of these Carta di Musica at home? Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog). I’d love to see your version!
Carta di Musica
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Note: If you have a pizza stone, use it! If you don’t have a pizza stone, you can mimic one by placing an upside down sheet pan into the oven while it is preheating.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with dough hook attachment, add both flours, water and salt; stir on low speed until well combined. Increase speed to medium and let mix for 6-7 minutes, or until dough is very smooth.
- Divide dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and then cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Let dough rest at room temperature for 15 minutes.
- Working on a large cutting board, spray board with non-stick baking spray. Roll one ball into an 8” or 9” circle.
- Brush top of dough lightly with olive oil and then sprinkle top with kosher salt and/or Italian spices. Flip dough over and repeat process.
- Working with 1-2 pieces of dough at a time, place dough on the pizza stone (or overturned sheet pan) and bake for 3-4 minutes. Using a pair of kitchen or grill tongs, flip dough over and continue baking for 3-4 more minutes or until golden brown. Repeat process with remaining pieces of dough.
- Let cool and then break each piece apart into bite-sized pieces. Serve with additional olive oil for dipping.
Looking for other fun appetizer ideas? Check out these other favorites, too: