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Celebrity Chefs, Food + Recipes

DIY Crackers: Olive Oil Crackers or Carta Musica Recipe

May 5, 2020
Carta musica olive oil cracker

I needed some unleavened bread yesterday, and didn’t feel like risking my health by squeezing into one of my little neighborhood markets for them.

So I went looking for recipes, and quickly found this exceedingly simple and delicious one. Or rather, the esteemed Mark Bittman found it, I’m just at good at Google.

The original recipe is from Sardinia, the island off Italy that’s renowned for olive oil and honey. This wispy flatbread is called carta musica which means sheet music in Italian. If you get creative and infuse the dough with soft herbs and flowers, like they do in this Food & Wine story, it will look more like sheet music with pale sheets with dark lines. (And they say this same dough can be used for ravioli too)

If you’re in need of matzoh as you celebrate Passover, or just want fresh crackers without having to go to the store, this is the recipe for you.

They’re round in Bittman’s recipe, but otherwise, these are almost identical to the olive oil flatbread crackers that are often sold in the cheese department.

Use a high-quality olive oil with lots of zesty green flavors, this is one of those ultra-simple recipes where every ingredient counts. Just four ingredients and about 30 minutes time, and you’re done.

Next time I make them, I’m going to cut the dough in strips, and sprinkle with seasonings like ground black cumin seeds, zata’ar, pink peppercorns or truffle salt. They’re good plain, with cheese, topped with hummus, labneh, fresh cilantro and spices or even scrambled eggs.

When you discover how quick and easy these are, you’ll be making your own olive oil crackers too.

Carta Musica or Olive Oil Matzo

Makes 12 round crackers

2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup olive oil

1/2 cup purified water

Preheat the oven to 500° Fahrenheit. Get your cookie sheets out.

Add the flour, salt and olive oil to a food processor or your KitchenAid mixer with the paddle attachment. Turn it on, then add the water. Process for a few minutes and the dough with form a nice little ball.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and form a log. Cut it in half, and then cut each half in thirds. Then cut each piece in half again. Hopefully you’ll wind up with 12 little lumps that are about the same size. Now’s the time to even them up if you like.

Flour your rolling pin lightly and roll the first one out, getting it as thin as possible without tearing. If you hold it up, you should be able to see light through it. Roll out a couple more, then place them on your cookie sheet.

Sprinkle with salt or whatever seasonings you’d like on top. Place the sheet into the oven and set the timer for 3 minutes. When the timer rings, your flatbreads will be starting to get bubbly and a tiny bit brown on the edges. Flip them over and set the timer for 2 minutes, since the second side cooks much faster.


Remove the first set from the oven and let them cool on a baking rack. Repeat with the remaining dough, or save some in the freezer for later.

Adapted from the Olive Oil Matzo recipe in The New York Times.