Preparation / Directions:
Preheat the oven to 325.
Stir together the poppy seeds, flour, sugar, salt, and pepper in the food processor or in a large bowl. Add the garlic and mix well.
Cut the shortening into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Blend in enough of the water to form a dough that will hold together in a cohesive ball.
Divide the dough into 2 equal portions for rolling. On a floured surface or pastry cloth, roll thin, 1/8 inch thick. With a cookie cutter, cut into 2 inch circles and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Prick each circle 2 or 3 times with the tines of a fork. Brush the tops with the beaten egg, if desired.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, turning over once after about 15 minutes. Remove when the crackers are lightly browned and crisp.
VARIATION: In place of garlic, use 1/3 cup finely minced fresh onion.
HINT: these are great with cucumber slices.