Herby Whole-Grain Crackers (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Soy-Free, Nut-Free)Tilth : Creating Fertile Ground for Good Health : tilthforhealth.com
A friend requested that I post a cracker recipe on this blog. Gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free crackers are hard to come by in the grocery store, and most of the ones that exist taste like cardboard. Fortunately, crackers are actually pretty easy to make, and boy howdy, are people impressed when you make them from scratch. When I’ve served homemade crackers at parties, people have inevitably oohed and ahhed over just how very homemade-chic I am to have bothered to make something so basic from scratch. It’s all rather hilarious.
In part because of flavor, and perhaps in part because of texture, gluten-free crackers tend to be heavy on the nuts. I’ve done a lot of nut-based postings lately, so I thought I would switch it up and offer a nut-free cracker recipe. I like the flavor of chickpea flour in Indian flatbreads, so I started with chickpea flour and then added what I wanted to taste/feel in them. I don’t consider this recipe perfected, but the crackers are downright tasty (and my husband says they’re simply great). I’ve changed up the recipe I’m including here from the one I used to shift the seasonings how I will when I make them next time. Feel free to change up the seasonings to suit your own cravings.
This recipe makes a small batch of crackers. (I made about two dozen.) For a party, double or triple the recipe.
3 tablespoons flax meal mixed with 1/3 cup hot water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons honey or agave
Additional water as needed
1/2 cup chickpea flour
1/2 cup certified gluten-free oats, ground in a blender or food processor
1/2 cup millet flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons minced onion flakes
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. (If you have a convection option, this is one time I would use the convection at 325 degrees instead.)
Options: Either put two pizza stones and/or large cast-iron skillets in the oven to preheat with the oven, or use cookie sheets that don’t go in the oven until the dough is on them. (I tried it both ways. The former method may make your crackers slightly more crisp.)
Combine flax meal and water, and fork-whisk it together. When it has gelled, whisk in the olive oil and honey.
Meanwhile, combine and mix together the dry ingredients and seasonings. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones. Mix using a spoon and then your hands. Add additional water by the tablespoon, as needed, and mix to get the mixture moist (but not wet) and well-mixed.
Divide the dough into two balls. Place one ball on a 2’-long pieces of parchment paper or a Silpat. With a wet palm, pat the dough to spread it out. Cover with another 2’-long piece of parchment paper. Using a rolling pin (I use the nifty single-hand-held baker’s roller from Pampered Chef), roll out the dough until it is as thin as possible. (If you get it less than 1/8” thick, that’s great! . . . but you may want to reduce baking time.) Repeat with the second ball of dough. Carefully remove the top sheets of parchment paper. Score the dough into cracker shapes using a pizza cutter or knife, and, if desired, prick the crackers with a fork.
If using preheated stones/skillets, take them out of the oven. Put the uncovered parchment sheets/Silpats on the pans. Put the crackers in the oven. Bake 15 minutes, or until firm and getting dark at the edges. Remove the parchment to a baker’s rack to cool. After cooling, if the crackers are not yet completely crisp, or if you store them overnight and need to recrisp them, put them back in a 350-degree oven for five minutes.