Up until a little while ago, I never considered making crackers. They are by nature thin, which means they require a rolling pin, and that makes them high maintenance. But then I bought Peter Reinhart’s Whole Grain Breads, and there was a recipe for seeded crackers that made my mouth water. So I unearthed my lucky rolling pin (it was Grandma Fanny’s, and boy, could she bake) and got to work. Those crackers turned out to be delectable. Mr. R’s recipe calls for whole-wheat flour, but since ours is a gluten-less household, I have tinkered with the flours and the crackers have turned out just fine. In fact, my aunt raved about them, and she is not normally given to raving.
Gluten-free Seedy Crackers
(based on Seeded Crackers, from Whole Grain Breads by Peter Reinhart)
1-¾ cup gluten-free flour This can be as simple as 1-¾ cup quinoa flour. My favourite combo though is ¾ cup pecan flour, ¾ cup oat flour and ¼ cup tapioca starch. If you don't have pecan flour, try either almond, brown rice or buckwheat flours instead.
3 tablespoons ground sunflower seeds (use a food processor; do not process into nut butter)
3 tablespoons ground pumpkin seeds (use a food processor; do not process into nut butter)
3 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
6 tablespoons sesame seeds
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons water
1-½ tablespoons honey (or 2 tablespoons any type of sugar)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Combine the flour(s), seeds, honey, water and oil in a bowl and mix until the ingredients come together to form a ball of dough. Add extra flour or water as needed to make a firm dough.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead for about three minutes. The dough should feel firm, but supple. (If you want to do this in a mixer, be my guest, particularly if you’ve doubled the recipe).
If baking the crackers immediately, preheat the oven to 350º. Cover the dough with a towel or plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes. You can also leave the dough overnight: form into a ball, place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover loosely with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature.
When you are ready to bake the crackers, get out two rectangular silicone mats (it’s OK to use parchment paper, but you’ll need to get someone to help you hold the paper down while you roll). Cut the dough in half and place one piece on each mat or paper. Working from the center of the dough out to the four corners, roll it into a rectangle. You want the dough as thin as you can get it, preferably 1/8 inch. It doesn’t have to perfect, just respectable.
Then gently cut the dough into whatever shapes you want. I go for easy: squares. Carefully place each silicone mat onto a cookie sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, till the crackers turn a nice toasty brown. They might be various shades—this is OK. It makes them look rustic, and they’ll still taste good. Remove from oven and let cool—they’ll crisp up as they do. Warning: These crackers are highly addictive.