Continuing the savoury kick with this month’s Daring Bakers challenge….
“Our July 2012 Daring Bakers’ Host was Dana McFarland and she challenged us to make homemade crackers! Dana showed us some techniques for making crackers and encouraged us to use our creativity to make each cracker our own by using ingredients we love”.
As I type this post, I site with my laptop rested on my knee pausing every other sentence to watch the very beginning of the opening ceremony of the London Olympics 2012….this post could take some time! This is Britain at is best, full of its quirks, its love of routines, it classics and it’s food. If I’d thought ahead I may have gone for my take on a more ‘classic British cracker’ like a water biscuit or a cream cracker but these are very neutral plain crackers and I love to get the taste buds going with the cracker itself not reliant on toppings.
So back to the challenge… I do love snackety foods and dips of all kinds, so what better accompaniment but crackers! Particularly crackers that are full of tasty good-for-you things…..wholesome, gluten free, vegan…what more?!
The challenge required us to make two different types of crackers with two different presentation methods which was interesting in itself. Now since I don’t have any form of pasta/cracker roller machine, I went for a ‘roll thinly and score’ option and the ‘roll into a log and slice into rounds’ option.
I had a lot of fun with flavourings to make sure these were big on taste without using butter and cheese as many of the cracker options seems to entail. You can vary the flavours as you like to achieve you own taste preference, these crackers have such a simple ingredients list you can really go to town with experimentation. The chickpea crackers in particular were a pure shot in the dark, instead of using chickpea flour I opted for chickpeas themselves and to my delicious surprise they give a lovely chewiness to the cracker that itself has a crisp exterior. The nori crackers are loosely based on these crackers so I was more certain of their success from the outset, although the addition of brown rice was a new twist. The nori crackers were inspired in part by this recipe since I had some leftover sheets of seaweed that caught my eye as I opened the cupboard for inspiration.
These crackers retain their crispness for a couple of days but you may want to crisp them up in the oven beyond that.
Right, that’s me done…now to sit back and watch the amazing creativity and ‘organized chaos’ (words just uttered by the commentator) that all goes on behind the scenes to create a truly memorable opening sequence to the Olympic Games.
Recipe: Nori crackers
Makes approx. 12-16 crackers
½ cup brown rice flour
½ cup cooked brown rice
¼ cup roasted nori seaweed
½ tsp salt
2 tbs sesame seeds
Up to 3tbs water
1 tbs sesame oil
Blend all ingredients together in a food processor, adding the water last a little at a time to reach a slightly sticky dough consistency. The dough should be sticky enough to bind but easy to roll out thinly.
Roll as thinly as possible (approx. 2mm thick), cut into squares and bake in a preheated oven at 180C for approx. 20 minutes until lightly golden.
Allow to cool fully before serving.
Recipe: chickpea sesame crackers
Makes approx. 8 crackers
¾ cup chickpeas
3tbs tapioca starch (or other starch)*
3 tbs gluten free flour (I used buckwheat)*
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup sesame seeds
1 tbs fresh coriander (or ½ tsp dried)
Pinch chilli flakes (or other spice as optional)
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp chia and 2 tbs water
Blend all ingredients together in a food processor to get a fairly smooth and even crumb mixture. Form into a ‘log’ with your hands and cut into rounds with a sharp knife. If it is too soft to cut chill for up to 30 minutes.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for approx. 25 minutes until lightly golden.
Allow to cool fully before serving.
* for further guidance on making gluten free choices please see this post.
For tips and info on recipe measurement conversions, ingredients, substitutions and the methods behind how I do things.... check out my 'baking tips' tab at the top of the page.