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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Gluten free crackers...

I have a passion for traditional methods and techniques for food. I like to study how things were done in previous times without mass production and manufacturing methods. Gluten free crackers can be very expensive, so one day, I wanted to create something that was simple to make in large quantities, that was easy enough to do on a regular basis for something so basic as a cracker.
I created these crackers. With the interest in making these in an artisan style, they lend themselves to a rustic preparation. These are made in a traditional, unleavened fashion, what I call an ancient method. Dough like this would have been flattened and baked on a hot rock or stone to make crackers just like this a long time ago. I call these Jerusalem crackers because they are fashioned in a old-world way.
They are delicious. I know, many may think "a homemade cracker is simply not worth the work" these are, you really must try them, if just once.
It makes a large quantity, and as a pantry staple, would probably only need to be made every two or three weeks to stock up.
You do need one piece of special equipment; a pasta roller. It really makes short work of these crackers. Using a rolling pin makes much more work of it.

Jerusalem Cracker
2 cups Tom Sawyer Gluten Free flour
1 tbs sugar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
2 tbs butter, chilled and cubed small
2/3 cup plus 2 tbs milk

Add ins: (use any one of these to add in and add flavor, or mix them up to create!) Use 2 tbs of the add in.
  • Grated parmesan
  • Fresh herbs
  • Poppy and sesame seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Minced scallion
  • Sun dried tomato
  • Minced dried fig or date
Preheat oven to 425-degrees. You will use ungreased cookie sheets. Use the whisk attachment in your mixer. In the bowl combine flour, salt, sugar, pepper, and add in. Turn on lowest setting and add butter. Let it cut in the butter until it is a course meal consistency.
Drizzle in the milk. Scrape the sides and bottom to ensure all dry parts are captured. Add liquid until the dough comes together. Make sure to get all the dry at the bottom of the bowl. Add more liquid 1 tsp at a time until it comes together. Using a pasta roller, roll sheets at #7, then at #4 thickness (until very, very thin).
Place them on the ungreased cookie sheets. Sprinkle tops with salt and lightly press into cracker. Bake for 4 minutes. They brown FAST! (do not leave them unattended). Check them and turn, and bake another 2 minutes.
They come out toasty, and lightly browned and crisp!

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