Friday, October 15, 2010

Thing 5 .... Homemade Crackers

I don't know if I've mentioned it on this blog before but I'm allergic to soy.  A little here and there is ok but if I have more than a smidgen I'm in trouble.  It's a challenge to go into the grocery and pick up items that don't use soy as a filler (excluding the produce section, of course).  Hubby is allergic to honey.  Buying bread or crackers for the house is a risky endeavor, one or the other of us is likely to wind up sick or swollen.  I'm telling you all this to tell you .... I MADE CRACKERS!  Compared to making bread it's super easy.  There's no yeast to wait for, no proofing.  Just a few simple steps and a little time in the oven and .... CRACKERS!  I used "Crispy Rye and Seed Crackers" from Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day (pages 134 and 135).  I'll be posting the recipe along with the changes I'd like to try next time.

Here's how simple it is .... grind up some seeds, grind up some other seeds, pour them in your mixer bowl.  Add some flour, salt, oil (NOT vegetable oil cuz that's soybean oil ... canola or olive is good), agave nectar (cuz it's rude to use honey in my house), and some water ... mix.  Knead, roll, cut.

Place on parchment lined baking sheet.  Brush with egg wash or sweet wash (I used sweet) and sprinkle with more seeds.  Bake.  Cool.  Eat. YUM.

These got my thumbs up right away but were even better once they sat for a few minutes.  (Yes, I confess to eating crackers hot out of the oven.)  Hubby was nervous that I would eat them all before he got home but I was nice and saved him plenty.  I also saved them because I knew I'd be making Cashew Cream today.

Peter Reinhart's Crispy Rye and Seed Crackers

1/4 cup (1.5 ounces) sunflower seeds
1/4 cup (1.5 ounces) pumpkin seeds 
3 tablespoons (1 ounce) flaxseeds
6 tablespoons (2 ounces) sesame seeds
1 3/4 cups (8 ounces) rye flour
1/4 teaspoon salt (I use sea salt)
2 tablespoons (.75 ounce) agave nectar
3/4 cup (6 ounces) water, room temperature
egg white wash or sweet wash

  • Grind sunflower and pumpkin seeds into a fine powder or flour in a blender or spice grinder.  Blend in pulses and be careful not to blend too long (or you'll make seed butter.)  Separately, grind the flaxseeds into a fine powder.
  • Combine seed powders, sesame seeds, rye flour, salt, oil, nectar, and water in mixer bowl.  Mix with paddle attachment, on lowest speed, for 1 to 2 minutes.  (Or mix by hand with sturdy spoon for 1 to 2 minutes.)
  • Knead for 30 seconds on lightly floured surface.  Dough should be tacky but not sticky, add water or flour if needed.
  • Preheat oven to 300F and line 1 baking sheet with parchment for each batch (4).  (I did 2 at a time.)
  • Divide dough into 4 equal parts.  Wrap 2 in plastic and stash in fridge until ready to use.  With the other 2, roll out one at a time to 1/16" and cut into whatever shapes make you happy.  (I used a pizza wheel and made square-ish shapes.)  Place pieces on lined sheets.  Brush with wash and sprinkle with additional seeds.  Bake 25 to 30 minutes.  (If baking more than one sheet at a time rotate racks every 10 minutes.)
  • Repeat with the other half of the dough or do it up to 4 days later.
  • Allow to cool, they won't be fully crisp right out of the oven.  If they aren't crisp once cooled just pop them back in the oven for a few more minutes.
What I Might Try Next Time
(or the time after that)
  • replace flaxseeds with more pumpkin or sunflower seeds
  • replace 1 cup of the rye flour with whole wheat flour
  • replace half of seeds with almonds
  • add a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg
  • add a dash of black pepper
Egg White Wash = 1 egg white and 2 tablespoons water, whisked.
Sweet Wash = 1 tablespoon agave nectar and 3 tablespoon water, whisked.

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm...yumm...I love bread, cookies and crackers alot! Bookmarked this for later use. Thank you for sharing. Btw, You have a very lovely blog here. Have a fabulous weekend.
    Cheers, Kristy