Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Crackers for Cheese

I have been thinking about how to achieve a decent gluten free pastry for my friend Julia, these crackers I made the other day may hold the answer. When making a good short crust pastry, it is essential that you add only sufficient water to bring together the dough, adding just a little too much will result in pastry more akin to cardboard. However the added "toughness" of this cracker dough makes the crackers less crumbly. Pastry made with gluten free flour is always too crumbly so experimenting with extra water may produce a better result, I will let you know. Meanwhile here is the recipe for the crackers.

you will need:
150g of plain flour,
60g of unsalted butter
3 teaspoons of olive oil
60g of mixed seeds (pumpkin, sunflower and sesame in this case)
1 teaspoon of Bouillon powder (I use this in place of salt, but if it's not available, use half a teaspoon of salt)
1/2 teaspoon of umami (available from Chinese supermarkets)
1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
100ml of chilled water.

Begin by placing the flour and butter in a food processor and pulse until you achieve a fine breadcrumb texture. Add all remaining ingredients apart from the water, pulse again until the all is well mixed. Slowly add the water while continuing to pulse the machine until you achieve a sticky dough. Turn the dough out onto a well floured board and knead lightly for a moment or two.

Divide the dough into two parts, take each part and roll between two sheets of baking parchment to a thickness of 3 to 4mm. I find it makes peeling back the top sheet much easier if you lightly oil the parchment. Peel back the top sheet of paper, divide the rolled out dough to the desired number of crackers and repeat the process for the second piece of dough. bake at 180C for 15 minutes. remove the trays of crackers, reduce the oven temperature to 100C, replace the trays and leave the crackers to completely dry out for a further 1 hour.

These crackers can be flavoured in a variety of different ways, dried rosemary and black onion seed, parmesan and sage. Cumin seed and chilli, really anything you can think of.
Pulsing the mix with the seeds before adding the water results in a dough that has chopped seeds more evenly distributed, but if having whole pumpkin seeds is what you desire, simply add the seeds at the point where you knead the dough.


  1. I just went hunting for "umami" as previously, I had only thought it to be a flavouring rather than something to be bought as an ingredient and found out that it is indeed a fermented red bean paste? I can find that in our local Chinese shops (I hope!) so that puts that ingredient into my shopping basket so I can make these wonderful looking crackers. Crackers are a Godsend here because we tend to be pretty busy and we need to eat fast during the day and "something" slapped onto a cracker can certainly starve off the hunger pangs until we can take our time over our evening meal. Cheers for another wonderful know...I haven't seen a recipe on this blog yet that I didn't want to race off and make instantly? What a rare privilage to find a blog like that! :)

    1. I have over the years, bought many packets of crackers, interesting flavour combinations, wholesome packaging, all at quite a cost. I am really happy now to have a recipe that releases me from this. This basic recipe allows for great creativity when it comes to putting flavours together. I'm glad you like it and thanks again for your comments, they are always welcome, Tôbi

    2. Hi Tobi, I blog on Wordpress and subscribe to a HUGE amount of blogs. I tend not to go back to older posts once I have commented and hope that you don't think me rude for not replying to your replies. Your blog is one of those rare gems in the blogosphere where every single recipe that I get from here is something that I want to make immediately. You have a distinct talent in the kitchen and your blog is a wonderful reflection of that talent. I think you should write a book. I, for one, would be honoured to buy it and place it reverently in my kitchen :)