Homemade Crackers

crackers
Photo by Robyn Rosenfeldt

When we’re doing our best to make everything from scratch with the most wholesome ingredients and to avoid processed food and all the plastic trappings it brings, there is one food that can be our undoing. It’s that ultimate versatile snack food—crackers.

Wheat crackers, rice crackers, rice cakes, gluten free crackers— they all come in a plastic packet and are most likely made through an extrusion process in a factory that renders them highly indigestible. But still, they sure taste good. They are convenient, kids love them, and we can somehow convince ourselves that they’re just a vessel for the healthy toppings or dips we eat them with.

Is there a solution to this cracker dilemma? Yes there is. It might mean spending a bit more time in the kitchen to make these wholesome crackers from scratch but you won’t be disappointed. Your family will love them.

You can make large batches to have on hand to either bake fresh or store in the cupboard and use through the week. They are a great snack food, or can even make a meal if you are eating them with some good cheese or wholesome dips and toppings.

GRAIN-FREE SUNFLOWER CRACKERS

Photo by Robyn Rosenfeldt

Ingredients

1 cup sunflower meal (or whole sunflower seeds)

2 tsp pepitas

¼ cup chia seeds

1 egg

2 tbsp coconut oil

½ tsp salt

1 tsp fresh or dried herbs (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180ÅãC.
  2. If you like to grind your sunflower seeds fresh, you can
  3. do so in a blender first.
  4. Add pepitas and grind them briefly.
  5. Add all other ingredients and blend together into a dough.
  6. Place the dough on a tray lined with baking paper.
  7. Place another piece of baking paper on top and roll the dough flat with a rolling pin.
  8. Peel off the top layer of paper and score the crackers with a sharp knife into squares.
  9. Bake in oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  10. Once cool, store in an airtight container.

You can double or triple the recipe and store the extra dough in the fridge until you are ready to bake them.

DEHYDRATED CRACKERS

Photos by Robyn Rosenfeldt

Ingredients

1 cup walnuts soaked overnight then drained

1 cup sunflower seeds soaked overnight then drained

1 cup almonds soaked overnight then drained

1 medium tomato

1 cup chopped red onion

3 tbsp flaxseeds

2 tsp salt

Method

  1. Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend into a chunky paste.
  2. Spread onto two dehydrator trays.
  3. Dehydrate until crispy, which may take a day, or day and night.
  4. When dry, break into pieces and store in an airtight container.

SOURDOUGH CRACKERS ‘CARTA DA MUSICA’

sourdough
Photo by Robyn Rosenfeldt

These tasty and long lasting crispy crackers are a staple of Sardinian shepherds who needed sustenance on their long days in the mountains herding sheep.

They can be substituted for rice in a stew, soaked into a soup instead of pasta, or eaten with cheese and dips as a snack. I learnt to make Carta da Musica while working on yachts in the Mediterranean and have adapted the recipe to suit my sourdough breadmaking practises. I simply use the same recipe that I use for sourdough bread, and instead of forming a loaf, I roll it flat into crackers and bake. If you don’t normally bake sourdough bread, now’s a good time to start!

Ingredients

1 cup sourdough starter

2 ½ cups flour

1 ½ cups water

1 tsp salt

Fresh or dried rosemary

Extra salt (coarse is best) for sprinkling on top

Method

  1. Mix starter, flour, water and 1 teaspoon of salt in a glass or ceramic bowl.
  2. Cover with a wet tea towel and leave it to rise for at least seven hours, up to 16 hours. This will ensure the sourdough process has broken down the indigestible parts of the grain and your crackers will make your gut happy.
  3. Depending on the flour you’ve used, your dough may be runny or firm (either way is fine). Line a few baking trays with baking paper and spread the dough as thin as you can on the trays—you can do this with wet hands or a spatula.
  4. Top the crackers with as much rosemary and coarse salt as you think you might like and bake until golden and crispy.
  5. Once cooled enough to handle, break up your crackers into edible pieces.

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