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Do you ever just crave a crunch? I know that I do. When I gave up almost all store-bought chips and crackers, I was really missing that crunch in my life. Doesn’t it seem like you always want the things you can’t have!? Craving this crunch sent me into the kitchen. I needed to find a way to create that crunch from scratch.
Lately, I’ve been using a lot of almond flour (in moderation), quinoa flour, and coconut flours in my home. These flours are packed full of nutrition, unlike the widely popular white flour (stripped of all nutritious value). I found a few cracker recipes with these flours and some I liked, but many others that I didn’t. So, that left me trying to figure out what I liked about each one and didn’t like about the others (ingredient-wise, anyway).
It is a lot of trial and error when baking from scratch. I created some crackers that tasted horrific, others never set up and some completely fell apart, and there were quite a few that were mushy and never got crunchy. I’m finally starting to understand the ingredients that go into basic baking, so I am able to try more things with greater success.
Here is one of my favorite cracker recipes, which happens to pair wonderfully with the hummus recipe I shared in yesterday’s blog. If you are scared of baking (like I was, not too long ago), please know that this one is very easy and pretty fail-proof. Give it a try!
Cheesy Quinoa Crackers
1 1/2 C quinoa flour (and a little extra for rolling your flour out)
Preheat your oven to 350 F and spread a little flour out on the surface where you’ll roll the dough.
Place all of the ingredients in your stand mixer and turn it on low. You’ll get a mushy, sticky ball of dough. If you have a bunch of little balls that don’t want to come together, add a teaspoon of water at a time and it’ll get there.
Remove the dough and place it on your floured surface. Dust your rolling pin with flour. Roll your dough from the middle toward the outside edges. You’ll need to keep placing flour on your pin and the top of the dough to prevent sticking. If you do get sticking (which, you probably will), just rub it off of the pin and reflour the dough and pin. Be sure to turn your dough over a few times, too (with more flour to prevent sticking) and keep rolling.
Roll your dough until it is quite thin. If your edges are super thin, just cut them off, throw them back on top of the dough in the middle, reflour, and roll out again. How thin?? Think of the thinness of a standard saltine cracker…you’ll want your sheet of dough thinner than that. The thinner your dough, the crispier your crackers!
Once you are happy with your dough, cut it into small square pieces with a pizza cutter. For fun, I use a fork and put four holes in the middle of each cracker (it makes me feel fancy).
Now you need to transfer them onto your baking sheet (sheets-depending on how thin you make them you may need two baking sheets or just do them in two rounds). First, make sure that your baking sheet is covered with parchment paper, flour, or a baking mat. I transfer my crackers by gently and easily pushing under them with my pastry scrapper, but a spatula will work.
Side note…my Mom got me a pastry scrapper as a gift and I use it all of the time in my kitchen, not just for baking.
Once your crackers are on your baking sheet, put them on the middle rack of your oven for about 20 minutes. You’ll want to check in on them every once and a while. If your outside crackers are getting done before the ones in the middle, just remove the outside crackers, place them on a cooling rack, and put your remaining crackers back in the oven.
Let them cool for at least 30 minutes (so they set up fully and get crunchy) and you are good to go…ready to enjoy…all set to dip them in some yummy hummus or eat on their own! 😉
Easy-peasy, delicious, and a great way to sneak in some extra protein from the quinoa. When you make them let me know what you think! Until next time…