Culinary Chronicles – Buckwheat and Flax Crackers
It is high time for another Culinary Chronicles!
I don’t think I have to tell you how rotten I feel at putting this off for so long. I think (if I remember correctly) I promised this recipe a few years ago. But then I got distracted with other posts I wanted to write and etc, etc, etc. So normally I get to my work and I get it done. Since I have been making these crackers at least once a week for many years now I tend to be a little robotic about it. I’m trying to slow down and change the way I look at things. (Take a look at my last post for a hint at why). I want to stop ramrod-ing everything in my life in order to meet my impossible (and self inflicted) schedule. So Monday morning I got out the home-ground buckwheat and flax as usual and just stared for a moment. I was weighing the sense in “wasting my time” to document the procedure. I feel a little sheepish admitting that, yes, I felt a hint of guilt at taking the time to do this when I had so much that I usually need to do. But I told myself that was nonsense. What has come of my life that I can’t even do a food post anymore?! Well, the pep talk over, I set to work.
In the beginning, I wanted to make a cracker that worked and wasn’t made out of wheat. I did some research and found some recipes that sounded good but, as always, I had to create one just the way I wanted. Here’s what I have worked out.
This recipe makes 3 pans/cookie sheets worth of crackers. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. (In the winter I have to bake them at 390 degrees but our summers get pretty hot and 375 degrees seems to work best).
Measure out 2 cups of finely ground buckwheat flour into a mixing bowl. Add 3/4 cup of finely ground (but not clumpy) flax flour and 1 tsp of Himalayan pink salt. Mix well, pressing out any clumps in the flours.
Once flours are well mixed, add 3/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup of olive oil. I have used coconut oil before, and it works really well, but since I freeze the flours the coconut oil hardens rather quickly and becomes difficult to work with.
Incorporate just until mixed. The dough should be thick but all flour fully mixed in. If you think it is too thick then add some more water. Just remember, you want it to be thick so that it is workable and produces a hardy cracker instead of a bready one. You might have to try a few times before you get it. Believe me, I have had practice.
Measure out 4 pieces of parchment paper the length of your baking sheets. Take one and sprinkle a small pinch of buckwheat flour over it. Toss some more buckwheat flour over dough, working it with the spoon into a ball.
Separate the dough into 3 even balls. They look a little crude but over kneading them presents a bready cracker.
Take one ball and flatten it out in the center of the prepared paper. Toss a little more buckwheat flour over it to keep the paper from sticking.
Lay a sheet of paper over the partially flattened ball and use a rolling pin to flatten further. This is kind of the tricky part. At first my crackers came in all different shapes, mostly ugly ones. But I learned to work the dough into a rectangle by first rolling it vertically and then horizontally. Just feel the direction the dough is going and be careful not to push it too far. You want it to be thin but not quite paper thin. And then again, ugly crackers can be cool. Original.
Take a pizza cutter and slice the dough however it pleases you. If the dough is too thick it will stick to the blade, you don’t want this to happen. But if it does, dash a little more flour over it before you do. Repeat with next 2 balls of dough.
Slide paper onto baking sheets and bake crackers for 15 minutes or until they begin to have a nice toasted look. You can quickly poke a center cracker with your finger to test the crispness but be careful not to burn yourself. Let cool for a few minutes and enjoy!
Buckwheat and Flax Crackers
Makes 3 sheets
1 1/2 cups of finely ground buckwheat flour
3/4 cup of finely ground flax flour
1 tsp of Himalayan Pink salt
3/4 cup of water
1/3 cup of olive oil
Preheat oven to 375 degree. Mix flours well then add liquids. Stir just until mixed and let sit while you arrange parchment paper. Divide dough into three balls. Roll each ball between floured sheets of parchment paper. Cut with pizza cutter and slide paper onto baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes or until crackers are golden.
I love them particularly with hummus, but I also eat them with cheese, and peanut butter, and on occasion, homemade salsa. Sometimes I add a bit of cheese to the batter, and other times I have added seasonings like rosemary. Feel free to try anything you like.
Let me know what you think and how it goes for you!