We have to talk. It’s time. You know it is. I know it is. We’re not fooling anyone. The jig is up. Our cover’s blown. The cat’s out of the … more
We have to talk.
It’s time. You know it is. I know it is. We’re not fooling anyone.
The jig is up. Our cover’s blown. The cat’s out of the bag. The writing’s on the wall – and we can read it. Loud & clear.
We’ve reached the breaking point. Or the tipping point. One way or another, we’ve reached a point. Of no return? Perhaps. It’s entirely possible. Stranger things have happened. It was only a matter of time. Time waits for no man. Man cannot live by bread alone.
Can he live by crackers alone? I don’t know. I have my suspicions, and all signs point to yes. Well, then, man better … [wait for it] …
… learn to roll out gluten-free dough. And get it right every time. You’re going to need the right equipment. And none of it is high tech. Or costly. We’re in the business around here of inexpensive gluten-free. Our wares? Workhorses. Every one of ‘em.
3 little pieces. That’s all you really need. Total cost: less than $30. And you may even already have one or more of them. Not to mention that you can probably find these things cheaper. Somewhere. Maybe in one of those dusty kitchen supply stores with no air conditioning, a few strategically placed anemic fans, and every kitchen item of any stripe that you could ever want. *i love those places*
• A French Rolling Pin. Flat rolling pins are clumsy. They create uneven surfaces much more often than they create uniform ones. You need this. The price? Totally reasonable. 11 bucks. Done.
• Good parchment paper. I very much prefer the unbleached variety. It doesn’t burn in a hot oven, it comes in a super long roll so it’s way cheaper than the white stuff, it is great at squeezing into corners of pans, and it makes rolling out dough with your French Rolling Pin a snap.
• A set of basic round cookie cutters. If you want a fluted set like the cutter you see at the edge of the picture below, go for it. But you need a basic set of round ones. I like the ones I linked to (and have a set of them myself). They’re a complete set of concentric circles, so you have every size you could ever want — and they store really neatly. They’re also great quality for a very reasonable price. Ateco is a good brand. Get yourself a set.
The technique is simple. But there are a few gems that are helpful to know. I will give you gems. But only just this once. Okay, fine. Next time, too. Okay, every time. I will give you all my gems. *Reminder: keep refreshing gem supply**
• Work the dough. A lot. Roll it out between two pieces of your really good parchment paper all sloppy and stuff. Then fold it back over itself. It doesn’t matter how. Now rotate it, and roll it again. Repeat until the dough is smooth. This works for pizza crust, cracker dough, pie crust. Everything. Seriously.
• Don’t worry about jagged edges when you roll. Carefully fold them back over the rest of the dough, and roll them out again. Smooth edge. Done.
• Work in mini stages. When you’re making the dough, add most of the liquid straight away (about 3/4 of the minimum amount of water called for in the recipe), mix however you’re mixing, then crumble up the dough with your hands (it will not be smooth, because it doesn’t have enough water). Now slowly drizzle in the remaining water, and work it into the dough. Then let the dough rest for a few minutes. I have no idea why this helps. It just does. If you really must know, maybe ask Naomi. If there’s a real reason, she’ll know it. Me? I’m just the big mouth.
This cracker dough is smooth because it has olive oil. Traditionally, table water crackers don’t have any fat in them. But that just doesn’t taste as good as you want it to. And it’s just not going to cut it for gluten-free baking. No thanks. So this is a riff. But just look how smooth it is. And note the relative thickness of the dough when I rolled it out. It’s just under 1/8 inch thick (the thickness of a nickel). Roll it too thick & the crackers won’t be crispy. And they’ll almost seem … stale. So take a good long look.
And some crispy crackers that go with everything. And cost, like, nothing to make. And are snappy and even zesty if you sprinkle them with salt & pepper right before baking.
And you have me. At your beck & call. You know you can count on me for super speedy comment responses.
Count me in. Count on me. Lean on me. When you’re not strong. And I’ll be your friend. I’ll help you carry on …
- 2¼ cups all-purpose gluten-free flour (I use Better Batter)
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if using Better Batter)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- ⅔ cup warm water, divided
- Egg wash (1 egg lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water) + sesame or poppy seeds (optional) (I opted out)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, for topping crackers (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine well. Create a well in the dry ingredients and add the oil. Mix to combine. Add about ½ cup of warm water, and mix to combine as much as possible. The mixture should still be a bit crumbly. Press it together with wet hands and allow it to rest for a moment. Break the dough apart with a fork, and add the remaining water very, very slowly, kneading the water into the dough with a wet hand. Continue to knead the dough and add water slowly until the dough becomes smooth.
- Press the dough into a ball, and allow it to rest at room temperature, covered in plastic wrap, for about 30 minutes (or more).
- After it has rested, place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll into a messy rectangle. Fold it back over itself, rotate it ½ turn, and roll it into a rectangle again. Repeat this process until the dough begins to roll out smooth. It won’t take long, and you will reduce your frustration by, like, a million times. Roll the dough until it is just under ⅛ inch thick (the thickness of a nickel). Don’t roll it out thick (it should pretty flimsy as you transfer it to the baking sheets). It won’t bake well at all. Cut out the shapes you like, and place the cutouts about ½ inch apart on prepared baking sheets.
- Brush the tops of the cracker dough with egg wash if topping with seeds, and then sprinkle with seeds. If topping with salt and pepper, simply brush with warm water first, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake until the edges begin to brown and the crackers begin to shrink a bit, about 7 to 10 minutes, depending upon thickness and size of crackers. Allow to cool on the baking sheet. They will cool quickly.
- Store in an air tight container at room temperature. They will keep for at least a few days.
P.S. These are vegan! Crazy.