Welcome back to D.I.Y. Fridays, an occasional blog series where we D.I.Y. a basic (sometimes naturally gluten free) recipe (like today's homemade “Blue Diamond” Nut-Thins Cracker recipe) or other ingredient that you otherwise might be inclined to buy. Now, you may sometimes say you don't want to roll anything out, but I know you're into it when it's worth your while. Well, I'm here to tell you that this Nut-Thins Cracker Recipe is worth your while. These nutty, buttery crackers are ridiculously simple to make (really, just 5 ingredients), and they sort of could have been in my new cookbook, Gluten Free Classic Snacks. I almost added a bunch of copycat recipes to the new book for packaged snacks that are already (usually naturally) gluten free, but at the last minute went another way. If my Recipe Request Form is any guide, though, you're looking for recipes like this. As always, you know best!
As with all crispy, crunchy crackers, storing them in a sealed glass container at room temperature is the way to go. They'll stay crispy and crunchy much, much longer. There's something about plastic containers that makes the contents absorb moisture.
Unlike most of my Paleo recipes, I don't use blanched almond flour here, which is a much finer grind. Here, we want those flecks of almond and even the slight texture of almond meal. That also means that you can either buy (cheaper-than-almond-flour) almond meal, or even grind raw almonds into a flour. The first ingredient on the Blue Diamond Nut-Thins package is actually rice flour, and by the taste of them they are actually mostly rice flour. This copycat recipe actually has more almond meal than I believe the original recipe has (we'll never know, though!) because I actually think they taste better that way—and they're super satisfying the way I find most Paleo recipes to be because of all those healthy almonds.
Please please please consider making these crackers into squares in place of rounds. I had to make rounds because Blue Diamond makes rounds and I want to show nut just tell that these are so much like the original. But it would be so much easier just to roll out the dough and then slice it into rectangles with a pizza or pastry wheel. And while you're at it, make them bigger, too. Fewer crackers to bake.
Just like they show on the package, these “Nut-Thins” crackers really are ah-maz-ing with little slices of apple and a wee bit of brie cheese. And at this point, Paleo seems to have evolved itself to include rice and potatoes in some places. And you can replace the butter 1:1 with melted virgin coconut oil. Hey, maybe these can be Paleo after all!**
**I'll be honest. These labels means essentially nothing to me!
D.I.Y. Friday: Almond Nut-Thins Crackers Recipe
1 cup (160 g) superfine white rice flour*
1/2 cup (80 g) potato starch*
1 cup (120 g) almond meal (you can grind your own from whole raw almonds)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
5 tablespoons (70 g) unsalted butter, melted
1 egg white (50 g) at room temperature
6 to 8 tablespoons (3 to 4 fluid ounces) lukewarm water
*In place of both the superfine white rice flour and potato starch, you can use 1 3/4 cup (245 g) of my basic gum-free gluten free flour blend.
Preheat your oven to 325°F. Line 3 large rimmed baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper, and set them aside.
Make the dough. In a large bowl, place the superfine white rice flour, potato starch, almond meal and kosher salt, and whisk to combine well. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the butter, egg white and 6 tablespoons (3 fluid ounces) water, and mix to combine. Add more water by the 1/4-teaspoonful and knead it in with clean hands until the dough holds together well without crumbling. Divide the dough in three roughly equal pieces. Place one on a large piece of parchment paper and cover the other two with plastic wrap.
Roll out the dough and bake the crackers. Cover the dough on the parchment with a second piece of parchment paper and roll out into a rough rectangle as close to 1/8-inch thick as possible. Remove the top sheet of parchment paper and cut out rounds with a 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter. Lift the rounds off the parchment with a small offset spatula or flat knife and place, about 1-inch apart, on the prepared baking sheets. Place the baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake until lightly golden brown and dry to the touch (about 12 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on the baking sheet. They will cool quickly. Gather the scraps and press together with one of the remaining pieces of dough. Repeat the process with the remaining dough. The final scraps of dough can be placed on a baking sheet as-is and baked.
Store the cooled crackers in a sealed glass container at room temperature. They will remain crispy when stored this way for at least a week.