Monday, 25 May 2015

Recipes: Gluten Free Parmesan Crackers


I have been looking for a gluten free cheese cracker recipe for a while. S's favourite snacks are goldfish crackers or mini cheddars. Plus I'm rather partial to them as well! So I wanted to find a gluten free version so that I can indulge, and reduce S's gluten intake a little bit. 

S is a typical toddler, so she won't be fooled by bad knock off versions. If it doesn't taste perfect, she simply won't eat it. 

That's why I love this gluten free parmesan cracker recipe from Gluten Free on a Shoestring. They don't taste like they are gluten free and they have a great crunch to them. 

I use their "Mock Better Batter" flour blend, and I find it works great as a gluten free flour for quite a few of their recipes. We can't get Better Batter flour blend in Dubai or in the UK, so I can't just order it in from Amazon. 

I've started making the dough in large batches and freezing it. I'm not sure if the crackers would retain their crunch if you froze them after baking them. They taste just as good after the dough has been frozen as they do if you make them completely fresh. 

Make sure you roll them out pretty thin though, because otherwise they lose their crunch when you store them. If they are thin, then they stay crispy and crunchy for over two weeks (not that they usually last that long!).

I tend to use cookie cutters to get interesting shapes, but you could easily just slice the dough up before baking (I'm a bit OCD about wonky crackers, clearly been eating store bought crackers for a long time). 

I've also used normal buttermilk instead of the cultured buttermilk and found that it worked just fine, but the crackers need more cooking so that they are still crunchy. 


Gluten Free Parmesan Crackers from Gluten Free on a Shoestring:

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups (175g) all-purpose gluten-free flour (I like Better Batter (or mock Better Batter) here)
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
1 cup (132 g) coarsely ground gluten-free cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
4 tablespoons (23g) cultured buttermilk blend (Saco brand – available in most larger supermarkets)
1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup (6 fl. oz.) milk, at room temperature (not nonfat)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted (still warm)

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit or 175 degrees celsius . Line rimmed baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cornmeal, baking soda, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt and buttermilk blend, and whisk to combine well. Add the finely grated cheese, and mix to combine. Add the 4 tablespoons butter and the milk, and mix until combined and the dough begins to come together. Divide the dough into two parts, and press each into a small ball. Place the first ball of dough between two sheets of unbleached parchment paper, and roll into a rectangle about 1/8-inch thick (about the thickness of a nickel). The dough should roll out quickly and easily. With a fluted (or simple round) 1-inch cookie cutter, cut out rounds of dough and place them on a prepared baking sheet, about 1-inch apart (they will not spread during baking). Gather and reroll scraps. Repeat with the other half of the dough.

Using a toothpick, poke 4 evenly spaced holes toward the center of each of the rounds of dough. Poke the holes in a tight circular motion to create well-rounded holes. Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of all of the rounds of dough lightly with the remaining teaspoon of melted butter. One tablespoon of melted butter should be enough to cover all of the rounds lightly. Sprinkle the tops of the rounds liberally with coarse salt.

Place the baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake, rotating once during baking, for about 12 minutes, or until the crackers are dark golden brown on the edges and lightly golden brown on top. Allow to cool completely on the baking sheet. Store in a tightly sealed container at room temperature. For best results, store at room temperature in a sealed glass container, to maintain crispness.