Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Cilantro Crackers

They look innocent enough.

Rather cute, actually. And the taste is good. But alas, my attempts to convert a gluten-ous cracker recipe into a gluten-free version failed miserably because these Cilantro Crackers are impenetrable by the human tooth. I might as well have mixed in stone dust with my flours because they baked into extremely hard cracker-resembling bits suitable perhaps for shingling a roof or outfitting a space missile.

Which is all a rather embarrassing introduction to my hosting post for the Gluten Free Ratio Rally. This merry band of bakers tackles a different gluten-free baking project each month using ratios of flour:egg:fat:liquid and measuring our ingredients like the professional bakers do, by weight rather than volume.We usually use ratios culled from Michael Ruhlman's book Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking or Wayne Gisslen's Professional Baking, but neither book included information about this month's project: crackers and breadsticks.

 I picked crackers and breadsticks as our baking challenge because I had made both successfully in the past (my Sesame-Rosemary cracker recipe is particularly tasty), and because both items make great additions to the picnic basket and the al fresco dinner table this time of year. Without a ratio to start with, I decided to try to convert a good-looking wheat flour-based cracker recipe into one that was gluten-free. My blogger buddy Heather at Girlichef recently posted a recipe for Green Chile Crackers full of cilantro and heat and I tried to adapt that recipe.

 I tried a substituting the wheat flour with a blend of tapioca starch, white rice flour and buckwheat flour, with some soaked flax seeds for added fiber and texture, and though the dough rolled out beautifully,

 baking them at 400 degrees F may have been too high because these babies hardened up way too much. Or perhaps my choice of mortar mix, aka flours, may have been wrong (almond flour and chick pea flour worked well for me in the past) or the ingredient ratios too cement-like (4:1:1, flour, fat, liquid).

Luckily, we do have one member of the family who was rather fond of these way-too-hard crackers, my trusty kitchen hound, Martha!  Cilantro dog crackers!

Martha in mid-chew, enjoying a Toothpopper, alias Cilantro Cracker

While this particular cracker experiment did not turn out well for me, I hope you will hop on over to the other Ratio Rally bloggers to see what delicious crackers and breadsticks they cooked up:

Gluten Free Graham Crackers - by T.R. at No One Likes Crumbley Cookies

Zippy Garlic Crackers - by Heather at Discovering the Ordinary

Seafaring Crackers - by Claire at My Gluten Free Home

Savory Spice Crackers - by Jonathan at The Canary Files

Crisp Bread Sticks and Bread Stick Sparklers - by Angela of Angela's Kitchen

Gluten Free Cracked Pepper Crackers - by Mary Fran at Frannycakes

Gluten Free Breadsticks - by Shauna of Gluten Free Girl


Heather said...

Thanks for hosting this month, Rachel! That's ok if your crackers didn't turn out this time...number one, you've got some others to your credit ;) And number two, maybe we should all submit posts about our flops...because in running a food blog, there are many! I should know ;) I enjoyed this new challenge, thanks again...Happy Fourth! :o)

Heather said...

Oh no! Ha, it was a good idea in theory, though. I saw the title in my reader and couldn't wait to check them out. At least they weren't a total bust, though...lucky Martha ;). Thanks for the shout-out!

My Gluten Free Home said...

Hi Rachel, Thanks for hosting. I really enjoyed this month’s challenge. However, I'm sorry to hear your's didn't turn out so good. I remember blogging about a crepe cake that didn't turn out. It wasn't much fun, so I feel your pain. :)

Jenn said...

Thanks so much for hosting this month, I wish I was able to join in this time! Sorry your crackers didn't work out this time, I know how that goes!

Debra Eliot said...

Well, at least you gave it a good shot! Love your doggie pic.

Heather @Gluten-Free Cat said...

Oh how I love a good kitchen flop story! Makes me feel more normal!! Thanks for sharing yours. Keep tweaking. You'll get it to work! Martha will be glad to support your efforts too. :)

~Aunt Mae (aka ~Mrs. R) said...

Dogs need good gluten free food too!! I always feed my kitchen bombs to the dog... or the compost pile. :-) I love your story!!

Jonathan said...

While it definitely isn't ideal, writing about our challenges/obstacles is just as important, if not moreso, than our successes. In my opinion, it's the best way to learn - to know what *doesn't* work. Thank you for graciously sharing your experience with this month's challenge and being an awesome hostess!