Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Sesame-Rosemary Crackers, Gluten-Free and Crispy!

With two teenagers in the house, the Crispy Cook has to constantly prepare and throw food at them in between working, driving them everywhere, nagging them to do things, buying them ever longer pairs of pants, and, oh, squeezing in a little bit of bloggery. My two kids don't have to eat gluten-free, but they constantly raid the stash of GF snacks I have set aside for their wheat-free dad. My youngest has a special affection for Nut Thins crackers and manages to ferret out these tasty snacks no matter where I try to hide them.

I figured I better get "cracking" on learning how to make my own gluten-free crackers for Dad so that we will always have a chance of having things to pair with cheese and spreads for a quickie dinner and for his beloved football playoffs. (Go Giants!). These crackers would be great to take to parties and on trips, and would absolutely make an easy and thoughtful homemade gift for a gluten-free friend or loved one.

The GF cracker recipe over at Lauren's Daring to Thrive was my initial starting point for my cracker research. I like her recipe because the flax seeds add a lot of fiber, which is usually deficient in my gluten-free baking (no whole wheat bran to add). Her recipe calls for almond meal, which I haven't yet added to my Brave New World of GF Flours, so I substituted in some finely ground pecans. And I wanted a Middle Eastern flavor combo for my plan to partner these crackers with some hummus, so I used rosemary and toasted sesame seeds. Thus, here is a variant of Lauren's excellent Gluten Free cracker recipe:

Sesame-Rosemary Crackers

1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup pecans, finely chopped (I used my food processor to make them finely ground, almost into a coarse meal)

1/4 cup flax seeds
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 cup sesame seeds

2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. dried rosemary, finely chopped
1 tsp. cider vinegar

Toast sesame seeds until golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes in a toaster oven or hot oven. Watch carefully so that they don't burn.

Soak flax seeds in 1/4 cup warm water for about 15 minutes, or until they have swollen to absorb the water.

In a medium mixing bowl, blend together sorghum, tapioca, pecans and salt. Add flax seeds, olive oil, sesame seeds, rosemary and cider vinegar and mix into a ball of dough. If dough is too dry, add a tsp. or two of warm water to make dough ball stick together. Divide dough ball in half.

Place a sheet of parchment paper on your counter and place first dough ball on top. Cover with another sheet of parchment paper. Roll with rolling pin to rough rectangular shape to fit a cookie sheet. I rolled this out to a little under 1/4 inch thickness. Remove top sheet of parchment paper and place bottom parchment layer and dough on cookie sheet. Score crackers into serving size with sharp knife or pizza cutter (about 1/5 x 2.5 inches).

Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes, or until slightly brown at edges. While first batch is baking, roll out your second cracker batch as above.

Makes about 60 crackers. Once cooled, store in airtight container to keep fresh.

We served these tasty crackers with hummus and this inaugural batch was scarfed up in one day, so I will have to double the recipe next time. They resemble the "Mary's Gone Crackers" brand that is available in our local supermarket Natural Foods aisle and are pleasantly nutty.

In addition to this Sesame-Rosemary Cracker and Lauren's original Crispy Cracker recipe, here are some other gluten-free cracker recipes you (and I) might like to try:

Goldfish Crackers
from the Book of Yum

Chickpea Crackers from the Fat-Free Vegan (test-driven by the Crispy Cook here)

Savory Grain-Free Crackers from Karina's Kitchen

Herb Blend Gluten Free Crackers from Culinarty

Walnut Crackers from Elana's Pantry

Armenian Style Lavosh
from Gluten A Go Go

I am submitting this recipe as my entry for this week's round of Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted this week by Pam at her Australian blog, Backyard Pizzeria. This fun weekly event, now in its third year, highlights herbs and unusual plant ingredients in recipes from amazing cooks around the world, and is now coordinated by Haalo of Cook (Almost) Anything Once. The homegrown rosemary in my cracker recipe will serve as my highlighted ingredient, although the flax seeds (available at most health food stores) and sorghum and tapioca flours would certainly qualify as unusual plant ingredients as well. I certainly never cooked with them until three years ago, when Dan became a citizen of Planet Celiac, but this has been part of our new culinary adventures!

You can check Haalo's site to see archives of Weekend Herb Blogging recipes and check to see who some of the upcoming guest hosts will be. I have the honor and pleasure to be next week's host for this popular food blogger event and will have to look through my recipe file for another interesting recipe to contribute then.


Ivy said...

I can imagine how tasty these must be with the pecans which I love, rosemary and sesame seeds.

Lauren Denneson said...

Hey! I never thought about that, but they are kind of like Mary's gone crackers (which are awesome!). Glad these turned out well for you and the added seasonings sound delicious!

Maria Verivaki said...

i'm imagining how quickly i would eat these up if i made them - they look bite size!

Arlene Delloro said...

I love sesame seeds and rosemary is my favorite savoury. These would be wonderful with goat cheese!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recipe and the links for more crackers. Teenagers can do a lot of damage in the crunchy snack cracker department and homemade could save some $$$. Also like being able to control sodium content.
I'll be using these ASAP.

brii said...!!
what's flax and what's sorghum flour???
do you think I can find these in Italy??

Rachel said...

Hi Brii:

Flax seed should be available in Europe as wikipedia tells me France is one of the leading producers ( It is the seed of the plant whose fibers are used to make linen and whose oil is pressed to become linseed oil. Perhaps a health food store would have flax seeds for you. Flax seeds are also used as laxatives, so don't eat TOO many of these crackers.

Sorghum is a grain of a bunch of grass species that, (after consulting with wikipedia again) are ground into flour. Again, I have found sorghum flour through Bob's Red Mill company in my health food store, so perhaps you can find a specialty grocer or health food store in Italy to help you out with that. There's also an Italian blogger who has celiac recipes, who may be able to help you find these ingredients.

Hey, you are the one who made Mint Sugar and I tried your recipe. I love it in my hot tea and am thinking of ways to use it in a dessert soon!

gfcanadian said...

I'm fairly new to Gluten Free, and I haven't tried crackers yet, but those look good and fairly simple. Thanks!

brii said...


yes I is me :))) the mint sugar girl!!

ok..the flax seed is linen seed and them I have...will care non to eat to many :)))
for the sorghum, I will check in the blog you mentioned and also in the mill where i usually buy flour.

thank's for all information!!

Laurie Constantino said...

I pretty much love everything with flax seed in it, and with rosemary added - one of my favorite herbs - these would not last long at my house. Excellent cracker idea.

Unknown said...

I made a variation of these that were delicious. Thanks a bunch for the recipe. I didn't use whole flax seeds, but flax meal, and I also used about 3 tablespoons of water.
If you don't have parchment paper to roll it out, it also works to grease your pan and then roll it out under a piece of tin foil.

Sunita said...

Delicious! I made this with a combo of ground sunflower and pumpkin seeds in place of the pecans. I halved the salt and it was still OK for my tastes. I LOVE this recipe. I have been searching and trying so many different xanthan-free cracker recipes, but none are anywhere near as good as this one. Thank you!

Barbara said...

I made this yesterday with some variations. No pecans available, so I used walnuts. I was out of flax, so I used hemp and chia seeds. No rosemary available, so I added onion powder for more flavor. The result? Absolutely delicious! Thank you!