Craving something crispy that was gluten free and not disgustingly bad for me, I decided to try this recipe. Having picked up some chickpea flour while recently exploring Toronto’s always colourful Kensington Market, I was good to go.
I know, I know you’re saying… “whaaaat…? why on earth would I want to make my own crackers…?!” The best reason I can give you is because it’s like most things you make yourself – for the taste. Health is a close second. If you want me to keep going, I can also add cost. I could also tell you about a purchased box of GF crackers, from a fave GF pasta maker, that were, and probably not surprisingly…. oh-so-very-gross!
Lightening fast to put together and much like when I discovered making my own wheat thins a lot of fun to make. Seriously. The biggest thing to remember is to roll the dough out thinly. Almost see-through, in fact. This will ensure you get a very crisp cracker – which is after all, the whole idea.
Do what I did, and always say to do… the first time you make a recipe, follow it to the letter. Then get in there and try suggested alternatives or blaze a trail and use your own.
- 1 cup besan flour (also called garbanzo bean, chickpea, cici bean, and gram flour)
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 3-4 Tbs water
- 1/2 tsp baking powder (certified 100% GF, if needed)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350º F.
- Combine the flour, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl. Add the oil and mix with a rubber scraper until the mixture is crumbly. Add 3 Tbs of the water and work together with the scraper or your hands until it forms a ball. Add remaining 1 Tbs water only if needed. Continue to gently knead the dough with your hands right in the bowl until smooth.
- Turn dough out onto a piece of parchment or a Silpat mat that fits onto a large baking tray. Flatten and shape the dough into a square with your hands (as seen in first image above). Top this with a piece of plastic wrap, and use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a large rectangle about 1/8-inch thick. Using a sharp knife or pastry cutter, score (cut) the dough into 1-inch squares.
- Carefully move the whole lot -- parchment/Silpat with the cut dough on top -- to your large baking tray. (If you prefer to move each piece separately onto a tray lined with another piece of parchment or Silpat, go for it. I've done it both ways, though find it much easier and quicker to leave them as one scored piece.)
- Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until crisp and lightly golden -- watch carefully! Remove from the oven and allow crackers to cool on the pan a few minutes. Move the crackers to a wire rack, gently breaking where you previously scored as needed. Cool completely before packaging. Crackers will keep in an airtight container for 1 to 2 weeks.
- + MEDITERRANEAN BESAN CRACKERS: Into the dry ingredients mix 2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary, 1 tsp orange zest, and 1/2 clove garlic that's been finely minced.
- + SPICY SUSHI BESAN CRACKERS: Mix 1 tsp ground ginger (or 1 Tbs grated fresh ginger) and, if you like, 1 Tbs finely shredded nori, into the dry ingredients. Scatter some white or black sesame seeds over top, (if you have it, a couple teaspoons of the fiery Japanese seasoned salt called shichimi togarashi is killer) and lightly press in with your hands or go over a couple times with the rolling pin to make sure they stick.
- + CRAB(LESS) BOIL BESAN CRACKERS: Add 2 tsp Old Bay seasoning, 1 tsp lemon zest, and as much cayenne you can handle!
- Best Tip: a pizza cutter or pastry wheel will make quick work of scoring the crackers!