I stopped on the way home from work the other day at a local premium grocery store (I hate that store, but it was convenient) to grab a couple of cheeses and crackers to snack on. As I was looking at the myriad types of crackers, I was stunned to see a 5-oz box of crackers for just under $7. Yeah, five ounces for $7.
What’s in most crackers? Wheat flour? Maybe some type of oil or butter? Some spices or a type of cheese flavoring? There’s not a lot to them, no matter what’s in them. Thinking this through a little, those crackers cost more than $21 per pound. Seriously?! That’s in the price range of some higher-end cheeses, a decent cut of steak, or shrimp even. It astounds me that people would pay that price for probably less than 50 cents of raw material. It’s not that it’s unaffordable; it’s the idea of buying in to such an obvious rip off. End of rant.
So, I was thinking of making my own crackers, and I found tons of recipes online. When checking the kitchen for ingredients, I found some chickpea flour and I decided that would be the base of my crackers. I’m glad I tried it, because it’s an alternative to wheat crackers, and chickpea flour does give the crackers a nice flavor, while providing the bonus of being gluten-free.
Please note that this recipe (an aggregate of a number of recipes found online) does not make a lot of crackers. You may want to double the batch.
What you’ll need:
- 1 cup chickpea flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 3-4 Tbs water
- Optional flavors: Add a teaspoon of your favorite spice (powdered ginger, any spices, etc). I topped my batch with Japanese 7-spice seasoning (Shichimi) and gently rolled it into the top of the crackers before baking. Alternatively, one could go in a sweet direction and add some cinnamon and sugar.
What to do:
Start heating your oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the flour, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl, then add the oil and mix until the mixture has a crumbly texture.
Add 3T of the water and work together with a spoon or hands until it forms a ball. Add the remaining 1T water only if the dough is still too dry. I had to use it. Knead the dough for a bit until smooth.
Dump the dough onto a piece of parchment paper cut to fit a large cookie sheet, then flatten the dough into a semi-square shape with your hands. Lay a piece of parchment paper over the dough and roll out (trying to keep a semi-rectangular shape) until the dough is about 1/8-inch thick.
Cut the dough into whatever cracker shapes you like and transfer the entire dough sheet (bottom parchment paper, too) onto the cookie sheet.
Bake until crisp and slightly golden—about 15-20 minutes, depending on how thick they are.
Cool on a rack or on the cookie sheet and enjoy.