Gluten-free Experiment – you win some; you lose some

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summary: recipe for caramelized onion dip and Gluten-free crackers …hmmm; there’s a reason that wheat is so popular; new servers; comments are allowed but I can’t always access the blog; (click on images to see larger views)

The nightmare continues. My webhost has installed new servers. They say they are lightning fast. Alas, they are so lightning fast that for over week I often couldn’t access my site at all…. I have been trying to post about these crackers since Monday. If you see this post, it means that by a miracle I managed to stay connected to etherwork.net for more than 2 minutes…. :stomp:

GF crackers They look pretty good, don’t they? Don’t let looks fool you….

From time to time, I take snacks for the coffee break at work. There is one celiac and one person who is allergic (she goes into anaphalactic shock if she eats wheat) so I thought it would be fun to make something that everyone could eat.

I did an internet search and found what looked to be really good crackers at Clean Green Simple: Rustic Rosemary Herb Crackers

[T]hey make a great portable snack.
 
-Jessica, Rustic Rosemary Herb Crackers, clean green simple

Perfect!! It was exactly what I was looking for!

We usually have chickpea flour on hand so I carefully washed everything I was going to use to ensure that there would be no trace of wheat and in a very short time, had some lovely looking little crackers.

But a cracker is nothing if there is no topping. So I went back to search the internet (why on earth don’t I search through the several perfectly serviceable cookbooks on the bookcase in the kitchen??) and came across a lovely looking caramelized onion dip that called for cream cheese and sour cream.

Who cares that we didn’t have cream cheese and sour cream in the fridge? We had goat cheese and yoghurt. That would do, don’t you think?

Here are the recipes I used:

Gluten Free Crackers and Caramelized Onion Spread
Gluten Free Crackers | Caramelized Onion Spread

Gluten Free Crackers
based on Clean Green Simple’s Rustic Rosemary Herb Crackers

  • 1 tsp dried rosemary leaves
  • 4 Tbsp (more or less) boiling water
  • 1 c chickpea flour (besan)
  • 2 Tbsp flaxseed, finely ground
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • good shot freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  1. Put the dried rosemary leaves into a small pyrex bowl and pour about a tablespoon of boiling water over top. Set aside for 10 minutes or so.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Get out a second piece of parchment paper as well.
  3. Dump all the rest of the dry ingredients into a largish mixing bowl and whisk them together. Add olive oil, rosemary and its water and some more of the boiling water. Stir with a wooden spoon to form a soft but not too soft dough. (You may have to add more water.)
  4. Plop the dough onto the parchment papered cookie sheet and press it down with your fingers. Put the second piece of parchment over top and roll the dough as thinly as possible, roughly 2 mm thick. Use a pizza wheel or ravioli cutter to cut the crackers into squares. Poke holes in them with a fork to stop them from buckling.
  5. Bake at 350F on the top shelf of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until the edges are starting to brown and the crackers are firm.

Notes

Herbs and Pepper I would be inclined to use far less rosemary and pepper (if any…). Also, I suspect that fresh herbs would be way better.

Olive oil After tasting these, I wonder if there was a typo in Clean Green Simple’s recipe. Next time (if there is a next time) I’d use a tablespoon of olive oil.

Baking time Watch the crackers carefully. They want to burn….

Caramelized Onion Spread
based on Real Simple’s Caramelized Onion Dip

  • good splash olive oil
  • little bit of butter
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper
  • good shot of creamy goat’s cheese (roughly 200gm)
  • dessert spoon or two plain yoghurt
  • fresh chives or green onions, optional
  1. Heat olive oil and butter in a large stainless steel frying pan over medium-low heat. Add the sliced onions and a pinch or two of salt and cook, stirring from time to time with a wooden spoon, until the onions are dark gold. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Put goats’ cheese and yoghurt into a mixing bowl and mash with a fork. Add pepper and all but a tablespoon or so of the caramelized onions. Also add chives/green onions if you have them (we didn’t but wished we did). Taste for salt. Spoon into an attractive dish and put the rest of the caramelized onions on top to stop the mixture from looking like dog’s breakfast. Refrigerate until about an hour before serving.

Notes

Sharp flavour This does produce a somewhat sharp flavoured spread. If you want it to have a softer flavour, you could probably use a half and half mix of goats’ cheese and cream cheese. Also, rather than using yoghurt to thin the goats’ cheese, perhaps you could use heavy cream, or butter, or olive oil.

We each tasted a cracker. Hmmm. Well; they were edible. But they weren’t quite done. So I put them back in the oven.

And made a Freudian slip by leaving the kitchen.

GF crackers When I smelled the charring, I raced down to see that I had only lost half of the crackers. So I grabbed a package of soda crackers as well to take to go with the caramelized onion dip.

And you know what? ALL the soda crackers were eaten. ALL the caramelized dip was eaten (I think someone might have even run her fingers around the bowl to get all of it out).

And the Gluten-free experiment? I’m guessing that maybe 10 of the little tiles were eaten. And I don’t think they were neglected because they were too crunchy. It was the flavour. If I ever make them again (which is highly unlikely), I will use substantially less herbs and perhaps no rosemary at all. (sorry, no photo of the caramelized onion dip which was entirely demolished)

GF crackers

We finally finished off all the crackers by crushing them to use as topping for macaroni and cheese. They were very good. But not good enough to make them again….

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  • Barbara M

    Hmm, I don’t recall ever making crackers for Dad. Strange.

    These look pretty good, but “gluten-free sea salt”?: http://elanaspantry.com/salt-and-pepper-crackers/

  • It is odd that we never tried making crackers, isn’t it? I wonder if Dad would have liked these particular crackers though. They were pretty awful….

    as for “gluten-free sea salt”, I couldn’t see elanaspantry.com page very well but don’t the crackers call for “Celtic” sea salt rather than “Celiac” sea salt? Or was that not your question, Barbara?

  • PatriciaM

    Dad would have loved them. He liked everything. Once, Mum made pie at my house and used salt instead of sugar (my fault it wasn’t marked better). dad gamely ate several bites before saying he couldn’t eat it. I tried one teeny piece. It was vile!

    As I recall, I once made some gluten free crackers that I thought were dreadful but Dad and K both liked them…or so they said. The Ms and I thought they were terrible and tasted like sand.

  • You’re probably right that Dad would have liked the crackers, Patricia. Although… they were awfully hard. We were a little afraid that they were going to break our teeth. One of my colleagues at work was contemplating taking a few home for her baby who is teething. But, on reflection, she decided against it because she thought they might be a choking hazard.