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Daring Bakers: Crazy for crackers

Friday, July 27, 2012

Our July 2012 Daring Bakers’ Host was Dana McFarland and she challenged us to make homemade crackers! Dana showed us some techniques for making crackers and encouraged to use our creativity to make each cracker our own by using ingredients we love.
Dana provides several recipes for crackers, all of which inspired variations for my own two. And she inspired the other Daring Bakers as well, as evidenced by the slide show at The Daring Kitchen.
It was mandatory to prepare two different crackers using two different methods of forming. Both of my crackers are formed by hand, but one is rolled out with a rolling pin, and the other is shaped into a ball and then flattened with the base of a glass into disks. I hope those two methods are sufficiently different and meet the spirit of the challenge.
I am not gluten-intolerant, but decided to make some Japanese-style rice crackers called senbei, and some seeded chickpea crackers inspired by Indian papadums that have a cheese flavouring thanks to nutritional yeast.
I only made a small number of each, but the recipes are easily scaled up. They're nice to eat on their own and go well with dips too: rice crackers with edamame pesto, and chickpea crackers with mango chutney. Switching them is an option, though I'd personally stick to the original pairings. 
(I have to admit though that I made the dips primarily because the crackers looked so sad on their own. The dips are easy to make and online recipes abound. I actually ate most of the chutney – the sourness comes from tamarind paste – on its own!)
These crackers will make good TV-watching snacks during the Olympics. Go-o-o-o-o Teams!
Rice crackers with edamame pesto
Japanese Rice Crackers (Senbei)
Makes 12. Easily scaled up.

50g white rice flour (not glutinous)
30g cooked sushi rice
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Pinch of salt
2-3 tbsp warm water

Cracker topping
½ tbsp shoyu (Japanese soya sauce)
½ tbsp honey
Black sesame seeds

In a (mini) food processor, blend the rice flour, cooked rice, oil and salt together until fine. Add water a little at a time until the mixture comes together into a soft dough. Place in a mixing bowl and knead until smooth and elastic, about 2 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Divide the dough into 12 portions. Roll each one into a ball. Place a ball of dough in between cling film. Using the base of a glass, flatten the ball into a thin disk. The edges may be a little uneven. Place the disks on a lightly greased baking tray. Bake for 5 minutes, then flip with a spatula and bake the other side until the edges look dry (the crackers may start to brown too), another 4-5 minutes. Turn off the oven.
Meanwhile, combine the shoyu and honey. Remove the crackers from the oven and brush one side with the sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and return to the turned-off oven to dry, 5-7 minutes (not too long or the crackers will get too hard!). Cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.

Chickpea crackers with mango chutney
Chickpea 'Cheese' Crackers
Makes about 20 medium crackers. Easily scaled up.

50g chickpea flour, sifted
50g rice flour
15g nutritional yeast (tastes like cheese!)
½ tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
¼ tsp chilli powder
2 tsp vegetable oil
3-4 tbsp hot water

Cracker topping
Nigella seeds

Stir all the dry ingredients together. Stir in the oil. Add water a tablespoon at a time until the mixture comes together into a soft dough. Knead gently for a minute until the dough is smooth and firm. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Roll out the dough on a thick piece of aluminium foil into a rough rectangle or square about 1.5mm thick. Sprinkle the seeds on and press them down lightly into the dough. Score the dough into squares or rectangles with a pastry scraper, crinkle cutter or the blunt edge of a knife. Place the whole sheet of foil with the crackers onto the baking tray and place in the oven. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the tops are brown. Cool and separate along the scored lines. Store in an airtight container.


  1. My sons used to eat a lot of Japanese crackers when they were little kids! Didn't know it's so easy to make. Looks delicious!

    1. Thanks Jeannie. I too didn't know it was easy to make. Next time I will add some nori flakes and maybe chilli!

  2. Awesome job! I'm glad you took the opportunity to try some different varieties of crackers (and not just flour based ones). They look delicious!

  3. Thanks Jenni. It's good to get away from white flour now and then :)

  4. I will definitely try these two out, they look great! And the edamame pesto is a brilliant idea, too.


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