Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Scandinavian crispbread crackers

Here's a sneak peek at one of the recipes in The Beginner's Guide to Making and Using Dried Foods, one of the books I wrote in 2013. It will be published some time this summer by Storey Publishing, and I'm really looking forward to it.

The book will have full instructions on dehydrating fruits, vegetables, jerky and all sorts of other things, as well as recipes using dehydrated foods. It also has recipes for making cereal, crackers, pasta, fruit leather and jam in the dehydrator.

Here's a really delicious cracker recipe I just worked up. It uses flax seeds soaked in warm water to bind together the mixture so it can be rolled out quite thin, something that's important to create crisp crackers in a dehydrator.

Scandinavian Crispbread

1/4 cup whole golden flax seeds
1/4 cup warm water
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup rye flour
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds, salted or unsalted
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup cold water
2 tablespoons sunflower oil or canola oil

  1. Process the flax seeds in a clean coffee grinder or blender until they are coarsely chopped (not ground to a meal-like consistency). Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the warm water. Set aside for 45 minutes; the mixture will become pasty. Meanwhile, cut three sheets of kitchen parchment to fit your dehydrator trays or sheets (if your dehydrator is round with a hole in the center, cut two round sheets with holes in the center and one whole, rectangular sheet).
  2.  Combine the whole wheat flour, rye flour, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, salt, and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon until thoroughly mixed. Add the cold water, oil, and the soaked flax seed; stir until very well mixed.
  3.  Scoop half of the dough onto a sheet of parchment, then pat into a rectangle (for a round dehydrator tray, spoon portions of the dough around the circle of parchment). Top with another sheet of parchment and use a rolling pin to roll out very thinly; it should be about the thickness of the sunflower seeds. Remove the top sheet of parchment, then use a thin knife to score the dough into squares, triangles, or diamonds, whatever size you prefer; 1-1/2 inches is a good average size. Transfer the sheet to the dehydrator tray. Repeat with remaining dough.
  4.  Dehydrate until crisp and dry, 5 to 6 hours at 140°F. Break along the score lines. Remove the parchment and return the separated crackers to the trays, turning the crackers over. Dehydrate for about an hour longer. Makes 4-5 dozen crackers, depending on size.

These are excellent smeared with jam, but they also go well with cheese or smoked fish.