Potato and Almond (or Sunflower/Sesame) Crackers

Potato and almond crackers (2)-001
I love snacking on crackers packed with seeds and crunchy goodness, but alas the MaMT kids turn their noses up at any crackers that are remotely ‘seedy’ (although Miss 13yo absolutely loves Five-Seed Bread!?).  For me, the more seeds, the better.  The same goes for soups and stews, the chunkier the better.   I just love all that crunching and munching!
Anyway, this recipe is one I’ve tweaked around with.  These crackers are really plain, so they suit my fussy peeps and are exceedingly moreish!
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Mill 10 seconds / speed 9:
  • 200g slivered, flaked or blanched almonds – I have also used sunflower seeds, but they don’t taste quite as nice – add a little more seasoning perhaps.  Sesame seeds might be another alternative, but I haven’t tried yet.
  • 50g linseeds
  • 1/2 tsp white peppercorns ((optional, for extra zing, or use dried thyme or rosemary)
Add and sift 6 seconds/ speed 6:
  • 100g potato starch or arrowroot (or cornflour, if not grain-free)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (adjust to taste)
Add and blend 5 seconds / speed 6, until bound together nicely:
  • 30g olive oil 
  • 100g cold water (add more for binding, if necessary)
Knead for 20 seconds then tip out on a sheet of greaseproof.  Form into a ball and if time, place in fridge for 20 minutes or so.  I’m usually in a rush so don’t bother.
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Split the dough into two and roll out one lot on the greaseproof with a piece of cling wrap on top, until as thin as possible.  Peel off the cling wrap and set this aside for the moment. Pick up the greaseproof with the rolled dough and pop onto a suitably sized baking sheet.  Set aside while you grab another piece of greaseproof and repeat with the other half of dough.
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Score the dough into squares or rectangles and sprinkle with a few sesame seeds, if desired.
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Bake at 220degs / 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and carefully turn the crackers over (use tongs if you don’t have asbestos fingers like me).  They should be easy to pull apart where scored, so I tend to separate and spread the crackers out.  Bake for another 5 minutes.  Remove and break away the ones on the edge as these will have cooked more than the middle section.  Pop the middle section of crackers back into the oven while it cools, or for a few more minutes, if you’re going to continue using your oven for something else.
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Cool and enjoy on their own or with your favourite dip!

Crusty Hi-Fibre Artisan Bread – FREE FROM gluten, dairy, egg, sugar, nuts and xanthan gum

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Okay, this is a tweaked version of Quirky Cooking’s gluten free artisan bread from her book.  I only prove for about 30 minutes, as we’re not keen on the strong yeast taste I’ve found from proving for longer and/or refrigerating.  If you also want a yeast-free version, see tips at bottom of this post.  Any more ‘free froms’?  I think I’ve just about covered the main ones!

Here goes:

Boil the kettle (not for a cuppa at this stage – time for that when the dough is proving!)

Mill for 30 seconds / speed 9:

  • 30g chia seeds

Tip the chia seeds in a medium sized heat-proof glass bowl, pop on top of the TM bowl with lid in place and measure into the glass bowl:

  • 90g boiling water

Give it a stir to mix in all of the chia flour and leave to ‘gel’ for 5 minutes on the bench-top.

Meanwhile, add to the TM bowl and mill 1 minute / speed 9:

  • 150g brown rice

Set aside

Add to the TM bowl and mill 1 minute / speed 9:

  • 110g sorghum / jowar / juwar seeds (or use the ready-made flour, both available from Indian stores) – see benefits of jowar here

Add to the bowl and sift for 6 seconds / speed 6:

  • 150g freshly ground brown rice flour, from earlier
  • 190g tapioca flour/starch (you can mill your own from the pearls, but they’re never as fine)
  • 2 tbs (about 25g) psyllium powder*
  • 1.5-2 tsp salt (according to taste)

Add to the TM bowl and mix 15 seconds / speed 6, assisting along with the spatula:

  • 120g chia gel
  • 30g olive oil
  • 340g warm water (if you have a couple of bowls, you could weigh and heat separately for 2-3 minutes / 37 deg)
  • 1 tbs dried yeast

The dough should be reasonably stiff to work with by hand, without the addition of extra flour to knead it.

  • Turn the bowl upside down and release the base and blade onto a piece of greaseproof.
  • Scrape the residual dough from the blade and from the inside of the bowl.
  • Now coat the palms of your hands with some olive oil and lightly knead the dough, smoothing and shaping into a ball as you go.
  • Transfer the ball of dough with the greaseproof into a square, (about 20x20cm, BUT 15cm x 15cm x 8cm is even better) and cover with glad-wrap, then pop into the dehydrator for 30 minutes or so at 40 degs.  Equally, you can do this in your oven.
  • Pre-heat oven to 220degs, fan-forced (if using your oven to prove, just switch it directly up from 40 degs to 220 degs, ensuring you remove the glad-wrap first!!).
  • Place some boiling water in a separate baking tray/pyrex onto the bottom shelf.  This creates steam and helps form a good crust.
  • Once the dough has risen, bake in the oven for 60 minutes.  I suggest also covering with foil for the last 20-30 minutes to prevent any burning of the crust (this seems to happen on one side of my oven???).  Next time, I’m going to try covering in a foil ‘tent’ and baking like this for all but the last 10 minutes.
  • Check that it’s cooked by tapping the bottom – it should be browned and sound hollow.  If you think it needs a bit longer, turn it over and allow to cook for another 5 minutes or so.
  • Cool on a wire rack, covered with a clean tea towel to trap the steam and to help soften the crust a little.
  • Once fully cooled, it should slice very nicely!

ImageTips:

  • You can buy psyllium husks (and jowar/juwar seeds) from an Indian store.  I grind a job-lot (ie 100-200g at a time) for 1 minute / speed 9 and pop into a storage jar to use as required.  I’ve been doing this, courtesy of Clever Cook’s great tip in her Paleo e-book!.  I go through quite alot of psyllium, as I try and use less xanthan gum now.  Price-wise, there’s probably not a great deal in it, as I find I have to use more psyllium powder to xanthan gum ratio, but psyllium is a good binder and a more natural product that contains soluble fibre.  Xanthan is purely a binder/emulsifier/thickener, produced as a result of a chemical/fermentation process in a lab environment … If you have time, here’s a great video to watch about psyllium.
  • If you need a yeast free version, substitute the yeast for 1.5 tsp each of bicarb of soda and citric acid.  No need to prove – just bake straight-away.  I have previously made a tweaked yeast-free version, but with baking powder.  However, I think the afore-mentioned combo works better.

Quinoa Crackers

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These crackers came about as a result of lots of left-over quinoa from our previous night’s meal and I was wondering what I could do to use up at least some. Miss MaMT suggested crackers, so after a quick google search, this recipe came up – using cooked quinoa – yay!

So … I set about tweaking and thermifying it … the result: deliciously moreish little crackers!  Indeed, Mr MaMT groans when I serve up quinoa, but absolutely LOVES these crackers and vows that it’s the only way he’ll eat it from henceforth.  Doesn’t he realise that I’ll just put it in a soup otherwise? 😉

Okay, here’s the recipe:

First add to a small glass bowl:

  • 1.5 tsp chia seeds + 1tbs (20ml) hot water – leave to ‘gel’ whilst you grind and mix …

NB: if you don’t have chia seeds, omit this step and add 1.5 tsp xanthan gum with the dry ingredients – see further down

Grind speed 9 / 1 minute:

  • 60g brown rice (you can use raw quinoa instead, heated on varoma / speed 1 for 10 minutes*, if you wish, but I’m not too keen on the strong taste it imparts).

*heating or soaking gets rid of the bitter tasting saponin coating on the quinoa

Add and blitz on Speed 9 / 5 seconds:

  • 50g linseeds or sunflower seeds
  • 50g sesame seeds

Add and blend speed 6 / 10 seconds:

  • 100g COOKED quinoa
  • 70g quinoa flakes (or buckwheat or rice flakes)
  • 90g potato starch or cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt

NB: also add 1.5 tsp xanthan gum, if not using chia seeds.

Add and blend: speed 5 / about 10 seconds to form a ball:

  • 25g chia gel (omit if using xanthan in previous step)
  • 60g olive oil
  • 60g softened butter or coconut oil (this is optional – I leave out)
  • 3 tbs 20ml cold water (or 4 tbs 15ml)

Preheat the oven to 200°C or 190°C fan forced.
Turn out the dough onto the bench and mould into a ball.  Divide into two and roll out the first one between two pieces of baking paper the size of two baking trays/sheets, until nice and thin. Gently peel the top piece of baking paper away and score the dough.  I use a rectangular cutter to score uniform cracker shapes, with a few raggedy-edged ones.  Do whatever suits you!  Slide the cracker dough on the baking paper onto one of your baking sheets/trays.

Repeat with the other half of the dough.

ImageBake both trays of crackers for 20mins or until slightly golden.  At the end of cooking, you may like to gently break away the crackers on the outer edges, setting aside in a tin to cool, leaving the middle section of crackers to bake a little longer and harden in the oven, after you’ve turned it off.

Gently break up into individual shapes and watch them disappear!

Artisan Bread – gluten/dairy/yeast/sugar free

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Okay, well this ‘cob’ loaf / artisan bread, is inspired by Quirky Cooking’s amazing gluten free artisan bread recipe.  This is my tweaked yeast free version!

I’ve substituted one of the main components – sorghum – and used buckwheat mainly, with a couple of wee additions.  This makes two good sized loaves.

Pre-heat oven to 220degs or 210 ff.

For this step, you’ll need to grind up the grains in 3-4 batches, with NO MORE than 250g grain at a time, setting aside each milled batch of flour in a separate bowl …

Grind on Speed 9 / 1 minute per batch:

  • 300g brown rice (I used 270g, which is all I had + 30g white basmati)
  • 190g buckwheat grain* (or use flour in next step).
  • 20g chia seeds*
  • 10g dried chick peas*
  • 380g tapioca pearls (or use the starch/flour if easier, in next step)

* if you can easily obtain jowar/juwar atta/sorghum, use this instead of the buckwheat, chia and chick peas, if you wish.  Jowar is hard for me to source locally – I have to go to a large Indian supermarket, an hour’s drive away, to stock up, so I don’t always have some in the pantry.  When I’m ‘out of stock’, I have to make do with grains that are more easily and locally obtainable.

Add to the TM bowl and mix in on speed 5 until well combined:

  • 900g flour mix
  • 2 Tbs GF baking powder
  • 1 x 15ml Tbs sea/Himalayan salt
  • 2 x 15ml Tbs xanthan gum
  • 2 tsp psyllium or ground linseed or this

Pop the flour mixture into a separate large mixing bowl.

Weigh into TM bowl and heat 2 minutes / speed 2 / 37 degs:

  • 670g water

Add the remaining wet ingredients into the bowl and mix on speed 4 until combined:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 65g rapeseed or olive oil
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Pour the liquid into the bowl containing the flour mixture and mix together with a wooden spoon until all the dry ingredients are incorporated. The dough will be of a wet, sticky, scone-type texture.

Tip dough onto an oiled baking tray.  Divide into two, then form into a couple of balls. With wet hands, smooth out, then slash the top with two parallel cuts across the top.  This aids the cooking process.

Before you pop the ‘buns’ in the oven, pour a cup of hot water into a baking pan and whack onto the middle shelf. (Gives the bread a nice crust).  Then slide in the baking tray containing your bread onto the top shelf.

Bake for about 40 minutes, until lightly browned and underneath is hollow sounding when knocked with your knuckles.

I like to slice off the crusty end bit to test straightaway!  If slightly doughy looking, pop into the cooling oven for another 5 or so. Then remove and cover with a clean tea towel to trap in the steam and soften the lovely crust.

Once cooled, slice/eat/freeze!

If you prefer not to bake both loaves at the same time and have a spare for the freezer, you could grind up your grains, add BP, salt and xanthan etc, halve the mixture (it’s about 935-940g, so half = 460-470g), keep aside in a lidded container until you’re ready to make another loaf.  Obviously, for one loaf, you’d only need 335g water, 2 eggs, 30-35g oil and 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar.

Blackberry Crumble – gluten free, dairy free, no added sugar

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Well, after our 3.5kg haul of blackberries on the weekend, it seemed only apt to kick off with a crumble.  As Mr MaMT is only allowed berries and no other fruit at the moment, his couldn’t include the obligatory apple filling – just blackberries – and the crumble topping was subtly sweetened only by goji berries.  Meanwhile, the rest of us had apple and blackberry crumble, sweetened with dates, though personally, I preferred the sugarless blackberry and goji option, but that’s just me.  #sugarfreeseptember

ImageAnyway, without further ado, here’s the recipe, with alternatives for a slightly sweeter version …

Fill TM bowl with:

  • 500g of water

Place into the Varoma dish, set in place on top of the bowl and then steam 5-10 mins / varoma / speed 1:

  •  a few big handfuls of blackberries (for apple version, use 5-6 sliced sweet apples and steam for 15 minutes – add some berries for the last 5 minutes of steaming, if you like)

Once softened/cooked, pour into a pyrex dish and set aside.

Pre-heat oven to 190 degs / 180 degs fan-forced.

Wash and dry the bowl.

Add to the clean bowl and whizz up 10 seconds / speed 9, then set aside for the moment:

  • 60g goji berries (if you’re not concerned with fructose, use 60g chopped dates or rapadura etc)

Add to the bowl and melt for 30 seconds / 60 degs / speed 4:

  • 60g coconut oil

Mix for 1 min / speed 4 until crumbly:

  • 100g gluten free flour
  • 1 tsp GF baking powder
  • 30g desiccated/shredded coconut
  • 60g milled goji berries (or other sweetener of choice)
  • Spread the crumble topping over the blackberries.
  • Cook in the oven at 190 degs or 180 degs ff, for 10 mins or so, or until browned on top.
  • Serve with your favourite GF/DF custard or ice cream, or simply cashew cream http://quirkycooking.blogspot.com.au/2010/07/cashew-cream.html – leave out the dates for sugar free!

Goji Fudge (sugar free/fructose friendly)

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Okay, here’s a fudge I experimented with for Mr MaMT’s sugar embargo.  Result:  he loves it!!  If you regularly make dairy free milk, it’s a great way to use up any left-over pulp.  I have a container full in the freezer!  

Double this recipe for a larger yield …

Mill on speed 9 / 10 seconds:

  • 70g cashews and/or almonds
  • 30g goji berries
  • 30g cacao nibs (or cacao powder – add in next step)

Add and blend on speed 9 / 10 seconds:

  • 30g carob powder
  • 30g desiccated coconut
  • 10g hemp protein powder (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Add and blend on speed 9 / 10 seconds:

  • 80-100g almond/hazelnut/coconut pulp (I’ve even used beetroot smoothie/juice pulp – use whatever you have)
  • handful of strawberries/blueberries etc (optional)

The mixture should be well-blended and quite sticky …

For extra measure …
Add and blend on speed 9 for a few seconds:

  • 10g chia seeds – or sesame seeds

Scrape mixture out of the bowl with the spatula and spread into a small baking tin, scoring for easy cutting later.  Or you could even use chocolate moulds. 

Pop into the freezer for an hour or two. 

Cut into squares or pop out of the moulds.  Keep in freezer for the best texture and enjoy one or two with a cuppa!

Pizza Base – Gluten Free, Yeast Free, Sugar Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free

Okay, this is a variation of this recipe.   I just needed to make it yeast and sugar free, so here it is:

ImageGrind in Thermomix speed 9 / 1 minute:

  • 110g Basmati Rice
  • 110g Brown Rice

Set aside for the minute.

Add and grind for another minute:

  • 55g dry, uncooked chickpeas

adding in with 30 seconds to go:

  • 55g almonds

Add and mix on speed 6 for 10 seconds:

  • the ground rice from earlier
  • 55g potato starch or cornflour
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1.5-2 tsp sea salt (2 tsp is a tad salty for us!)
  • 2 tsp baking powder

Add and mix on speed 5-6 / 15 seconds:

  • 350g warm water (heated to ‘blood temperature’)
  • 1 tsp bicarb of soda added to 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbs olive oil (or oil of choice)
  • The batter should be the consistency of a light and fluffy cake batter.
  • Spread over a pizza tray, then bake at 220deg or 210deg fan-forced for 5 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and spread over some tomato paste or pesto (I use home-made tomato sauce), some vegetable toppings and bacon sautéed for 5 minutes or so on varoma setting / speed 1-2.  Then add a melty or cream cheese on top – see Quirky Cooking’s dairy free alternatives to ‘real cheese’.
  • Bake for another 10 minutes …