Friday, November 17, 2006

Grainless Crackers or Pie Crust

Grainless Crackers

These crackers or pie crust are made with tapioca flour (made from cassava, a root vegetable), so there is no grain or seed in the recipe at all. They are gluten-free and free of most other allergens as well.

The recipe makes crackers that are nicely crispy and quite normal-looking. They have a pleasant, slightly powdery taste.

Grainless Crackers

1 1/2 cups tapioca flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt

Cut in:
1/2 cup non-hydrogenated shortening (palm kernel or coconut oil) or lard

In separate bowl, cream together:
1/4 cup honey or other liquid sweetener
1 Tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice (you can substitute 2 teaspoons cider vinegar, or mix 1/2 tsp cream of tartar into the dry ingredients)

Add the honey mixture to the tapioca mixture and stir just until it sticks together in a ball.

This will make a very stiff dough. You can add water a teaspoon at a time until the dough sticks together if it's too crumbly, or add more tapioca flour if it's too sticky.

Roll or pat out very thin, approximately 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick, using half the dough at a time between two sheets of plastic wrap. Use a knife to cut into 2-3 inch squares, or cut with cookie cutters. You can also make little balls of the dough and flatten them between your palms, but they will not be as thin and will be more cookie-like and crumbly.

Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. The crackers will be a light golden-brown. I used a baking sheet with an air-filled center and that helped to keep them from burning on the bottom.

Variations: Try adding your favorite spices (cinnamon, allspice, pumpkin pie spice, aniseed), more lemon juice and sweetener, or some cocoa and a little more honey. I'll update this post to include specific amounts as I experiment with variations.

Pie Crust: Reduce the honey to 2-3 tablespoons, add enough water to work, and roll out in a 9" circle. Put into pan and bake for 4-5 minutes to solidify before adding filling and baking the pie.

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