[cliccare il link per andare alla versione in italiano]
Please, have your cake or pie and eat my portion too. I am happy with the small plate in the photo. The cheeses are (from the left): Garroxta (goat milk, Catalonia), my homemade Gouda with pecans, Blu di Caravaggio (buffalo milk, Italy; my favorite blue cheese). And the crackers are a perfect accompaniment for all of them.
The current selection of our Cook the Books Club is the memoir Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good by Kathleen Flinn. Flinn's writing style makes for an easy reading (a bit too easy, to be honest). I can see how American readers may enjoy her stories and recipes. I grew up in Italy in a family that had nothing in common with Flinn's family. It was interesting to notice how much her experiences differed from mine.
What I liked a lot about the book was the hardcover edition's cover2: the colors, the fonts, the graphical elements are all well chosen to invite the bookshelf browser to select the volume. Below the title, there is a car with parents in front and five children in the back. Though our car was very different, it reminded me of my family car trips—mostly visits to family members or, in the summer, to the seaside, no camping trips. My favorite destination was Rome: the trip was relatively short and the road straight. (Depending on the road, I could get carsick and disliked breathing second-hand smoke from my parents' cigarettes.) Sometimes my mother would carry a box of Ritz crackers in the car: both my brother and I loved them.
Having very low-carbohydrates as requirement for what I prepare these days made me scan various recipes for seed crackers. Using only seeds sounded fascinating: it works beautifully. After trying a number of variations, this is the recipe I have settled on. It is remarkably quick and simple and it can easily be doubled (or halved).
Print-friendly version of briciole's recipe for (gluten-free) Seed crackers
Ingredients: all seeds raw and possibly organic
- 40 g chia seeds
- 1/2 cup / 120 ml water
- 40 g pumpkin seeds
- 40 g sunflower seeds
- 20 g hemp hearts
- 20 g sesame seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Harissa spice mix3
In a bowl, stir well the chia seeds with the water. Stir again after a couple of minutes. Let rest 10 minutes, until the seeds have absorbed all the water (a longer time is fine).
Heat oven to 300 F / 150 C. Cut a piece of parchment paper that is as large as a baking sheet. Cut another piece of parchment paper (or of wax paper) of the same dimensions.
Add all the other ingredients to the bowl with the soaked chia seeds and stir well.
Place the parchment paper on your working surface. Empty the bowl on it and use a spatula to spread the seed mix into an even layer.
Place the other sheet of paper over the seed mix and use a rolling pin to roll into an even thin layer, trying to make a rough rectangle that will fit the baking sheet (in my case, 11 x 13 inches / 28 x 33 cm). If you have excess seeds in one place, use a spatula to move them where you have more space to fill. Roll until the rectangle is no more than 1/8 inch / 3 mm thick. Peel away the top layer of paper. Transfer the bottom layer with the seeds to the baking sheet.
Bake for 30 minutes. Take out the baking sheet and gently turn over the cracker sheet.
Continue baking for another 20-30 minutes, until the cracker sheet is completely dry and crisp.
Let cool on the baking sheet, then break into pieces. Enjoy!
Store in an airtight container.
These crackers come with a warning: they are so good, it is difficult to stop eating them, by themselves or with any spread, especially cheese.
Note: Among the variations I tested, I baked one batch to 200 F / 93 C. After 1 hour, I flipped the cracker sheet, then baked it for another 90 minutes. All the people who have tasted both versions preferred the one baked at 300 F / 150 C. However, the version baked at lower temperature is quite good: if you favor a rawer style, try it.
1 Red walnuts were developed at the University of California at Davis by naturally grafting a cutting from the Persian red-skinned walnut onto the English walnut tree. They are sweeter and creamier than regular brown walnuts.
2 Hardcover edition's cover
3 The Harissa spice mix I use
Click on the button to hear me pronounce the Italian words mentioned in the post:
or launch the cracker di semi audio file [mp3].
[Depending on your set-up, the audio file will be played within the browser or by your mp3 player application. Please, contact me if you encounter any problems.]
This is my contribution to the current selection of our Cook the Books hosted by Deb of Kahakai Kitchen. (You can find the guidelines for participating in the event on this page.)
This is also my contribution to the 27th edition of Novel Food, the literary/culinary event that Lisa of Champaign Taste and I started some time ago and that I continue to host.
I am contributing these gluten-free seed crackers to Our Growing Edge, monthly event organized by Genie of Bunny Eats Design, whose theme this month is Allergy Friendly Recipes, suggested by the host, Joana of My Gut Feeling.
FTC disclosure: I have received the linen free of charge from the manufacturer (la FABBRICA del LINO). I have not and will not receive any monetary compensation for presenting it on my blog. The experience shared and the opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own.
crackers, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, hemp seeds, hemp hearts, gluten free
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cracker di semi (senza glutine)
Mangiate pure la mia porzione di dessert. Io sono contenta col piatto nella foto. I formaggi sono (da sinistra): Garroxta (latte di capra, Catalogna), il mio Gouda fatto in casa (con noci pecan), Blu di Caravaggio (latte di bufala, Italia; il mio formaggio erborinato preferito). E i cracker sono perfetti con tutti.
È possibile fare dei cracker con solo semi e ci sono tante ricette che utilizzano diverse combinazioni. Dopo averne provate un po' questa è la ricetta che preferisco. È veloce e semplice e potete facilmente raddoppiarla.
Ingredienti: tutti i semi crudi e possibilmente bio
- 40 g semi di chia
- 120 ml acqua
- 40 g semi di zucca
- 40 g semi di girasole
- 20 g semi di canapa
- 20 g semi di sesamo
- 1/2 cucchiaino sale fino
- 1/2 cucchiaino misto di spezie per Harissa2
In una ciotola, mescolare bene i semi di chia con l'acqua. Mescolare di nuovo dopo un paio di minuti. Far riposare 10 minuti, fino a quando i semi di chia non hanno assorbito tutta l'acqua.
Scaldare il forno a 150 C. Tagliare un pezzo di carta da forno grande quanto la lastra da forno. Tagliare un altro pezzo di carta da forno o di carta oleata delle stesse dimensioni.
Aggiungere tutti gli altri ingredienti ai semi di chia e mescolare bene.
Disporre la carta da forno sul piano di lavoro. Versare su di essa il misto di semi e con una spatola spianarlo in modo da ottenere uno strato piuttosto fino e di spessore regolare.
Disporre l'altro pezzo di carta sullo strato di semi e con il matterello spianare in modo da ottenere uno strato di spessore regolare di non più di 3 mm e di dimensioni che vi permettano di disporlo sulla lastra. Rimuovere la carta da sopra i semi.
Infornare e cuocere per 30 minuti. Sfornare e con delicatezza rivoltare il foglio di cracker.
Infornare di nuovo e cuocere per altri 20-30 minuti, fino a quando il foglio di cracker sia asciutto e croccante.
Lasciar raffreddare sulla placca, poi rompere in pezzi.
Conservare in un contenitore ermeticamente chiuso.
Devo avvertirvi: questi cracker sono talmente buoni che è difficile smettere di sgranocchiarli, da soli o accompagnati, specialmente se il companatico è del formaggio.
Nota: Tra le varianti che ho provato, ho cotto i cracker a 93 C. Dopo 1 ora, ho rivoltato il foglio di cracker e l'ho infornato di nuovo per altri 90 minuti. Tutte le persone che hanno assaggiato entrambe le versioni hanno espresso la loro preferenza per quella cotta a 150 C. Comunque anche la versione cotta a temperatura inferiore è buona: se preferite un sapore più "crudo" provatela.
1 Le noci rosse sono state sviluppate alla University of California di Davis innestando noce rosso persiano su noce inglese. Sono più dolci e cremose delle noci marroni.
2 Il misto spezie per Harissa che uso io
FTC disclosure: Ho ricevuto il centrotavola gratuitamente dall'azienda produttrice (la FABBRICA del LINO). Non ho ricevuto e non riceverò alcun compenso per presentarlo sul mio blog. Le opinioni espresse nel post sono interamente personali.
Thanks for joining in Simona. I had a feeling that this book would not relate as well to those who didn't grow up in America, or even to those that did, but not during the same era that Flynn grew up. But it is interesting to see that apparently many of us have family car trips (and feeling carsick) in common no matter where we grew up. ;-)
I'm happy you could find some inspiration even if it wasn't the book for you. Your seeded crackers look delicious--especially with all of the lovely cheeses. I'm also happy to see that Novel Food #27 was announced--I'll make sure to get a book in!
Posted by: Deb in Hawaii | May 24, 2016 at 02:27 AM
I'm with you, would rather have something salty or savory, and rarely make cake or pie, unless we have guests coming. Those crackers look like something I'd like to make, though don't believe I've ever come across hemp seeds (other than a certain variety back in the day)will have to look around.
Posted by: Claudia | May 24, 2016 at 01:22 PM
You are welcome, Deb. This book was a kind of opposite to the Pellegrini we read in the last edition and it was interesting for me to note that. Flinn and I are about the same age, and I honestly did not expect our experiences to have been so different. Having come to the US as an adult, I have often felt that not having grown up here makes a big difference and reading the book confirmed it.
Yes, thanks also to your kind words on the subject, I decided to host another edition of Novel Food. Looking forward to reading what you contribute. Thanks!
Posted by: Simona Carini | May 25, 2016 at 10:51 AM
They are so quick and easy to make, Claudia, I totally recommend them. I noticed hemp seeds for the first time not too long ago in the supplement section of a Whole Foods, where I was looking for something else. Trader Joe's carries them, at least in the Bay Area, together with chia seeds. Both are quite nutritious and have become popular so I would also try any of the health food stores in the area.
Posted by: Simona Carini | May 25, 2016 at 10:56 AM
I kept looking for some sort of binding agent as I read the recipe, but I guess the seeds themselves somehow bind together as they gently crushed together and then cook... ? Intriguing... ! I'm a fan of nuts and seeds of all sorts, so these do sound lovely.
Posted by: Frank | May 30, 2016 at 05:18 AM
I know, Frank, the recipe sounds strange. The chia seeds, when placed in water, develop a gelatinous coating: when the other seeds are added, the mass still keeps together and that allows you to spread it into a thin sheet. I hope you give this recipe a try, especially if you are a fun of nuts. Let me know if you do.
Posted by: Simona Carini | May 30, 2016 at 02:01 PM
Your cheese plate looks lovely and those homemade crackers.....I wish I could have one right this minute. Thanks Simona for a wonderful recipe.
Posted by: Wendy, A Day in the Life on the Farm | June 03, 2016 at 04:48 AM
Thanks for sharing your memories with us, Simona.
Posted by: Debra | June 04, 2016 at 08:29 AM
Your crackers look just lovely!
Posted by: Amy | Amy's Cooking Adventures | June 04, 2016 at 02:56 PM
You are welcome, Wendy :)
Posted by: Simona Carini | June 04, 2016 at 04:03 PM
You are welcome, Debra :)
Posted by: Simona Carini | June 04, 2016 at 04:04 PM
Thank you, Amy :)
Posted by: Simona Carini | June 04, 2016 at 04:04 PM
Hi Simona -- I was not too fond of the book myself but enjoyed the recipes. Never thought about gluten free crackers but so many people have that restriction these days they would be great to serve.
Posted by: Delaware Girl Eats | June 06, 2016 at 05:47 AM
And you may discover you like them too, Cathy ;) They are quite tasty.
Posted by: Simona Carini | June 06, 2016 at 10:09 PM