The other day my daughter came home from school after cooking class with delicious crackers, I almost couldn’t believe they were also gluten-free. We decided to bake some of our own for Valentine’s Day. Our school has an amazing cooking program. Their teachers Leah and Annie have adapted all of the food in my daughter’s class to be gluten-free, which I’m very impressed by. (BTW, Always ask if you can get a classroom to make something gluten-free, it’s not difficult to do and you might be pleasantly surprised that they can accommodate it.)
We used the Crispy Crunch Olive Oil Crackers recipe from her teacher, Leah Brooks’, new cookbook, Baking with Kids, (note it’s not gluten-free) but I adapted it to be gluten-free by substituting a gluten-free flour and some xanthan gum. You can also add beet puree to make them a magenta color, which would be great for heart-shaped crackers.
I love how this recipe is egg-free for our friends with egg allergies. It’s an easy and fun recipe. Kids, even young ones, can have fun rolling out the dough, cutting the shapes, brushing on the oil or sprinkling the salt.
Here is what I did…
3 cups of gluten-free flour (I used 2/3 rice flour and 1/3 tapioca and potato starch)
1 teaspoon of xanthan gum (not needed if your gluten-free flour blend already as a gum)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup wam water
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
You can get the full instructions from her cookbook, but the basics from my perspective are the following:
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 C, or gas mark 8)
Mix the dry ingredients, then add the wet ingredients. Mix well until it forms a ball. The recipe suggests to knead it and let it rest for 30 minutes but this step is not as important with gluten-free flour so I kneaded it a bit (which is fun for the kids) and let it rest for a few minutes. Separate the dough into four sections and roll out one batch at a time, adding gluten-free flour to the board and rolling pin.
The secret to these crackers is rolling them out very thin – as thin as you can. It took me three baking sheets to get the crackers thin enough – otherwise they become very hard crispy chips. Still tasty, but not the ideal texture. You can cut them into cookie cutter shapes if you want. And poke then with a toothpick a few times to let the steam out.
The recipe suggests brushing the crackers with olive oil before baking, and sprinkle with a bit of salt. I tried it with and without the oil and like it both ways, but the salt sticks better with the oil.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly golden on the edges.