Girls Like Flours- Nuts About Crackers
I have a weakness for crackers. I especially like cheese crackers, those little square ones. You know which ones I mean. Even though they are really high in sodium and starch, I will occasionally indulge and buy a box. However, Mr. Food It Yourself is currently doing really well controlling his glucose with a carbohydrate-controlled diet. I really wanted some cheese crackers this week, but I didn’t want to bring a super-tempting, refined-carbohydrate snack into the house. Sabotaging your spouse is not a kind thing to do.
As usual, the internet came to the rescue. I found this really great recipe from King Arthur Baking for crackers made from almond flour. If you scroll down to the bottom of the recipe you will find is a cheese option. Yes, I have a perfectly shreddable block of cheddar in the fridge, but we also have some really yummy cheese powder Mr. Food It Yourself bought. As you can see, there was no excuse not to try my hand at almond flour cheese crackers.
A word on almond flour- like other flours that are not wheat flour, almond flour behaves differently in recipes than wheat flour. This particular brand has a helpful hint on the back. You will need more almond flour per unit of liquid than wheat flour.
Also, almond flour lacks gluten, the protein that holds wheat-based baked good together. If you are converting a recipe from wheat to almond-based, you will need to add some kind of binder. Your best bet is to use recipes that have been formulated for the type of flour you are using.
Finally, the key to a healthy diet is moderation. Over consuming crackers made from almond flour would be just as bad as over-consuming the refined carbohydrates in commercially made crackers. For most of us, any food can be worked into a healthy, long-term, eating pattern. The key is understanding how a particular food fits in to your daily nutritional needs. Any cracker is going to use up some of your calorie allowance. These crackers will use up less of your carbohydrate allowance.
Using parchment paper made rolling out the crumbly dough much easier. I was worried the ragged edges would burn during baking, so I used the bottom parchment sheet to fold the ragged edge in. Then, I continued rolling the dough thin.
After the prescribed baking time the crackers were brown, but not quite crisp enough. I broke them apart, flipped them over, and made a single layer on my baking rack. I put them in the oven for a few more minutes. Then, I turned the oven off, cracked the door, and let the oven cool with the crackers inside. I have used this technique to crisp up other things without over-browning. It worked pretty well with these crackers, too.
I was worried the almond flour would be sandy and gritty, but the texture is not too different from those red-box-cheese-square-snacks. Mr. Food It Yourself and I agree that they were just a little “toastier” than we liked. Next time, I will roll the dough thinner and either lower the oven temperature a bit or bake them without the convection fan running. Overall, I call this a successful snack baking mission.
I enjoyed making these crackers. I am sure Mr. Food It Yourself and I will enjoy eating them, too. Diet modification can be a challenge. Putting your DIYet skills to use can make it a fun challenge, though. What are the best diet-modified recipes you have tried? What are the worst? Share in the comments!