My all-time favourite cracker base to date is sunflower seeds. When ground and baked till golden they come up crunchy, filling yet light, and very moreish. Add a little salt, herbs, garlic and sesame and a yummy topping and I have found a way in to my own heart (via my stomach, when snack attack has hit!).
This recipe was developed especially for Plastic Free Pantry - a food delivery company on Waiheke Island that is forging a way for locals to receive goods without any plastic in the supply chain.
Quick to prepare, these crackers will stay crispy in an airtight container for a surprisingly long time - at least 2 -3 weeks I believe; although I've not tested longevity thoroughly as they always get eaten too quickly!
As many flat-cracker recipes use baking paper, (and biodegradable baking paper is not yet readily available), I've tested a great option for making them without it. It does require you to acquire some mightily useful kitchen items as follows:
A good blender/ grinder is needed. Also, the following equipment is recommended to help you bake the crackers without the use of baking/ parchment paper, which is usually not biodegradable.
a. A pizza stone. If you haven't discovered these yet, they make your pizza bases (and now crackers) beautifully crispy through holding heat and creating even heat distribution. We picked ours up from Steven's and I recall it being under $20 on sale. It's been a really useful item. If you don't want to invest in a pizza stone, you could try an oven tray (with a good enamel surface - not the thin baking trays that stick), a glass or enamel dish, or a heavy cast iron dish: it just needs to have a flat surface of 20-30cm square. (If it's all too hard, you can use a flat baking tray and line it with baking paper).
b. A large or ideally an extra large honeywrap. These beeswax and organic cotton beauties are one of the most useful reusable kitchen items you'll discover. Read more about them and purchase here. If you are vegan, there are other, similar options available now too.
c. A rolling pin or large, flat, roll-able bottle.
- 200g sunflower seeds
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp coriander seeds*
- 3 cloves garlic or 2 tsp garlic granules
- 11/2 Tbsp olive oil
- 75g sesame seeds
* You can use another seasoning of choice that you have to hand. Good options include a handful of fresh rosemary, thyme, or oregano; 2-3 tsp mild dried herb such as basil or 1-2 tsp dried stronger flavoured herb such as sage or rosemary. Alternatively use 2 Tsp local Waiheke Rangihoua Herb Spread to replace the olive oil.
1. Grease your pizza stone or flat cooking tray or dish. (Alternatively, if you're using a tray that's likely to stick, such as an aluminium tray, line with with baking paper). If you are using the pizza stone then do not pre-heat your oven as the stone needs to be placed into a cool oven.
2. Grind sunflower seeds, salt, coriander seeds or other seasoning, and garlic in a grinder or blender. In a mixing bowl, combine with the remainder of the ingredients.
3. Your mixture will be a little crumbly. With clean hands, try "kneading" the dough a little, although it will stay quite crumbly. Place the dough onto your pizza stone or cooking tray and press it down into one clump.
4. Place your honeywrap (or another sheet of baking paper) over the top and then roll your dough into a square or rectangle to a thickness of approx 3mm. Peel off the honeywrap or top sheet of baking paper.
5. With a sharp knife, score the outline of your crackers before placing into the oven at 180 degrees C. Fan bake for 15 - 20 minutes until the top and edges are looking golden brown. Leave to cool completely before sliding 2 spatulas under them and gently lifting from your stone or tray.
6. Break them into your pre-defined crackers and enjoy with your favourite savoury toppings!