These crackers are quite amazing, and I’m so glad that I attempted to even try and make them. During the winter holiday, I was looking for a healthier version of the standard Ritz cracker. Something about white flour, high fructose corns syrup and artificial preservatives just didn’t get me in a warm, fuzzy mood, and it certainly didn’t help my appetite.
After much searching, I figured out that I had to make these things myself. What to use? I could use wheat flour, since I’m not necessarily gluten intolerant (however I do well avoiding all grains). All I would have to do would be to soak the flour overnight, with an acid medium, to neutralize the phytic acids and enzyme inhibitors. No, I thought, there has to be a way to have a healthier cracker.
Voila! These little, crispy, lovely gluten free Ritz crackers were born! In this recipe I use sprouted buckwheat flour. I take buckwheat groats, soak them overnight in water with a little lemon juice, drain, rinse occasionally, and then they will sprout in a couple of days. I then dry and grind them into a flour using a small blender. You can do this in a coffee grinder, nut, seed and grain mill, blender, Magic Bullet, etc. You could also take pure buckwheat flour and soak it over night in 1/4 cup of water with a tablespoon of lemon juice, yogurt or whey. In fact, you can even use buttermilk in place of the 1/4 cup of water. This will help boost the nutritional quality of the flour while helping to aid digestibility and absorption of the nutrients.
This recipe was adapted from the Whole Foods website, under the recipe Whole Wheat Graham Crackers. However, this recipe uses no wheat, no grain, and no sugar, and it won’t taste like graham crackers, unless you want it to. Instead of scoring the dough with a knife into squares, like with the original recipe, I rolled out the dough with my trusted rolling pin and parchment paper. If the dough crumbles, that’s fine. Just pat it back together again. The key is to use parchment paper or plastic wrap in order to roll out this awesome recipe. To cut out the shapes of circles, I used a round lid from the container of a spice that I found in the seasonings cabinet. To make the tiny circles on each cracker, poke with a wooden skewer or straw (I use a straw).
These can be baked or dehydrated. If you truly want a healthy Ritz cracker, I would go for dehydrating these. I don’t currently own a dehydrator, but if you have one, go for it! You could also set these in the oven at the lowest temperature setting and open the oven door with the light turned on. I don’t like doing this, because the hours spent dehydrating the crackers might use a lot of energy–from both you (having to check the oven every hour) to you electricity/gas bill.
By the way, if you do not avoid gluten or grains, then you can use sprouted/soaked wheat or spelt flour. Leave out the gum, as these grains contain gluten which will provide a better binding agent.
Gluten Free, Grain Free Sprouted Buckwheat (Perhaps Raw) “Ritz” Style Crackers
Makes a lot of 1 & 1/4″ circle crackers
1 cup sprouted Buckwheat Flour
1/2 tsp. Xanthan or Guar Gum (optional, but recommended)
1/4 + 1/8 tsp. Aluminum Free Baking Soda
2 TBSP. Coconut Oil or Cold Organic Butter (I LOVE Organic Valley!)
1 Egg White
1 1/2 TBSP. Xylitol, Sucanat or 1 TBSP. honey
1/4 tsp. Celtic Sea Salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, or oil a glass baking dish. Set aside.
Mix flour, xanthan/guar gum (if using) baking soda, xylitol or sucanat (if using) and salt in a mixing bowl. Stir the dry ingredients together with a whisk or spoon until all ingredients are well mixed. Work the butter or coconut into the mixture with your fingers, until the dough resembles crumbs. For a crispier cracker, add more butter or coconut oil.
Whisk together the egg white and the honey (if using) together, and slowly pour into the flour mixture. Stir into the flour until a dough forms. If too dry, add some cold ice water, a teaspoon at a time, to stiffen the dough. The dough might be sticky, but should be firm enough to form into a ball-like shape. If needed, add a little more flour.
Turn out half of the dough onto a sheet of parchment paper or plastic wrap. Place another piece of paper or plastic on top of this dough and start to roll out the dough into a circle with a wooden rolling pin. Let the dough roll out into a 1/8 thickness. If dough crumbles, gently pat it back together again.
Using the round cap of a seasoning, or a cookie cutter of your desired shape, cut out little crackers. You may have to wait until all the cuts are made to then take out the crackers from the dough. Take up the crackers and place them in rows on baking sheet. Poke tiny holes in the center of the cookie, if desired, with a straw or other utensil. Brush the crackers with some egg white, melted butter or coconut oil or water, and then sprinkle a little sea salt on top.
Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until crispy.
This is The healthy Advocate.