I am SO very excited to be part of the Gluten Free Ratio Rally! Each month the group posts recipes based on a specific food (normally made with gluten but changed to gluten free) that they have created by starting with a ratio. Some use the same proportions (taken from Michael Ruhlman’s book Ratio), but you also have the freedom to create new ones based on your preferences. The goal is to remove the mystique from baking and inspire a sense of ability and adventure. That is my kind of fun!
This month our host is Rachel from The Crispy Cook. She challenged the group with Crackers and Breadsticks. As there doesn’t appear to be a Ruhlman ratio to work from, we just dove in and went from there. :) When I make soft bread sticks, I usually use my basic gluten & dairy free bread or gluten free French bread and shape the dough into sticks. Easy-peasy. If I want crisp bread sticks, ones I can shape and stand in a glass at a party, then the below recipe is what I use. It is based on a recipe by Pig in the Kitchen. I altered it very slightly a few years ago to make a crisper stick because that is what I like. I also like to finely grate frozen gluten and dairy free margarine or coconut oil into the dry ingredients instead of using my fingers to work in the oils. I like the texture you get using this technique and use it when making biscuits and pie crusts. You can even use this recipe to pipe thicker sticks and use this to make those fancy chocolate-dipped pretzel rods at Christmas time. Add seasonings to the batter, or add different toppings, or leave plain – your choice. If you bake them the day before your event and leave them out uncovered, they will be even crisper and more pretzel textured. I like to make long sticks with swirls or twists at the end for the holidays. They look fancy, but only I know how easy they were to make. Try it!
I don’t know if you have noticed, but around here we serve a heavy dose of cute food. So regular breadsticks won’t do for a holiday. We must swirl them or shape them, or add colored salt to them… You get the idea. Cute food. It’s what’s for dinner. Anyway, if you also have this crazy need, let me show you how I go about it.
Decide on the shape you would like you bread sticks to be. The simpler, the better. This is not the time for intricate detailing. Draw this onto a piece of paper and lay it under the parchment on your baking sheet. You should be able to see the shape through the parchment.
When your dough is mixed up and in the piping bag or freezer bag, pipe your bread sticks out following the patterned under the parchment. Carefully slide the paper down the pan and pipe out more breadsticks as needed to fill the pan. Before baking, remove the paper with the pattern from the baking pan.
Of coarse, leaving them as a long thin shape is also fun, and very elegant. These are topped with a mixture of ground rosemary sea salt, toasted sesame seeds and poppy seeds:
- 1 cup (158 grams) brown rice flour
- 1 cup (128 grams) cornstarch
- ½ cup (85 grams) potato starch
- 1½ teaspoon yeast
- ½ teaspoon xanthan gum or guar gum
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoom salt
- ¼ cup (50 grams) margarine, gluten free dairy free, frozen (or 3 T frozen coconut oil)
- 1 cup (more or less) room temperature water
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Whisk together brown rice flour, cornstarch, potato starch, yeast, xanthan or guar gum, sugar and salt in mixing bowl until well incorporated. Grate frozen margarine with a fine grater into flour mixture. Using whisk attachment mix in the grated pieces of margarine until it looks like coarse meal, such as coarse ground corn meal.
- With mixer on low speed drizzle in water in a slow stream. You may not need all the water, so watch the dough near the end of mixing before adding the last bit of water. The dough will be sticky, yet you should be able to handle it. It will be stiffer than most gluten free bread doughs you work with.
- Scrape the dough into a pastry bag or into a large gallon-sized freezer bag with a corner snipped off. Pipe long thin bread sticks onto the parchment lined baking tray. I usually make long thin sticks, but you can make curves, swirls, and other fun shapes. Using your fingers, brush olive oil on bread sticks or brush each stick with an egg wash for better sticking power of your toppings and a more golden crust. You can add a topping at this time, such as sesame seeds, salt, poppy seeds, herbs, etc. or leave plain.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 375 degrees F until golden brown. The timing depends on how thick you piped your breadsticks. I like these to be crispy, so bake them a bit longer…
Check our the below links for the crackers and breadsticks from the rest of the Gluten Free Ratio Rally participants:
Angela | Angela’s Kitchen - Crisp Bread Sticks (and bread stick “sparklers”)
Claie | My Gluten Free Home - Seafaring Crackers
Heather | Discovering the Ordinary - Zippy Garlic Crackers (grain free)
Jonathan | The Canary Files - Savory Spice Crackers
Mary Fran | FrannyCakes - Gluten Free Cracked Pepper Crackers
Rachel | The Crispy Cook - Cilantro Crackers
T.R. | No One Likes Crumbley Cookies - Gluten Free Graham Crackers
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What was I cooking…
A year ago: Freezer Smoothies with Veggies
Two years ago: We now return you to your regular scheduled program…
Three years ago: Happy Fourth!
Four years ago: Dairy Free Strawberry Custard “Ice Cream”
Five years ago: Menu Plan Monday – July 9, 2007
Six years ago: Cookies and no cream