Perfectly crisp sun-dried tomato crackers, made with mixed seeds and gram flour. Super simple, really tasty, packed full of good things, and ideal for transporting your favourite dip, spread, or topping straight into your mouth.
I’ve always enjoyed a picnic but after a year of varying covid restrictions, the idea of sharing food with friends outside seems like a monumental event. And given the pandemic, the tentatively warmer days, and the fact that you can’t get a table at a pub for weeks, I imagine that picnics are going to be big in 2021.
While I am huge fan of the ubiquitous picnic combo that is crisps and hummus, I thought it might be an idea to come up with some more adventurous picnic fayre, to mix things up a bit. There are only so many large bags of kettle chips you can eat in a week without starting to wonder if you may need some more variation in your diet (and I know this from experience). So over the next few weeks I’ll be posting recipes that are easily transportable, make limited mess, don’t require an array of cutlery, are easily shareable, and most importantly, delicious.
My first offer are these tasty sun-dried tomato crackers. They’re an excellent crisp alternative, cater to almost all dietary requirements, and are ideal for scooping all manner of dips and spreads. They’re wonderful with vegan cheese, hummus, avocado, or as a snack by themselves, stay crispy for a good few days if kept in an airtight container, and only require a few ingredients.
How to make grain-free sundried tomato crackers
The key ingredients for these crackers, aside from the sun-dried tomatoes, are gram flour and flax seeds (also called linseeds). Gram flour (also known as besan or chickpea flour) is a nutritious flour made from ground chickpeas, or a combination of these and split peas. It’s really inexpensive and can get nice and crisp when cooked. Flax seeds, when mixed with water, become slightly gelatinous and are often used as an egg replacer for their binding properties. It’s these two ingredients that will prevent your crackers from falling apart.
The remaining bulk of the cracker is made up of mixed seeds – you can use a store bought seed mix, or whatever combination of seeds you like. I mainly used sunflower seeds, with a few pumpkin, chia and sesame seeds, but you could use all sunflower seeds or all pumpkin if that’s what you have.
To start, tip all of the seeds into a food processor and blitz until they are roughly chopped. Blitz for longer if you prefer a less textured cracker, or only blitz the flax seeds, then add the rest of the seeds in whole for a chunkier version.
Then we come to the flavourings. You can adjust these to your liking, but I use salt, pepper, nutritional yeast (which brings a little parmesan-y flavour to the crackers), and dried oregano. You could omit the nutritional yeast if you don’t have any, or switch up the dried herbs depending on what you have (basil, thyme, marjoram, mixed herbs or herbs de provence would all be delicious). Add these to the seeds along with the gram flour, and blitz until everything’s evenly distributed.
Then, roughly chop your sun-dried tomatoes and add to the food processer. Pulse a few times until they’re evenly distributed, and the mixture has taken on a lovely reddish tinge. Finally you’ll need to add a little water. You can do this in the food processor but I prefer to transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the water by hand as it’s easier to judge whether more water is needed. Start with 4 tbsp and mix it thoroughly. You’re looking for a dough that holds its shape and can be rolled out, but still feels a little wet. This needs to rest for 30 minutes so that the mixture can properly absorb the water, allowing the dough to firm up a little.
Pre-heat the oven and take your dough out of the fridge. Because the dough will still be a little sticky, rather than flouring a work surface I find it easier to roll the dough out directly onto a piece of baking paper or a silicone baking mat, with another piece of baking paper on top of the dough. Roll the dough out between the two sheets until it’s about 2mm thick – too thick and your crackers will still be chewy in the middle.
Peel off the top sheet of baking paper and transfer the crackers to a baking tray or sheet. Score the dough however you want your crackers to be shaped, and bake for 15 minutes. Then, and this is the only slightly tricky part, you want to flip the crackers over so they crisp up on the other side. The easiest way to do this is to line another baking sheet or board with baking paper, place it on top of the crackers, then invert everything. You can either put the crackers back into the oven on the new tray, or slide the new piece of baking paper onto your original baking tray.
Most of the crackers will need at least another 10 minutes, but if you have any particularly thin edge pieces that are quite a bit darker than the rest you can take them out a little early. After 10 minutes, remove any crackers that feel completely firm (most likely the outer edges), returning the rest to the oven for another 5 minutes, or until they also feel firm.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool for a few minutes. You can eat them pretty much straight away, but if you’re looking to store them, or indeed, box them up to take to a picnic, then first let them cool completely, otherwise you risk soggy crackers.
Please let me know if you give these a try! You can comment below, use the star rating at the top of this post, or find me on Instagram or Twitter @greedybearbakes.
Grain-free Sun-dried Tomato Crackers
Perfectly crisp sun-dried tomato crackers, made with mixed seeds and gram flour.
- 70g (½ cup) mixed seeds (e.g sunflower, pumpkin, chia, sesame)
- 40g (¼ cup) flax seeds / linseeds
- 45g (½ cup) gram flour / chickpea flour / besan
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
- ½ tsp oregano (optional)
- black pepper
- 30g (approx 4) sun-dried tomatoes in oil*
- 4–5 tbsp water
- Add 70g mixed seeds and 40g flax seeds to a food processor and blitz until roughly chopped. Add 45g gram flour, ½ tsp salt, 2 tbsp nutritional yeast, ½ tsp oregano, and a few grinds of black pepper and blitz again until the gram flour is evenly distributed (This is the one time when I don’t recommend tasting to check the seasoning – gram flour is very bitter when raw!).
- Roughly chop 30g sun-dried tomatoes and add to the mixture, and pulse a few times until they are evenly distributed and the mixture has a red tinge. Tip into a mixing bowl and add 4 tbsp water. Mix until you have a dough – it should feel a little wet, but firm enough to roll out. Add a little more water if necessary then refrigerate for 30 mins.
- Pre-heat the oven to 150C fan. Take the dough out of the fridge and place on a sheet of baking paper as large as your baking tray or sheet, or a silicone baking mat. Put another sheet of baking paper on top and roll the dough out into a rough rectangle until it’s about 2mm thick. Peel away the top layer of baking paper and score the dough into 20–24 pieces (or whatever size of cracker you prefer). Bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and flip the crackers over – the easiest way to do this is to put another piece of baking paper on top of the crackers and invert the whole thing onto another baking tray. If there are any thin edge pieces that are looking rather brown you can remove them now. Return to the oven for 10 minutes, then check to see if the crackers are ready. If they are golden brown and feel completely firm, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool. It’s likely that the central pieces will need a little longer, so return any crackers that still feel a little soft to the oven for another 5 minutes, or until firm.
- Eat straight away, or leave to cool completely before storing in an airtight container for 2–3 days.