Thursday, August 27, 2009

Gluten-Free Crackers and Gluten-Free Challah Sandwich Bread

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If there's one thing I've recently regretted buying at the grocery store, it's gluten-free crackers. I can't tell you how many times I've been disappointed by pre-made gluten-free products, especially the overpriced crackers that taste like cardboard :'(. Yes, it even deserves a little tear.

Guess what, though? We don't have to settle for this any more. It's time for us to make our own crackers! (Who knows how long it'll take the little elves from Keebler to whip up a batch of tasty gluten-free crackers?! Betty Crocker's already done it with cookies, she gets brownie points for that! :)

Even if you're new to gluten-free baking, you can make these crackers in a snap. Adapt the recipe to your liking, maybe even add a little cheese, like Carol Fenster suggests. This cracker recipe is based on Carol Fenster's (I changed the flour mix, didn't add corn syrup and made them with some canola oil instead of using all butter. I also didn't add sesame seeds... looking back, it's pretty different, I guess :P.)

One thing I might change next time? I've gotta admit, I think I might add a bit more garlic salt and Italian seasoning. But they're still tasty and buttery flavored; they kinda me of those Club Crackers by Keebler, except they're a little thicker (I didn't roll them out thin enough :P).

What else is on today's menu? More carbs! OH, HOW I'VE MISSED YOU, CHALLAH BREAD!

Now we can have our gluten-free challah bread and sandwich too... here's a gluten-free challah sandwich bread recipe. It's got a bit of a twist with the added orange zest and brown sugar. Though I like that it came out moist and gluteny in texture, I especially like that it only has one edge of crust! :P. (Shhh... sometimes I still cut off the crust, but now I don't have to. ;)

One thing I've learned about making gluten-free sandwich bread dough is that you want it to be a little more moist than traditional gluteny bread dough. Gluten-free sandwich bread tends to be dry; the many eggs in this recipe make it moist but still firm enough to slice (and the eggs also make it challah-tasting :). Give it a try... and guess what? This is easy to make, too! Throw everything together in about 15 minutes, let it rise for an hour and bake for about half an hour... that's it! :)

Gluten-Free Challah Sandwich Bread
(Large) Bowl 1:
1 cup white rice flour
1 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup potato starch
1 3/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp sea salt
3 Tbsp white sugar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp orange zest
3 whole eggs
3 Tbsp canola oil

(Small) Bowl 2:
1 cup warm milk (microwave for 30 seconds)
2 1/4 tsp yeast
2 tbsp sugar

Fill an oven safe baking dish (like a 9 inch cake pan) with warm water and place it on the last rack in the oven. Now turn the oven on to the warm setting, or to 200 degrees.

Add the sugar to small bowl 2, then add the yeast and the warm milk. Set aside for about 5 minutes or so, while you work on bowl 1.

Combine all the ingredients in bowl 1 (EXCEPT EGGS AND CANOLA OIL). Before adding eggs and canola oil, make sure that it's mixed together well so that everything from the xanthan gum to the salt are evenly distributed throughout the flour mixture.

Make a little well in the middle of the flour mix in bowl 1, this is where you'll add the canola oil and eggs. Start mixing in the eggs and canola oil, working from the inside out. Then slowly pour in the yeast mix while continuing to stir with a fork. Make sure it isn't lumpy but don't over mix.

Now turn off the oven. Spray a medium-sized bread pan with non-stick and pour the bread dough (it will look like bready/cake dough) into the pan, make sure to smooth out the top so that the dough is evenly spread out on top. I use the back of a spoon or small fork. Next, place the bread pan with the dough in the oven, on the middle rack, above the pan with the warm water. Let it rise for an hour.

After the hour, leave the bread in the oven and turn on the oven to 350, bake the bread for about 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes, quickly and gently cover the top with foil (make sure it's loose) so that it doesn't over-brown. Cook for about 25 more minutes. (Bake time is about 35 minutes total.)

Cracker recipe is in the recipe card below:

Gluten-Free Crackers

Based on Carol Fenster's cracker recipe from her book ...

See Gluten-Free Crackers on Key Ingredient.


tastyeatsathome said...

Mmm, yum, crackers AND bread! I just bought Mary's Gone Crackers (haven't tried them yet, have them as an afternoon snack today, so we'll see...) and they're expensive! This is a great, doable alternative. And the bread looks yummy too!

Leslie said...

Carb heaven here today!!!!
Yum. I am scared of gluten free I will leave it up to you!

Deborah said...

I have never made challah - but it's on my list of must-makes!

Lauren said...

Yum!! Both of these look amazing =D. I love the thickness of your crackers (I never see that with GF ones!), and the challah looks divine!

Grace said...

crackers and challah, crackers and challah. you’re a master of gluten-less carbohydrate. incidentally, whenever i have a popcorn kernel stuck in my throat, i say “challah” nice and loud to dislodge it. :)

Monica H said...

That bread looks perfect Sophie! I love the addition of the citrus and brown sugar- yum!

great job and lovely photos.

Rachel said...

I've printed out this cracker recipe to try soon. I agree with you that a lot of store-bought GF crackers are on the dry and tasteless side, though my family does love the Nut Thins, especially the cheesy ones.

I made a batch of crackers a while back with Sesame and Rosemary and Flax Seeds and the recipe is on the blog somewhere. They were thinner and burned more easily than your recipe, though the ones that were perfectly baked were scrumptious indeed.

I'm going to try your crackers soon and report back.

Dia said...

These crackers sound lovely! I have been using coconut oil (sometimes mixed w/butter) for baking & love it!! So glad to find that it's so good for us, after all.
I've been amassing gf recipies to try - these are on my list :)
I also enjoy the 'mary's gone crackers' but hesitate at the cost!

Kathy said...

I made your challah bread last night (sans orange zest because I didn't even have an orange in the house). Thank you so much for this recipe. I almost cried when I bit into the first piece :)... the best part is that it was just as tasty this morning.
I passed your site onto my sister-on-law, who cooks for my g/f intolerant brother. I imagine he's going to have the same reaction when she makes this for him.

Sophie said...

HI Kathy, I'm so glad you enjoyed the bread :)! I really appreciate your comment -- it makes me so happy to know that folks can make gf food they enjoy at home! :)

Jen Cafferty said...

I can't wait to try the challah bread recipe! I have been searching for a good challah recipe forever. Just found your site and I love it. Great work!

Sophie said...

Thanks for stopping by, Jen :). Feel free to email me if you have any questions about the bread recipe.

Holly said...

I made the crackers and they were delicious! The texture was like a shortbread cookie almost. I think I will try making this same recipe with sweet spices inlieu of the herbs. I had some herbed ones with some home made sweet pepper jelly and YUMMERS! It's a def keeper!

Anonymous said...

Helpful blog, bookmarked the website with hopes to read more!

gmt said...

Making my second loaf of challah today. The first was scrumptious and moist, and made the most wonderful sandwiches and toast. I added a handful of craisins to this loaf, and can't wait to see how it turns out. It's such an easy loaf, and lends itself to lots of additions. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

carrie said...

I have been searching for over a year to find a tasty gf sandwich bread. Today, I am trying your recipe. The first thing I noticed rose! None of my other breads have done this. I keep looking in the oven window still unable to believe it. I am roughly 20 minutes away from the bread being done. I will report back soon....if I'm not in bread coma. :)

Sophie said...

So happy to hear the recipe worked out well for you, Carrie :).