Ok so I am losing track of the days in this lockdown of the Corona era. They say it is Day 16 of 21, so let’s go with that.
As I mentioned on the previous post, I had teamed up last year (or some year) with the Kitchen Aid brand to use their Stand mixer to create recipes. The stand mixer is quite an amazing appliance and it does make life much easier especially when you want to knead dough for breads or make large quantities of batter for cakes and dough for cookies. Apart from the main mixer, they also have several attachments that one can buy, to perform a variety of tasks.
One such attachment is the Kitchen Aid pasta maker. Having always been fascinated by it, I was really glad to receive this too along with the mixer. Of course I had several great plans for it, which of course I relegated to the back burner ever since I took to serious travel blogging. But in that initial little window of time, I did do justice to it and apart from making pasta right from scratch, I also used it to make crackers. The rest of the great plans will now probably see light of day during this lockdown. Think momos and samosas and high hopes 😀
While hand rolling is also a possibility for those without the equipment, the pasta maker does help in producing sheets of even thickness, which certainly makes the task easier and also in turn results in evenly baked crackers, something that I have always aspired for.
Anyway, if you are using the appliance, then it will produce the dough, the pasta roller will roll it out … and what do you have to do? You have to just have fun cutting out the shapes you want. That simple.
And if you do not have the machine, just go for it with your hands. You also need to use them for purposes other than washing multiple times 😀
Actually everyone in my house prefers savory snacks to sweets but when it comes to baking, there are definitely more options for sugar laden products.
Rustling up a salty or spicy bake does take a little bit of thinking, especially if you also want to focus on making the snack healthier by using wholegrain flours or less fat.
Crackers are relatively laborious and time consuming since they have to be rolled and cut as opposed to merely shaping like cookies. And not to mention that they disappear in far less a time than what it takes to create them. However, I really love them a lot and when I am in the right mood, they are definitely my project of choice.
These wholegrain crackers were conceptualized during my ragi experiments phase where I was also trying to utilize the residual flour after squeezing the ragi milk which I used in other recipes like this Ragi Milk bread and Ragi manni (pudding).
Recipe for Vegan Wholegrain Crackers –
Time – 30 min for the process + 40 min bake time
Makes a full 10×14 inch tray of thin crackers
Equipment used –
Kitchen Aid Bowl Lift Stand Mixer
Kitchen Aid pasta maker attachment (lasagna)
You can do the process manually if you do not possess these.
1 – Whole wheat flour (atta) – 1 cup
(I used ¾ cup wheat flour + ¼ cup Ragi and coconut flour – See Note 1)
2 – Salt: 3/4 teaspoon
3 – Olive oil (or any neutral oil)– 40 gm (approx. ¼ cup)
4 – Sourdough starter (use the discard) – 170 gm
(OR use 85 gm wheat flour, 85 gm water and 1/2 tsp instant yeast.
See Note 2)
5 – Herbs of choice (I used Moringa leaf powder aka Drumstick leaf powder) – 1 tsp. You can use any herb of choice.
6 – Egg for egg wash – 1/2. This is optional for the non vegan version.
-Add the ingredients (2-5) into the bowl of the Kitchen Aid Bowl Lift Stand Mixer and blend for 1 minute at speed 2, using the paddle attachment
– Add the flour(s) gradually while running at speed 1, until all the flour is in. Increase speed to 2 and run the mixer for a few minutes until the dough comes together. Do not overbeat. You should obtain a medium soft cookie dough like output.
– (If you are manually making the dough, then use a deep bowl and follow the same method above but knead with your hands)
– Cling wrap the dough and chill for 1 hour in the fridge.
– Used the chilled dough straight from the fridge. Divide it into 4 parts for easy handling.
– Take one part and keep the other parts cling wrapped in the fridge until use, to prevent drying out. Flatten and lightly roll until it is thin enough to pass through the pasta roller at max width ie Setting 1.
– Attach the pasta roller (lasagna) to your KitchenAid stand mixer.
– Lightly dust the dough with dry flour (only if dough is sticky). Feed in the dough only once at speed 1. Handle the sheet of dough gently so that it does not break.
– (If you do not have the pasta equipment, then roll the dough into a rectangle. The thickness will depend on your skill but the thinner the better for a crisper cracker)
– Place the dough sheet on a lightly floured board and cut out whatever shapes you like. Make sure all crackers are the same size for even baking (if you are not vegan then you can optionally egg wash the crackers if you want a sheen on them)
– Do the same for the remaining pieces of dough.
– Place the pieces on an ungreased Aluminum baking sheet. Prick each one with a fork to prevent puffing while baking.
– Bake in a pre heated oven at 200 deg c for about 40 min. I like my crackers very crisp. You can adjust your baking time according to the final crispness that you want. If your crackers start turning too dark too soon, reduce the temperature to 160 deg c. Baking crackers depends on many factors including the thickness of your rolled dough and its moisture content. So you will have to figure out the best time and temperature according to your conditions.
Note 1 – Ragi (finger millet) coconut flour is what I obtain after soaking ½ cup of ragi grains overnight and grinding with a cup of chopped fresh coconut in the morning. Use 2-3 cups of water to grind. Squeeze out the milk from the ground ingredients through a strainer (the milk can be used in several recipes like the Ragi manni). The fiber rich remnant left behind in the strainer, is the ragi coconut flour. I usually freeze or dehydrate this and use in breads etc. If you do not have this, just increase the wheat flour in this recipe.
Note 2 – I usually have a whole lot of sourdough discard which I like to use in various recipes. This is optional and you can use yeast instead, which you can add to the other ingredients as mentioned in the recipe.
I hope you will successfully try this recipe and I would really appreciate if you leave your feedback in the Blog comments.
Apr 8 th, 2020