Dock Crackers



Dock crackers are a recipe I've been monkeying with for years. In the beginning, every batch I made was capable of breaking teeth. Last year, I went through a phase where they were always crumbly. At last, I've settled upon a recipe that strikes the right balance of being strong enough to dip or be swiped with cheese, with just the right amount of crispy crunch.

This recipe is gluten-free. Of course, you could make them with regular all-purpose flour. But here's the interesting part about making dock crackers that have great texture without gluten - it opens the door to making crackers out of 100% wild flours. I find that to be an exciting possibility.

You can go to the trouble to winnow your dock seeds before making flour. I always used to do this. I've found it works best if you first lightly toast them in a pan before rubbing them with your hands, then winnow. For the most part these days, I don't bother, and simply buzz up dock fruit complete with their papery valves. I understand this isn't much different from using school paper as an ingredient, but it saves some trouble and works out just fine. Fiber!

The psyllium husks called for in this recipe are the same that are used in popular laxative powders, though they can easily and cheaply be obtained at a health food store, if you're embarrassed by having a jar of Metamucil in your spice rack. I've been playing with using plantain seeds in place of psyllium with some luck, since the two are related. Though, I don't yet have enough control over the process to recommend you do the same. Either the psyllium or xanthan gum can be omitted here, just bump up the amount of the one you are using.

Dock Crackers


1/2 dock flour
1/2 c. gluten-free flour (I've been using 1 part brown rice:1 part sorghum:1 part arrowroot)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. onion powder
1 Tbsp. psyllium husk
1 tsp. xanthan gum
2 tsp. vinegar
water

1. Evenly mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl.

2. Add the vinegar and enough water so that the cracker dough just starts to stick together in a ball. If you add too much water, they'll be a bear to roll out, and take longer to bake.

3. Let the dough sit, covered, for 10 minutes. This gives the flours a chance to suck in the moisture.

4. Lightly flour the outside of the dough, then roll it between two sheets of parchment paper. Roll the dough as thinly as you can manage, lifting up the top sheet of paper periodically if it seems to be wrinkling or getting stuck to the crackers. Once you've finished rolling, remove the top sheet of parchment.

5. At this point, you can choose to sprinkle salt or seeds onto the crackers. Use you hands to lightly press them into the dough.

6. Use a pizza wheel to cut the dock cracker dough into squares or diamonds.

7. Gently transfer the cracker dough, still resting on the bottom piece of parchment paper, onto a baking sheet.

8. Bake the crackers at 375˚ for approximately 10 minutes. I wish I could tell you these are magically done in exactly 10 minutes. The truth is that you are going to have to watch the batch, and likely remove some of the outer crackers before the inner ones are fully cooked. They should be dried out and crispy, though not burnt. It's a little hard to tell because dock crackers are brown.

9. Leave the finished crackers on a cooling rack for at least an hour before storing them, to make certain they stay crunchy.

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