Here’s a gluten-free flour I never heard of, amaranth flour, a very under-rated member of the gluten-free flour family. I suppose it depends on how you use this flour. From experience, I would only use it in savoury bakes and dishes, due to its nuttiness and earthiness, which is great in crackers, bread and savoury tarts/pies.
Amaranth flour has the highest protein compared to any other gluten-free grain. Used widely by Aztec and Inca civilisations, it is produced by grinding seeds from the amaranth plant into a fine powder. Even though it is not a grain, it copies the same attributes to a gluten-grain in taste and texture.
As I try to simplify my baking with my homemade gluten-free flour blends, every now and then, I like to experiment with the many gluten-free flours out there, especially when they are nutritious and add an extra depth in flavour and texture, as this recipe offers.
In the next few weeks, I will be posting a future blog listing the most common gluten-free flours and their appropriate uses in baking and cooking. It is encouraging to know that there at least 16 gluten-free flours out there to play with that can be adapted to your favourite dish. Every now and then, I will sneak in a different gluten-free flour that works appropriately for a particular recipe.
Getting back to these amaranth crackers. I was a bit dubious with the dense dough consistency as I was rolling them out into very thin squares, but once baked, they became awesome, none-the-wiser gluten-free crackers that are perfectly paired with a creamy feta ricotta dip (recipe included).
For the cracker dough:
- 70g amaranth flour
- 4 tablespoons sesame seeds, ground
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons runny honey
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon psyllium husk, ground or ½ teaspoon xanthan gum powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4- 6 tablespoons water
For the glaze:
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 tablespoon water
For the sprinkle:
- 2 teaspoons black or white sesame seeds
For the feta ricotta dip:
- 100g feta cheese
- 50ml milk
- 100g ricotta cheese
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 20ml olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 170C/ 325F.
2. Grind the sesame seeds in a food processor until finely ground.
3. Mix in the rest of the ingredients.
4. Once the mixture has become a soft dough, transfer the dough to a countertop to roll out between two sheets of baking paper.
6. Transfer the biscuit shape to a lined baking tray using a spatula.
8. Bake for 15 minutes until crisp and slightly golden on the edges. Keep an eye on the first batch as ovens vary in temperature.
9. Allow to cool on the baking tray and remove to dry on a wire mesh before serving with a dip or storing in an airtight container.
Makes approx. 40 crackers using a 3.5 cm square cutter.
Crackers keep for 5 days in an airtight container.
Feta ricotta dip keeps for 3 days in the refrigerator.