Introduction: Flax Seed Crackers: Sun-dried Tomatoes and Pesto
Flax seed crackers are ridiculously delicious, simple to make, and are nutritious, too! I have a template set of directions I've honed in on for making flax seed crackers, and then I just change up the ingredients and experiment with different flavor combinations. This is a sun-dried tomato and basil pesto variation.
- A bowl
- A baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- An oven
- A spoon
- A rolling pin (this is really helpful, but if you don't have one I'm sure there's a creative alternative)
- 1/2 cup whole flax seeds
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 tsp salt (I use Himalayan pink salt, use whatever salt makes sense to you)
- a few (like, 30) crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped into very small pieces
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1.5 tsp pesto paste
Step 1: Put Dry Ingredients Together
Put all the dry ingredients together, plus the pesto, in a bowl (so, everything except for the water and vinegar).
Step 2: Add Liquid Ingredients and Mix
Add the water and vinegar and mix with a spoon until all ingredients seem to be distributed uniformly. (Note: The flax seeds will absorb the liquid ingredients fairly quickly (within a matter of minutes), hence the direction to add all the dry ingredients together before adding the liquid ingredients.)
Step 3: Wait a While
Let the mixture hang out for 12 to 24 hours. During this time the flax seeds will take on the flavors of the spices/ingredients in the mixture.
Step 4: Preheat Oven
After 12 to 24 hours have passed and you're ready to continue, preheat the oven to 275 degrees F / 135 degrees C. I use the rack in the middle of the oven, but obviously you should experiment with what works best in your oven.
Step 5: Get Out Some Parchment Paper
Put a sheet of parchment paper, about the size of your baking sheet, on a flat surface (a table, countertop, etc.). Tear off an additional roughly equal-sized piece of parchment paper, and set aside.
Step 6: Put Flax Seed Mix on Parchment Paper
Using a spoon or a spatula, put the flax seed mixture in the center of the parchment paper.
Step 7: Fashion Flax Seed Glob Into a Rectangle
Using your spoon or spatula, fashion the glob of flax seed mixture so that it is in roughly a rectangle shape, replicating on a smaller scale the dimensions of the parchment paper. This makes the next few steps a lot easier.
Step 8: Add Second Parchment Paper Sheet, Further Press Flax Seed Mix (with Hands)
Place the other sheet of parchment paper on top of the flax seed rectangle and lightly press so it sticks. Expand the shape of the flax seed rectangle by gently brushing the surface of the parchment paper in outward motions with your hands.
Step 9: Use Rolling Pin to Flatten the Flax Seed Mix Into a Thin Sheet
Use a rolling pin to further extend the area of the flax seed. Also at this point try to achieve a uniform depth to the flax seed sheet. It inevitably will be thinner at the edges than at the center, but try to spread out the seeds to the extent that even at the center, the depth is somewhere around ~1/8" / 3mm.
(After you make these crackers a few times, you'll get a sense of how thin the mixture is just by lightly touching the parchment paper and sensing the resistance from the hard surface below the seed mixture. Also, you may want your crackers to be a bit thicker -- that works, too! You may need to extend the baking time in that case.)
Step 10: Move to a Baking Sheet
Gently slide the parchment paper onto a baking sheet.
Step 11: Bake for 30 Minutes
Bake on the center rack (though you should experiment with what works best in your oven) for 30 minutes.
Step 12: Flip Parchment Sandwich Over
After 30 minutes, remove the baking sheet from the oven and flip the parchment paper sandwich over so the piece of parchment paper that was on top is now touching the baking sheet. Check to see if the top parchment paper sheet easily pulls off of the seed mixture at this point (if it is stuck to the seed mix anywhere, don't pull it off). If you can pull it off without disturbing the seed mix, remove it. If not, keep in on there and check again in an upcoming step.
Step 13: Keep Baking for 30 More Minutes; Remove Parchment Paper When It's Ready
Put the baking sheet back in the oven, and bake for 30 more minutes. In ten minutes, check to see if the seed mix and top sheet of parchment paper have detached from one another. If so, remove it. If not, keep baking and check again every five minutes or so. After you've removed the top sheet of parchment paper, there are two different ways of proceeding:
- Uniformly shaped crackers: If you want the crackers to be squares / rectangles, after you're able to remove the top parchment paper from the flax seed, remove the baking sheet again from the oven, slide the parchment paper (lower sheet should still be there) onto a solid surface, and use something like a pizza cutter, a knife, or an ulu to slice the sheet of seeds. Slide the parchment paper back onto the baking sheet, and put back into the oven.
- Organically shaped crackers: If you're okay / would prefer to have more organically shaped crackers, go directly to the step below. (This is the method depicted in images, here, though both methods work really well!)
Step 14: At 60 Minutes, Remove From Oven
After a total of 60 minutes of baking, remove from the oven to cool.
Your kitchen (or wherever the oven is) will smell very good at this point.
Step 15: Put Pieces Into a Container. All Done!
If you sliced the seed mix, simply put the pieces into a container.
If you didn't slice the seed mix (this variation is depicted in the images, here), you instead will now have a very large flax seed cracker. Break it apart into smaller pieces and put them into a container.
Step 16: Enjoy!
Flax seed crackers are great with cheese, hummus, mutabal, baba ghanoush, or melitzanosalata, or just by themselves!
Thanks for reading! If you make these I am nearly certain (more certain than I am for most things) that you will love them. :)