Teff is an ancient grain and a staple food in the diet of the people of Ethiopia. It has been around for thousands of years. The grain is high protein and very healthy. I’ve been searching for ways to use teff flour decided to experiment with making crackers. I served them with Golden Delicious apples for a healthy snack this winter.
We can all use a healthy snack this time of year especially with flu and viruses so prevalent. Apples and multi-grain crackers make an easy and quick snack. Golden Delicious apples are my favorite apple just for eating. No need to peel them. Just slice and eat. These apples have a wonderful aroma and sweet flavor; no bitterness.
Golden Delicious apples originated on the Mullins’ family farm in Clay County, West Virginia, in 1890 and were introduced commercially in the early 1900’s. The tree is a chance hybrid probably of Grimes Golden and Golden Reinette apples. It is now the state tree of West Virginia and one of the 15 most popular apple varieties in this country. For Interesting trivia, Italian researchers have decoded the entire genone of the Golden Delicious apple, according to Wikipedia, with the highest number of genes of any plant studied to date (57,000 genes). I guess it’s a very complex fruit.
My parents had a mountain farm retreat in West Virginia for a number of years with a Golden Delicious apple tree near by. If you ever have a chance to pick and eat one of these apples from a tree growing in West Virginia, these apples are superior to any found in a grocery store. And homemade cider from these apples can’t be beat.
Back to teff flour. I was given a package of teff flour by my cousin who lives in Idaho and mills teff grain from farmers. It has been fun trying to figure out recipes to use the teff flour. The teff grain is tiny pearls and makes a very fine flour when ground. However, teff doesn’t contain gluten and so you can’t substitute it for all purpose flour. Teff is gluten-free, but since it is usually combined with other flours in a recipe, the end product may contain gluten — these crackers contain gluten.
These are the safe recipes. I’ve been experimenting with crackers and actually came up with a successful recipe and technique. For a cracker, the recipe gets an B+. For flavor, you be the judge. To make it more palatable, I served it with Golden Delicious apples and this makes a tasty combination.
The key to making any type of crackers is the technique. Doesn’t matter if it is teff crackers or any other kind. Crackers are thin and sticky; you can’t easily transfer them from a floured pastry board to a baking sheet. The trick is to roll the dough out on a well seasoned pizza stone and then bake them on the stone. Score the dough into squares or diamonds before baking. I was excited about figuring this out after many baking disasters.
If your family uses a pizza stone with some regularity, it should already be oiled. So you don’t have to oil the stone before rolling the cracker dough out. Pizza stones are also great for baking crackers because the surface is flat (some of my baking sheets are warped) and you can score the dough with a sharp pizza cutter. Heating the thick stone first helps the center crackers bake evenly. Even with this, the outer crackers baked much quicker and I removed them to let the center ones finish baking.
This technique is so easy. I am guessing you can come up with all kinds of combinations of flours, nuts and seeds for some tasty crackers. We will see.
- 1 cup all purpose flour plus extra flour for rolling dough
- 1/2 cup teff flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1 cup water
Method and Steps
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Pre-heat well seasoned pizza stone in oven about 10 minutes until warm — not hot. Remove and set aside.
- Add all purpose flour, teff flour and salt to medium bowl and stir to combine.
- Make a well in the center of the bowl. Add the honey, oil and water and stir until combined and formed into a ball.
- Lightly flour the warm pizza stone. Transfer the dough to the pizza stone. Roll to a thin layer — about 1/8″ to 1/4″.
- Use a pizza cutter to cut to dough into 2″wide strips lengthwise and crosswise to make squares.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and remove the outer crackers.
- Return to oven and bake 5 minutes longer until the tops of the crackers begin to brown. Remove from oven and break all the crackers along scored lines.