Gluten Free Vegan Best Ever Crackers
One of the biggest challenges I face with managing Casey’s seed allergy is finding a safe seed-free cracker. The gluten free is easy to find but anytime there is a bread product involved, cross contamination is a huge issue. Casey loves anything very crunchy and I knew I had to hit the kitchen to develop a cracker for him. I have to tell you, this is one of my recipes that I really, really love! I have to make at least one batch a week for the whole crew here because we all love them. It also makes it easy for me to help him with his peanut (or in your case, your family’s safe nut butter or similar substitute) dosing because these crackers with a spoonful and cut up apple makes an easy lunch.
I wanted to develop a cracker that had a “buttery” mouthfeel and a bit of flakiness, not unlike those tasty round crackers in the red box (wink). When I first made this, he had not passed his baked milk challenge yet and I made it with vegan palm shortening and his safe milk. Since he has passed it, I’ll make it with butter and regular milk for his baked milk dosing. Sometimes he has a rough week and his eczema will flare and he gets random hives, so I’ll pull back and make it the dairy free way again until his system chills out a bit. It can easily be made with regular wheat flour as well. This is a marvelous recipe because it can truly be catered to your needs with little to no difficulty in substitutions. I’ve done a bunch of variations from adding dairy free cheese and seasoning to make “pizza crackers”, cinnamon and sugar to make them sweet rather than neutral, and a little extra salt on top when making them for the adults. Enjoy!💙
**As always, please check which brands are safe for your needs**
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Gluten Free Flour – As with a lot of my recipes, this was tested and made with King Arthur Measure for Measure gluten free flour. I have also made it with Authentic Foods and Namaste brands of multi-purpose flour, but the liquid proportions in the dough will be different. Feel free to use what brand you prefer however, if your blend does not have xanthan gum, add ¼ tsp. to the recipe. That is what helps to give structure to the baked good that is lacking from the absence of gluten. Wheat flour can easily be substituted 1-to-1 here with little change besides liquid adjustment.
- Fat options – One of the things I love about this recipe is the versatility to be accommodating to so many different needs. As I explained earlier, this was originally formulated with palm shortening but I use butter as well now to help give Casey his baked milk dosing. I’m a big fan of Spectrum palm oil shortening and have used Fleischmann’s unsalted stick margarine as well. The shortening makes it easier to work with than butter, and with a texture similar to pie dough. Flaky and delicious! Any safe vegan butter will work here, as well as butter.
- Milk – You can use either your safe “milk” of choice or regular milk. The consistency will be similar. I use So Delicious coconut milk, refrigerated and from the shelf stable box. The refrigerated is definitely thicker, closer to buttermilk, while the shelf stable is thinner like regular milk.
- Add-ins – Feel free to go rogue with these crackers and add shredded safe cheese, spices and herbs, fresh and dried. They are very sturdy for dips and adding a complimentary seasoning to your dip is a great option.
Gluten Free Vegan Best Ever Crackers
Author: Katie Martino Lopez
- 1 ¼ c. (152 g.) gluten free flour blend with xanthan gum or all-purpose flour
- ¼- ½ tsp. salt, depending on taste
- 1 ½ tsp. sugar
- ¼ c. (1/2 stick, 4 Tbls., 2 oz.) COLD vegan butter, vegan shortening, or butter, cut in even pieces
- 1/3 c. COLD safe milk or regular milk (may not use all)
- Preheat oven to 350°
In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, sugar and optional herbs and spices.
- Add the cold fat and toss quickly to coat with flour. Using a pastry blender, two forks or fingertips, lightly mix until the fat is slightly smaller, about the size of peas. You want to still see pieces of the fat.
- Add most of the cold milk and mix until it comes together as a dough, being careful not to break down the fat too much. You may have to gather together with your hands. Add only as much milk as necessary.
- On a piece of parchment or plastic, shape dough into a rectangle. Wrap and chill the dough, laying it flat for a half hour. At this point, the dough can be wrapped in parchment and in a heavy zip top bag and frozen for later use.
- Lightly dust a silicone mat or parchment paper with flour. Keeping a rectangular shape, roll dough evenly to ¼ thickness. Try to work quickly to keep the dough cold. If the fat gets too warm, it will not be flaky when baked. It should fill most of the mat by the time you’ve reached the right thickness.
- Dip a fork in some flour and lightly prick the dough. This allows steam to release during baking and help with the flakiness.
- Using a pastry wheel, pizza cutter or a ruler, trim the edges to make the rectangle even and cut into desired shapes. I usually cut rectangles or squares then cut again on the bias to make triangles. Cookie cutters can be used as well but transferring the dough to another pan can be very difficult.
- Gently pick up the mat/paper and place on your sheet pan. If the dough is very soft, refrigerate briefly.
- Bake approximately 25 minutes, or until crackers are deep golden. If they are too light, they may not be fully baked.
- Cool and store in an airtight container. Do not refrigerate.
- If freezing the cracker dough, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, not at room temperature.
- If rolling out dough makes your nervous, work with half the cracker dough at a time, keeping the other half in the refrigerator.
- Try not to use too much flour while rolling out or it will make the crackers very dry.
As we all know, reading labels and preparing food when managing allergies is a job within itself with much responsibility. All the brands I use are ones that I have contacted, and Casey has eaten safely. That being said, I must remind…
Please do your own research when deciding which products and foods are safe for the allergies you manage. These are the ones that are safe for our needs but may not be for you. Everyone has different comfort levels with manufacturing and production procedures.
And, as a friendly reminder, always have 2 epinephrine auto injectors on hand!