Flat Bread and Crackers, or, Why I Love Flax

Flax crackers with golden sesame seeds.

My friends Mike and Becca sent me this recipe for flax crackers and I’ve made several batches, experimenting with thickness, cooking time and how to get the sticky flaxy ‘dough’ rolled out with out it sticking to everything.  My first batch came out all uneven and not crispy.  But they weren’t bad and gave me the inspiration for intentionally making a big, thick ‘flat bread’ which is pretty awesome for someone who hasn’t eaten anything remotely like a sandwich in years!

You can use the basic recipe to make wafer thin (‘but it is only wafer thin!’) crisps, crackers or flat bread.  There’s a lot of possibility here as far as adding in herbs, cheese and spices so get creative!  I’ll post some recipes that compliment this one in the following weeks so you’ll have something to eat all this flaxy goodness with.  Remember to drink plenty of water/liquids with flax, it’s super bonus fiber and will soak up liquid like a sponge so make sure there’s plenty for you and the flax.

The recipe is very straight forward and simple:

1 and 1/2 cups flax meal (I ground my own in a coffee grinder but you can purchase it already ground)

1/3 cup sesame seeds or flax if you don’t have sesame seeds

1 cup of water

salt to taste

Optional additions include but are certainly not limited to: 1/2- 1 teaspoon garlic powder, dried herbs, pepper, curry powder, 1/2 cup finely grated cheese like romano.  I made a very thin batch with 1/2 cup grated romano, black pepper and ground rosemary, wickedly good.

Set your oven to 400 degrees.

Mix all the ingredients together until it’s sticky and starting to thicken, see, I told you the flax would soak up all that water.  It’ll do that in your stomach too so have some tea with your crackers.

What's brown and sticky? A stick! And this dough.

If you want to make middle of the road not too thin, individual round crackers and you don’t have parchment paper here’s what you do:

Grease a baking sheet, the single ply kind, not the fancy lined ones.

Roll bits of dough, about 1/2 to 1 Tablespoon and place on the sheet.

Flatten with the bottom of a well greased glass, twisting as you go makes it easier to unstick the glass from the dough.

Poke the crackers all over with a fork, this helps them get crispy and cook all the way through.  You can sprinkle them with salt, pepper, maybe cinnamon and stevia, ect before putting them in the oven to bake.

Bake at 400 for about 15-20 minutes.  When they are darker on the edges and feel sturdy in the middle they’re done.

Let them cool on a rack.  Store in an air tight container or paper bag at room temp. Putting them in the fridge is fine too but they will lose their crispness.

Flax crackers of varying thickness, ready to bake.

The thinnest ones, pierced with a fork, came out the best as far as crackerness goes.

For the flat bread, grease an 11×17 rectangle pan or something about that size.  Scoop out all of the dough and pace it in the prepared pan.

Here’s the meditative part, don’t rush, it’s fun!  Use your fingers, well-greased (olive oil, or better, butter) to gently smooth the dough to fill out the pan from edge to edge.  If the flax sticks to your hands, remove the dough from your fingers and re-grease them.  You may be able to do this with a rubber spatula but I find it’s much easier to use my fingers. I can get the batter pretty smooth and even and if I start off with enough butter the batter never sticks to me!

Sprinkle with sesame seeds, salt and pepper, ect.  And then bake for 20 minutes at 400.  It will pull away from the edges when it’s done and will remain soft in the middle.

From top left to right: the flattened dough ready to bake (for this I used a 9in round pan and half the recipe) butter and the glass I made small round crackers with!

A little thick, a little flexible, topped with sesame seeds, this is as close to bread as it gets!

For thin crispy crackers you’ll definitely need parchment paper and a rolling pin.

Get out a big baking sheet (the ones that are insulated or double thickness will make for not so crispy crackers, go with the low tech, single ply baking sheets for this recipe) and cut two pieces of parchment about the same size as your baking sheet.

Rub oil all over the one sheet and then place the other sheet on top and smush together, making an even coating of oil on both pieces.

Peel the top parchment off most of the way, place a shy cup of flax dough in the center and cover with the top parchment paper.

Using your rolling-pin, roll out the dough as evenly as you can, making sure not to get too close to the edge of the parchment.  You can make the dough as thick or as thin as you like.

Flax dough rolled out between two sheets of oiled parchment.

Pull the top layer of parchment off, if it sticks, you need to use more oil next time! Airate the dough by poking it all over with a fork.

Rolled out super thin, removing the top layer of parchment, don't forget to sprinkle with salt!

Slide the dough/parchment onto your baking sheet and once again, bake at 400 for 10 minutes to start, check it and see, when it’s firm in the middle and darker around the edges, it’s done!

Super thin, crispy and made with romano cheese, black pepper, rosemary and salt, yum!

So there you have it, flax three ways, all of them delicious!  Here’s how I had my Sunday breakfast last weekend, with toasted flax bread, finally something I can eat eggs over easy with!

Looks like toast and eggs to me!

I ate that and it was awesome.

My next post will be for an open-faced toasted cheese and onion sandwich.  Oh yeah!

Phlegm Tea* (*tea does not contain actual phlegm)

So, you forgot to take your Echinacea with Osha, you ran out of vitamin C and your co workers keep coming into work sick and doped up on symptom masking cold medicine.  No wonder you’re not feeling well.  If you’ve got a cough, congestion or any other phlegm related symptom this tea can help.  And it’s never too late to start taking immune boosters like zinc and FIRE CIDER!!!

Thyme, Ginger and Licorice, a powerful cold and flu remedy.

This tea is really easy to make and take.  The recipe for this tea is a ratio of water to herbs so you can make a lot or a little.  When someone is sick we put a soup pot on the stove and keep it going all day.  A cup of tea every couple of hours can make a huge difference in how you feel.

For every 4 cups of water use 3 Tablespoons of ground Ginger or fresh if you’ve got it, 1/3 cup of Licorice root and 1/3 cup of Thyme.  Put a lid on it, bring to a boil and then turn the heat off and let it sit, covered, for 15 minutes.  Strain out a cup at a time and drink it hot.  You can add honey to sweeten and it will also help soothe your sore throat and boost your immune system.

Shredded Licorice Root from Mountain Rose Herbs

For more information on these ingredients and their amazing health building properties, check out the links below.  I order herbs from Mountain Rose all the time, always organic, always the best quality.

Licorice ********  Ginger ********  Thyme