Sorghum flour crackers

I’ve sort of reached the end of the line with the barley crackers. At this point I could experiment with variations in flavoring them; for example, I have some almond oil I could try instead of the corn oil I’m using. Or add a teaspoon or two, or three, of nigella seeds.

So I decided to try the sorghum flour. I’d bought a bag of it from the bulk bins, it filled 2 quart jars, but hadn’t used any of it yet. Then I read somewhere on the net about how wonderful sorghum flour is so I bought some more; now I have about 4 quart jars full of it.

For today’s recipe it’s the “standard” one, with the substitution of sorghum flour for the barley flour. Skip past the instructions if you remember the drill:

3/4 cup sorghum flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 cup wheat bran
1 or more teaspoons water

Pour 1 cup boiling water over the wheat bran and let soak and cool. While the wheat bran is soaking mix the dry ingredients in the mixer and drizzle in the oil. After the wheat bran has cooled dump it into a strainer and let it drain, then use the back of a spoon and press out what water you can. Then add it to the dry ingredients a teaspoon at a time. After it’s well mixed add water, 1 teaspoon at a time and let it mix fully before adding another teaspoon. When the right amount of water is fully mixed into the dough the dough will stop being a ball that’s mostly stuck to the mixer’s paddle and start sticking to the sides of the bowl as a very stiff batter. If you add too much water and the dough will be too sticky; not enough and it the crackers will have rough edges. Err on the side of a bit too little than a bit too much. It’s not too hard to knead in some extra water after it’s rested. Wrap the dough in plastic or put it in a covered bowl and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. After it’s rested break off pieces of an appropriate size (10 grams, for example) and roll into balls and set aside. After it’s all rolled into balls then flatten them in a pasta machine or a tortilla press, or roll the dough out with a rolling pin and cut.

I’m at the point now where the dough is resting in a snap covered plastic bowl. Unfortunately, sorghum flour really is gluten free, unlike barley flour. After I added the wheat bran and a tablespoon or two of water it became a thick batter but never held together. Its consistency reminds me of corn meal batter. Imagine corn meal that’s been ground to a fine powder.

At first I thought of adding some xanthan gum, so I added 1/4 teaspoon of that. Nothing obvious happened. It’s perhaps a bit stickier. Then I remembered the vital wheat gluten. So I added a teaspoon of that. (That should dispel any doubts in case you’ve been wondering if I’m one of those gluten free devotees.) It’s holding together a little bit better now but I don’t think it’s going to work. I may try adding another teaspoon (or two) after it’s rested if it’s still not holding together well enough to roll into crackers.

And I have 4 quart jars of this stuff.

Just for fun I’m going to try a 3-way mixture of 1/4 cup sorghum flour, 1/4 cup of masa harina, and 1/4 cup of barley flour, along with the usual soaked wheat bran, etc.

At worst (hopefully) I could go back to barley flour and do a mixture of 1/2 cup barley flour and 1/4 cup sorghum flour. Or add lots of vital wheat gluten to the sorghum flour.

4 quarts of sorghum flour to have fun with.

Update: did some web searching and found this; doesn’t sound too promising: sorghum and vital wheat gluten research. Or how about this one with its nine-point hedonic scale

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