Cheese is gluten-free! And so is fig jam, clementine marmalade, and apricot preserves…. The combination of sweet and savory flavors on a cheese platter is always nice. There are some, s o m e, excellent GF crackers, but I haven’t found one as satisfyingly decadent as handmade seeded biscuits. They are a perfect vehicle for Cow Girl Creamery Mt. Tam (http://www.cowgirlcreamery.com/), d’Affinois, or Cabot Clothbound Cheddar (http://www.cabotcheese.coop/pages/our_products/product.php?catID=38&id=458).
Mary’s Gone Crackers (http://www.marysgonecrackers.com/) makes a crispy flavorful well proportioned cracker that appeals to many. Plain Ka-me Rice Crackers are a good if you want one that lets the the flavor of the cheese play a starring roll. But if you’re willing to go the extra (not even) mile, treat yourself and guests to a buttery, short, seeded biscuit with the following:
Savory Seeded Biscuits
The dough is chilled for at least an hour, so prepare ahead. When the time comes, the oven will need to be set at 300 F, and a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
1/2 cup (3 oz.) GF flour mix (ours or Trader Joe’s)
1/2 cup (3 oz.) brown rice flour
1/8 cup (3/4 oz.) flaxseeds, ground into flour (use your coffee mill.)
1 tablespoon each, fennel seeds, caraway seeds, poppy seeds (or use 3 tablespoons of one variety; substitute sesame seeds if you prefer them; use more or less depending on the desired consistency – you have some flexibility here.)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon xantham gum
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening (if you can’t bear the idea of this, make it 5 tablespoons of butter.)
3-4 tablespoons iced water (start with 3; add more if necessary.)
1 tablespoon honey
1. Combine the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir to blend.
2. Grate in the cold butter and add the vegetable shortening. Mix on medium low speed until the mixture has the texture of cornmeal.
3. Combine the honey and 3 tablespoons of the iced water and drizzle over the flour mixture, stirring on low speed until it comes together to form a soft, very slightly, sticky dough. If the dough is too wet, add a little more GF mix. Too dry? Add the extra tablespoon of water.
4. On a lightly (GF) floured surface form the dough into a 1″ thick disk, wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour (and up to 2 days. Also the dough can be made ahead and frozen for weeks.)
5. When thoroughly chilled, roll the dough out on a GF floured surface to a 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into 1 1/4 x 2 1/2 inch rectangles (a little bigger, or different shapes if you prefer) and transfer to the parchment lined baking sheet, leaving a little room between each biscuit. Prick gently with a fork in 2-3 places. Repeat with dough scraps.
6. Bake at 300F for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Open the door of the oven and let the biscuits rest in the oven as it cools.