Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dehydrated Breads and Crackers - Experiments!

I bought a Nesco American Harvest dehydrator about a week ago in order to expand the sorts of raw foods I could create into the realm of sprouted live grains in things like breads and crackers. So far I've been experimenting with drying some fruits (cranberries, papaya, peaches), banana bread and crackers. Everything came off pretty well and I've started to understand how this thing works. The crackers were a little too thin and don't form the kind of strong bonds between the many ingredients created by heat and so they broke too easily, though they were pretty good. They had in them:

1/4 cup ground spelt
3/4 cup yellow corn meal
3/4 cup ground flax
dusting of berbere seasoning
sprinkling of sesame seeds
enough water to form workable paste

I realize it may not be of great benefit to use ground grains in this manner, but I had some and thought I might just try it out. It probably added to the crackers breaking so easily. I also realized that the crackers, which start out on a sheet should be flipped to the open screen after a couple of hours in order to speed the drying process, perhaps by many times.

I've started another recipe of crackers this time in some uncertain proportions
1 1/4 cup ground flax,
1/4 cup corn meal
2 T oil
2 or 3 fire roasted tomatoes
1/4 cup sprouted buckwheat
garlic powder
nutritional yeast

They were a sort of pretty pink color before I put all of the flax seed in the batter and mixed it all together. It's been loaded into the dehydrator along with a bread I've mixed up. The bread is loosely based on another recipe I found here and it has, also in uncertain proportions

3 cups sprouted buckwheat
1 1/2 cups ground flax
fire roasted tomatoes
1 zucchini
red onion
olive oil

I put this mixture through a blender and spread onto paraflex. Many of the recipes I've found don't give you a good idea of how deep the batter should be on the sheet... they give recipe size and say to spread on sheet.. So I assume it isn't that critical or everyone else is using the Excalibur.. I think it's just a matter of getting a good feel for the way it all goes together and perhaps making damn sure what doesn't work... I am beginning to think it may have behooved me to get the Excalibur tray dehydrator. The one I have is very good it seems, but I think that I miscalculated one bit, that is, I would be making a lot of things that would do best on a big rectangular sheet and I've got a round thing with a circle in the middle.. oops! Otherwise I have no complaints, though I may try to sell it and buy an Excalibur.. More on Bread in a while... I just put it in.

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