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I have a simple recipe for making millet based crispbread: 2tbsp olive oil, 100g of millet flour, roughly 50ml of water. I mix it and smear the result all over baking paper in as thin and even layer as I can and then cook at 275C for 10 minutes. The result should have a texture similar to rye based crispbread.

So far I've been making this crispbread by grinding my own millet into flour but it is tedious for larger batches so I ordered 3kg of millet flour to simplify the process. The problem seems to be that the commercial flour is a far finer powder and now my recipe comes out hard as bricks.

How can I make it less teeth-breaking with as little alteration to the recipe as possible? I've been trying baking powder but in my experimentation I haven't really had any decent results without ruining the taste.

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  • Is there a reason you don't want to add some wheat flour? Does the mix with the flour have the same texture as your ground millet before it is baked? If not - try altering the recipe until it does?
    – bob1
    Oct 29, 2023 at 19:56
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    @bob1 Special dietary needs limit me to millet pretty much, the batter feels and behaves just the same as with the ground millet.
    – user81993
    Oct 29, 2023 at 20:39
  • I figured that might be the case, just thought it was worth asking.
    – bob1
    Oct 29, 2023 at 21:47

1 Answer 1

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I think, but don't know for sure, that the problem here is the development of the starch gel in the cracker.

Basically, what happens when you add water to starch and heat it, is that it forms granules of starches which swell and burst, causing inter-linkage and gelling of the starches. In your case, the flour is much more finely ground than your ground seeds. Because of the fine grind, the flour has increased surface area compared to the ground seeds and so has a greater ability to interact with the water and makes more of the gel. When the gel dries during baking, this creates a hard network that is unpalatable. People have relied on this property and drying effect to do things like stiffen shirt collars.

To fix your hardness problem, I think you need to increase the oil content of the dough, as this should retard the starch gelatinization (see section on water activity). Pastry and biscuit baking over come the gel problem with sugar and oil, so I think that oil alone should help. Crackers/crispbreads are known for their dry, hard textures, so some gelatinization is to be expected for the right texture.

I suspect that adding much more than double your current amount of oil would impede the batter formation, so I would start with 1.5x (i.e. 3 Tbsp) oil and see how you go, increasing if needed. You could try reducing the water content rather than increasing the oil, but I think that if you go too low on the water, you won't get good batter formation again, as some cohesion from the gelling effect of water is needed to create the dough in the first place.

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