I looked at quite a few copycat recipes and and decided to simplify the ingredient list and cooking method. Most recipes call for cooking quinoa and brown rice in separate pots. I cooked the grains in one pot. Instead of adding lots of different seeds, I used just poppy seeds and sesame seeds (two seeds I almost always have on hand for challah baking).
I added in a little twist that has nothing to do with the original cracker. My grandmother, A”H, used to make onion poppy seeds crackers. I added in some minced shallot because I love the flavor combination of onion or shallot with poppy seeds.
The flavor of these pretzels remind me of the sesame sticks that come in some bags of mixed nuts. Of course, these are more nutritious.
Wholesome, tasty and easy to make–these addictive sesame sticks have got it all.
Five Grain Two Seed Gluten-Free Sesame Sticks
These sesame sticks are inspired by Hindy’s copycat recipe for Mary’s Gone Crackers pretzels and by my grandmother’s recipe for mohn and tzibele kichel. I also looked at a few different copycat recipes for Mary’s Gone Crackers and learned from them, too. I focused especially on the recipes at My Whole Food Life and Never On Tuesday (particularly helpful photo tutorial). To simplify matters, I used a whole grain mix that combines quinoa with brown rice, wild rice and amaranth. You can also use your own mix of quinoa and brown rice, which can be cooked together in a tightly covered pan in the oven for about an hour. The Mary’s Gone Crackers pretzels have flax seeds and chia seeds, but I was quite happy with the results using just sesame (with a small amount of poppy seeds thrown in).
1 cup Earthly Choice Heritage Grain Blend (red quinoa, gold quinoa, brown rice, amaranth and wild rice mix), or 1/2 cup quinoa and 1/2 cup brown rice
2 large shallots (3-4 ounces) or a small to medium onion, minced (optional)
1-2 tsp. salt
1/4-1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 Tbl. poppy seeds
1/2 cup sesame seeds (if you have flax seeds, use 1/4 cup flax seeds, 1/4 cup sesame seeds)
Cook the grain blend per directions on the package, adding about 1 tsp. salt to the cooking water. If you are replacing the grain blend with 1/2 cup brown rice and 1/2 cup quinoa, bake the grains with 1 2/3 cup water and 1 tsp. salt in a pan tightly covered with foil at 350 degrees for an hour. Let the grains cool.
Pulse the shallot in a food processor to more finely cut up. Add the cooked grains and process until a sticky dough forms. Add more salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Stir in the seeds until evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
Place about 1/4 of the mixture into a piping bag or a heavy duty quart- sized freezer bag. Snip off the end of the piping bag or a corner of the quart-sized freezer bag. Just cut off a small piece, just enough to make an 1/8″ opening.
Line a baking sheet with non-stick foil or parchment. Pipe lines of dough in even rows on the parchment or non-stick foil, making each line of dough about 4″ long. Additional, optional step: Spray the sticks with cooking spray and sprinkle with a little salt (I used a small amount of Real Salt).
Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the sticks are crisp and golden brown. Check halfway through baking and turn pan around to make sure the sticks bake evenly. You have to be vigilant towards the end of baking. You might need to remove some sticks from the pan during the baking process if they brown before the others. I found that the sticks didn’t bake as evenly as I would like at 350 degrees, and next time I would bake at a lower temperature, like 300 degrees, for a longer time.
If you want to make crackers instead of sticks, place marble-sized balls of dough on the lined baking sheet. You will need to wet your hands to shape the sticky dough. Spray the dough balls with cooking spray and flatten the dough balls with the bottom of a cup (also sprayed with oil). I found this to be a tedious process, and that is why I ended up making sticks instead of crackers.
You can also shape the sticks by hand, using wet hands to roll marble sized balls of dough into logs. In the end, though, it is easier to use a piping bag.
You should get about 8 dozen sesame sticks (or crackers), about 8 ounces total weight.