Chickpea Crackers -

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Chickpea Crackers

1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup chickpea flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper -- or to taste
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
6 tablespoons water -- (6 to 7)
1 teaspoon salt -- for topping

Preheat the oven to 325F. Combine the flours, sugar, spices and salt in a food processor or medium mixing bowl. Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender, two knives or the food processor until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Mix in the water gradually, until the dough holds together in a ball but isn't sticky. Divide the dough in half and roll each piece out separately on a lightly floured surface to a 12 x 12-inch square, 1/8-inch thick. Yes, it is important to roll the dough this thinly, so be gentle but firm when you do it. If the dough seems unusually resistant, just cover it with a towel and give it a 15-minute rest; it should prove more placid once the gluten relaxes.

Use a sharp knife or a rolling pizza wheel to cut the dough into 1 1/2-inch squares, and transfer as many as you can at a time (a giant spatula works well here) to ungreased or parchment-lined baking sheets. Or, transfer each sheet of dough directly to the baking sheet with your spatula, rolling pin or hands, and then cut it into squares, separating the squares.

Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the baking sheets from the oven, spray the tops of the crackers lightly with nonstick cooking spray and sprinkle with salt (or some dried granulated garlic, which is also good). Return the crackers to the oven and bake for 5 to 10 minutes more, until nicely golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack. Yield: approximately 120 small crackers:

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