Grain free baking is still new to me. I have worked with buckwheat and nut flours before, but this was the first time that I had tried using bean flour. Nowadays there are a variety of bean flours on grocery store shelves: black bean, garbanzo/chickpea, fava bean, green pea, soy, and white bean. For this recipe I used Bob’s Red Mill “Gluten Free Garbanzo and Fava Flour.” You may see this two bean mixture labeled by other brands as “garfava”. If you can’t easily find it pre-made, you can simply mix together equal parts garbanzo flour and fava bean flour. (Or try using either all garbanzo flour or all fava flour.)
I found this dough to be much stickier than that made with a wheat flour. Be warned that you’ll need plenty of extra flour for dusting the countertop, rolling pin, cookie cutter, and pretty much anything else that is going to come in contact with the dough. Otherwise, I found it very easy to work with. The dough came together quickly, rolled out easily, and baked up with a nice, soft texture.
Like many “alternative” flours, the garbanzo and fava flour has a distinct aroma and flavor. My taste-tester Pacey is picky about strong flavors, so he generally prefers treats made with rice or wheat flours (which taste blander); however, Pacey definitely seemed to like these biscuits better than any of the other grain free recipes that I’ve tried thus far.
Grain Free Chicken Dog Biscuits
Makes about 20 (3-inch) biscuits
2 1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Garbanzo & Fava Flour (OR 1 1/4 cup garbanzo/chickpea flour and 1 1/4 cup fava bean flour), plus more for dusting
1/2 cup homemade or low fat, low sodium chicken broth
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Place the flour in a bowl. Add the chicken broth and egg, and stir to combine.
3. Use your hands to press the mixture together until it forms a smooth, homogenous ball of dough.
4. Dust the countertop very generously with flour. Dust the dough with a little extra flour before rolling it out into a sheet about 1/4-inch thick.
5. Use your desired cookie cutter to cut the dough into pieces. (If needed, dip the cookie cutter in flour to help keep the dough from sticking to it.) Arrange the biscuits on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
6. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven, flip each biscuit over, then return to the oven to continue baking until the treats are firm to the touch and baked through, about 8 minutes more.
These treats are best stored in an airtight container inside the refrigerator.
I have yet to meet a dog that doesn’t love cheese. Cheddar cheese is packed with protein and flavor, but you do want to be careful not to overload your dog with too much. Most dogs will have no reaction at all to the occasional bit of cheese, but you should be aware that it is a common canine allergen. According to the ASPCA, “pets lack significant amounts of lactase, the enzyme needed to break down lactose in dairy products. As a result, some may have difficulty with digestion and end up with stomach upset. Cheese, however, has less lactose than milk and some other dairy products, so it’s less likely to cause problems.” Just be sure to use low fat cheddar cheese and feed these treats sparingly.
Makes 34 (2-inch) biscuits
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 cup very finely shredded low fat cheddar cheese
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup homemade or fat free, low sodium chicken broth
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Knead vigorously by hand until the mixture forms a smooth dough.
4. Generously dust the countertop with flour. Roll the dough out to about 1/2-inch thick, and cut into pieces using your desired cookie cutter.
5. Arrange the biscuits on a prepared baking sheet, and bake until firm to the touch, about 12 minutes.
6. When finished baking, turn the oven off, crack the oven door, and leave the biscuits to dry out for about 2 hours.
These treats must be stored in the refrigerator.
I created these dog treats as a homage to my Hungarian roots. They feature chicken and paprika, the flavors of the famous Hungarian stew Chicken Paprikash. Paprika is such a strong spice that you don’t want to use too much or it can become irritating to more sensitive digestive systems, so I only put about 1 teaspoon in this recipe. The paprika can easily be omitted all together if you are concerned, or you could get creative and substitute a teaspoon of another dried herb, like parsley or sage. If you are including the paprika, take care that you’re using “sweet” paprika only, not “smoked” or “hot” paprika.
Chicken Dog Biscuits
Makes about 40
2 cups whole wheat flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons chicken broth
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
2. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, and knead by hand to form a smooth dough.
3. Continue kneading until the dough is elastic enough to roll out, 2 to 3 minutes. The kneaded dough will be easiest to roll if you allow it to rest (uncovered at room temperature) for a couple minutes before rolling it out.
4. Generously flour the countertop, and roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thick. Cut into pieces using your desired cookie cutter.
5. Arrange the treats on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake until firm to the touch, about 12 minutes.
NOTE: If your dog prefers crunchier treats, turn off the oven, crack the oven door, and leave the treats to dry out for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
These biscuits are best stored in the refrigerator.