Big Grain Free Dog Treat
We are looking for a grain free dog BISCUIT recipe for big dogs--something very hard and crunchy, not so much like a softer cookie that will "go down the hatch" in a second--something our grain-allergic bassets can really work on!
Chef's Answer ~ The wonderful thing about making your own homemade dog treats is that you can customize them however you want. If you want a dog treat that your Bassets can work on for awhile, I would recommend making the treats larger and hard (like you mentioned). To make large treats, buy the largest dog bone cookie cutter you can find (There are several to choose from at Amazon.com if you want to look there). Or, you can use a pizza cutter to cut out large squares or rectangles that would be size appropriate.
Making the dog treats hard can be done by baking certain recipes longer, or by reducing the temperature (for example a 350 degree oven would be turned to 325) and baking for an additional 10-15 minutes. You will also want to leave the dog cookies in the oven once it is turned off to cool completely. This will help them continue to dry out and be crunchy.
Another way of making the treats hard is to roll out the dog treat dough thicker than the usual 1/4". I would try for 1/2 inch thick.
Now onto your request for a grain free treat. Do your Bassets need a grain free treat due to the wheat or the gluten? The reason I ask is because the answer will vary depending on their needs. Either way you can substitute the whole wheat flour in most dog treat recipes one for one. For example if the recipe called for 2 cups of whole wheat, you could use 2 cups of an approved flour.
If it's just wheat that needs to be avoided a common flour that you can substitute is oat flour. If you can't find oat flour in your regular grocery store or health food store, you can make your own by grinding up rolled oats in a food processor.
If it's the gluten that you need to stay away from, then one of the more common flours is brown rice flour. This is both wheat and gluten free.
I just stumbled upon a great dog treat recipe that I have yet to try myself. So, I can't guarantee that it will work just right, but I think it will fit your needs very well. Purchase plain bagels (in your case it would be wheat and/or gluten free bagels that I'm sure you can find at a health food store). Preheat your oven to 200 degrees F. Place the bagels on a sheet of foil directly on your oven rack. Depending on how fresh the bagels were in the first place, the drying process could take up to 6 hours. Once the bagels are thoroughly harden, cool completely before giving to your dog. This hardened bagel should keep them chewing for awhile. :)
I hope this helps. Happy Dog Treat Baking! :)
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