Sunday, September 28, 2008

Daring Bakers Challenge: Lavash Crackers


Holy Moly!! I swear I finished this challenge within the first week of September... but I was just so busy I guess I forgot to post yesterday. I guess it's because I completed the challenge so early in the month that it just slipped my mind when the posting date was. I usually remember around the 28th/29th... but this one was for the 27th! Pretty early if you ask me... but whatevs. Well, I've eaten and enjoyed my crackers and "dip" and there are no longer any remnants remaining in my house... so the task now is to attempt to remember how great these crackers were. They actually were very tasty, for my variations of the cracker's spices I used: paprika, sesame seeds, cumin and fennel seeds. And for the accompanying "dip" I decided to bring a taste of the Southwest to the Arabic flat-bread. Anywho, here's my entry for the DBs challenge...


Lavash Crackers & Southwest Beans and Corn

Makes 1 sheet pan of crackers

- 1 1/2 cups (6.75 oz) unbleached bread flour

- 1/2 tsp salt

- 1/2 tsp instant yeast

- 1 tbsp sugar

- 1 tbsp vegetable oil

- 1/3 to 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp water, at room temperature

- Choice of spices: Poppy seeds, sesame seeds, paprika, cumin seeds, caraway seeds, or kosher salt for toppings


Method

1. In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, salt yeast, agave, oil, and just enough water to bring everything together into a ball. You may not need the full 1/2 cup + 2 Tb of water, but be prepared to use it all if needed.

2. For Non Gluten Free Cracker Dough: Sprinkle some flour on the counter and transfer the dough to the counter. Knead for about 10 minutes, or until the ingredients are evenly distributed. The dough should pass the windowpane test and register 77 degrees to 81 degrees Fahrenheit. The dough should be firmer than French bread dough, but not quite as firm as bagel dough (what I call medium-firm dough), satiny to the touch, not tacky, and supple enough to stretch when pulled. Lightly oil a bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

OR

2. For Gluten Free Cracker Dough: The dough should be firmer than French bread dough, but not quite as firm as bagel dough (what I call medium-firm dough), and slightly tacky. Lightly oil a bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

3. Ferment at room temperature for 90 minutes, or until the dough doubles in size. (You can also retard the dough overnight in the refrigerator immediately after kneading or mixing).

4. For Non Gluten Free Cracker Dough: Mist the counter lightly with spray oil and transfer the dough to the counter. Press the dough into a square with your hand and dust the top of the dough lightly with flour. Roll it out with a rolling pin into a paper thin sheet about 15 inches by 12 inches. You may have to stop from time to time so that the gluten can relax. At these times, lift the dough from the counter and wave it a little, and then lay it back down. Cover it with a towel or plastic wrap while it relaxes. When it is the desired thinness, let the dough relax for 5 minutes. Line a sheet pan with baking parchment. Carefully lift the sheet of dough and lay it on the parchment. If it overlaps the edge of the pan, snip off the excess with scissors.

OR

4. For Gluten Free Cracker Dough: Lay out two sheets of parchment paper. Divide the cracker dough in half and then sandwich the dough between the two sheets of parchment. Roll out the dough until it is a paper thin sheet about 15 inches by 12 inches. Slowly peel away the top layer of parchment paper. Then set the bottom layer of parchment paper with the cracker dough on it onto a baking sheet.

5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit with the oven rack on the middle shelf. Mist the top of the dough with water and sprinkle a covering of seeds or spices on the dough (such as alternating rows of poppy seeds, sesame seeds, paprika, cumin seeds, caraway seeds, kosher or pretzel salt, etc.) Be careful with spices and salt - a little goes a long way. If you want to precut the cracker, use a pizza cutter (rolling blade) and cut diamonds or rectangles in the dough. You do not need to separate the pieces, as they will snap apart after baking. If you want to make shards, bake the sheet of dough without cutting it first.

6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the crackers begin to brown evenly across the top (the time will depend on how thinly and evenly you rolled the dough).

7. When the crackers are baked, remove the pan from the oven and let them cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. You can then snap them apart or snap off shards and serve.


Southwest Beans and Corn

Ingredients:

- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 jalapeño peppers, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 15 ounce can of red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 16 ounces of frozen corn, thawed
- 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 orange pepper, diced
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cumin, ground
- 1/2 tsp black pepper

Optional: Sour cream or plain yogurt; black olives

Method:
1. Heat oil in medium non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, jalapeño pepper and garlic; cook and stir for 5 minutes.
2. Add in beans, corn, tomatoes, bell pepper, chili powder, salt, cumin and black pepper to slow skillet; mix well. Cover; cook on low heat for 15mins.
3. Dish out into serving bowl; accompanied with with sour cream and black olives if desired.

The crackers were very tasty and oh-so-easy to make. I couldn't believe that I had finished making and baking these crackers within 40mins! For a Daring Baker's Challenge, I was surprised to have been started and finished the task in the same day :P Anywho, my dad (who's all into eating healthfully nowadays) thought that these crackers were delicious and nutritious. My mom liked the paprika portion of the crackers, but wasn't too sure about the licorice-flavor of the fennel seeds (I suppose it's an aquired taste). One of my sisters really liked the crackers with jam... not what I was expecting her to eat it with, considering I made the lovely corn-bean salsa/relish/dip/whatever you want to call it, but at least she was going back for seconds. My other sister (who is a little less adventurous) wouldn't go near them... she said they smelled funny... but in my opinion, the auroma was sensational.

I think I will definitely be making these crackers in the future. Way to go Daring Bakers!


9 comments:

fatboybakes said...

thanks for dropping by, and kind comments. wow, you made yours in 40 minutes? with proofing time?

Kittynn said...

Wow, your crackers look so colourful :) I wish I would have used various toppings as well, maybe next time!

Camille said...

The crackers look great! I love beans and corn...perfect southwest combo!

tartasacher said...

Thnak you for your comments in my sweet blog. Your lavash is fantastic.
Best and whises

silverrock said...

To Fatboybakes,

Well, actually it was more like an hour, but time flew by like crazy. I actually have this amazing bread-maker that I sometimes pull out for times when I want to proof my bread super quickly. But otherwise, I love to make my bread by hand. Yeah, maybe next time I'll just take it slow and let the bread do it's thing naturally :P

Linda said...

Mmmm. I love anything with corn in it! Well, almost. Your crackers are a treat for the eye, and I'm sure were a treat for the taste buds, as well!

Thanks for your kind comment on my blog. As a newbie, the comments are very encouraging.

Esi said...

That's so cool that you made yours so fast! I let mine sit in the fridge overnight and then come to room temp so it was a 2 day process. Your dip looks tasty too!

Lisa magicsprinkles said...

Triangles! I should have done triangles! Simple, but brilliant.

Lisa Michelle said...

Gorgeous lavash and mouth watering dip! Fantastic job :)