Hard to believe I have been a Daring Baker for one full year! Time sure flies by when your having a blast.For the first time ever the Daring Bakers turned this months hosting duties to our Alternative Daring Bakers. While I don’t have vegetarian , Gluten free , non dairy, allergy, religious requirements or restrictions, I always tune into a few of these alternative bakers and marvel how they adapt the challenges to their needs. That is a science in itself and always yields great results. So my hats are off to this months hosts Natalie and Shel. Our challenge this month was to create Lavash Crackers and vegan toppings from
The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering The Art of Extraordinary Bread, Peter Reinhart. I found this challenge stress free and pretty straight forward. It wasn’t a complete success as I slightly over cooked parts of my dough. I used unbleached all purpose flour mixed with 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour.I topped my dough like a patchwork quilt with sea salt mixed with cumin, chilies, and mint, smoked paprika,fried garlic, and sesame seeds. The smoked Paprika parts browned quickly. On a Indian kick from a recent trip to London, I made a spicy carrot and tamarind relish.Certain Someone wasn’t crazy about the relish, it wasn’t his thing but he said it grew on you as you it bite after bite. Be sure to check out our ever growing global group to see their many interpretations.
Glamahs Carrot and Tamarind Relish:
2 tablespoons oil
3 chilies chopped
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
3 cloves garlic chopped
4 large carrots grated
2 tomatoes chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
Pulp of 2 tamarinds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon curry
1/4 teaspoon all spice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Heat oil in a fry pan. Add mustard seeds until they start to pop. Add garlic, chilies and cook for a minute. Add tomatoes and carrots and continue to cook. Add brown sugar, remaining spices, red wine vinegar and simmer for approx 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning to your taste.
RECIPE – Recipe Reference: The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering The Art of Extraordinary Bread, by Peter Reinhart. Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, CA. Copyright 2001. ISBN-10: 1-58008-268-8, ISBN-13: 978-158008-268-6.
Here’s a simple formula for making snappy Armenian-style crackers, perfect for breadbaskets, company and kids…It is similar to the many other Middle Eastern and Northern African flatbreads known by different names, such as mankoush or mannaeesh (Lebanese), barbari (Iranian), khoubiz or khobz (Arabian), aiysh (Egyptian), kesret and mella (Tunisian), pide or pita (Turkish), and pideh (Armenian). The main difference between these breads is either how thick or thin the dough is rolled out, or the type of oven in which they are baked (or on which they are baked, as many of these breads are cooked on stones or red-hot pans with a convex surface)…The key to a crisp lavash,…is to roll out the dough paper-thin. The sheet can be cut into crackers in advance or snapped into shards after baking. The shards make a nice presentation when arranged in baskets.Makes 1 sheet pan of crackers*
1 1/2 cups (6.75 oz) unbleached bread flour or gluten free flour blend (If you use a blend without xanthan gum, add 1 tsp xanthan or guar gum to the recipe)*
1/2 tsp (.13 oz) salt* 1/2 tsp (.055 oz) instant yeast*
1 Tb (.75 oz) agave syrup or sugar*
1 Tb (.5 oz) vegetable oil*
1/3 to 1/2 cup + 2 Tb (3 to 4 oz) water, at room temperature*
Poppy seeds, sesame seeds, paprika, cumin seeds, caraway seeds, or kosher salt for toppings
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 (see http://www.wikihow.com/Determine-if-Bre … ong-Enough for a discription of this) 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.or2. 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.
5. 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).6. 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.