The September 2008 Daring Bakers Challenge
This month we are making Daring Bakers history as our September challenge is vegan and/or gluten free. For the first time ever, the torch has been passed to « Alternative » Daring Bakers Natalie from Gluten A Go Go, and co-host Shel, of Musings From the Fishbowl. We wanted to make something savory this month, and we chose the recipe for Lavash Crackers from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice (pp 178 – 180).
To download the recipe in .pdf format, click HERE
Yield: 1 sheet pan of crackers
Preparation time (including proofing): 2 hours
Baking time: 20 minutes
Note: Gluten-free options provided.
Note: 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.
Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice (pp 178 – 180)
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
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 amount of water, but be prepared to use it all if needed.
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 to 81°F / 25 to 27°C. 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.
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.
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).
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 by 12″ / 38 x 30cm. 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.
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 by 12″ / 38 x 30cm. 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.
Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C / Gas Mark 4 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.
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).
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.
Honeydew – Peach Salsa
The Splendid Table (http://splendidtable.publicradio.org/recipes/sauce_honeydew.html)
Try the salsa with grilled seafoods and poultry, or over rice noodles. Chili could be added to taste. Is best eaten within several hours of preparation.
juice of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 to 1/2 cup finely diced red onion
1 Red Fresno and 1 Hot Yellow minced chile (seeds removed)
1 to 2 teaspoons sugar,
1/2 ripe sweet honeydew melon, cubed into bite-sized pieces
4 small, ripe peaches, peeled and cubed into bite-sized pieces
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup minced fresh coriander, or coriander and mint combined
In a medium bowl blend the lime juice, garlic, onion and chilies. Let stand 20 minutes, then blend in sugar and fruits with salt (a generous pinch) and pepper (to make piquant) to taste. Refrigerate up to 3 hours. Fold in fresh herbs just before serving.
Tahitian Almond Dipping Sauce
Robert Yarosh and Lisa Soto, from The Complete Book of Raw Food, Lori Baird, Editor.
1 1/2 cups almond butter
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup fresh orange juice (you may want to add more juice or add some water, depending on the consistency you like).
1 1/2 tablespoons agave syrup or honey
Blend all ingredients together until smooth (in your blender or food processor). Serve with your favorite crackers and fresh fruit.
http://colettesbakery.blogspot.com/2008_02_01_archive.html http://yelda.remgo.com/lavash-cracker/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/16703196@N08/2290483154/ http://www.ipernity.com/doc/soepkipje/436626/in/album/17501 http://eatmorebread.blogspot.com/2007_08_01_archive.html#347971561075610…