27 September 2008

daring bakers challenge • lavash crackers

This month’s challenge was hosted by Natalie (Gluten A Go Go) and Shel (Musings from the Fishbowl). We were allowed to use any topping for our crackers. We also were allowed our choice of dip, salsa or spreads as long as it was vegan and gluten free. I really loved this recipe. It was manageable and the end result was delicious. I made four batches in total, deciding on a sweet version on the last batch. My topping of choice on this batch was a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. The dip was a tasty blend of tofu, applesauce and spices. I ate my savory crackers in one day—for shame!

Lavash •

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 teaspoon (.13 oz) salt
1/2 teaspoon (.055 oz) instant yeast
1 tablespoon (.75 oz) agave syrup or sugar
1 tablespoon (.5 oz) vegetable oil
1/3 to 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (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 1/2 cup + 2 Tb 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 (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.


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 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. 


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. 

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. 

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.

Vegan Harvest Dip •

12 ounces Soft Tofu
1 cup homemade applesauce (the chunkier the better)
3 tablespoons to 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 to 2 teaspoons cinnamon
dash nutmeg
dash cloves
dash salt


Dharm said...

How did I know you would make something with Tofu for the dip?!!! Great job - your crackers look lovely!

Anne Coleman said...

I love the shape of your crackers! It's becomming painfully clear to me while looking at all the other DBers that my crackers weren't baked long enough. Oh well, it was so easy I'll just have to make them again.

toontz said...

Thank you Dharm and Anne.
Anne-you have to remember that what you are seeing is my last batch. One batch I didn’t bake as long and they were tasty but not crispy. One batch I walked away from at the last minute....and they were definitely crisp (lol). So it did take some fine tuning to get the timing right!

Marija said...

They are so cute, with those little zig-zags! I love the dip also. How do you make tofu? I understand you need nigari, but I can't find it here :(

Anonymous said...

I love the cut edges on your crackers, they look so elegant! Thank you for such detailed instructions on the prep too! I think I can manage it for sure now.

Andrea Meyers said...

Your lavash look very pretty. Did you use a pastry wheel to cut them?

Anonymous said...

I was thinking of trying something sweet too, but didn't... Next time. As for eating all the savory crackers in one fell swoop, don't feel too ashamed, you're not the only one. Hubby and I chowed down. This was a wonderful recipe.

Jane of VeganBits.com

Helene said...

Well done! The crackers turned out so crispy!

maybelle's mom said...

the crackers look very fancy and the dip sounds good. perfect for the fall season.

grace said...

clearly i'd prefer any cracker dusted with cinnamon, especially with an awesome apple-y dip in which to dunk them. bravo! :)

Unknown said...

Interesting dip, and cute crackers!

Elle said...

Oooh, looks delicious!

Alexa said...

That tofu spread sounds so unusual and delicious. Great job on the DB challenge, your crackers look fantastic.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Very well done! Great crackers and dip!



Anonymous said...

Your blog is so interesting.. Focused on okara? I like it already. Glad to have found your site through DB!

Thistlemoon said...

Your crackers look so cute toontz! :)

Tiffany said...

How creative are you! Your little cracker strips are too cute!!!

Anonymous said...

Your dip sounds great! Your crackers look great.

Rosie said...

Your crackers look very pretty - well done!!

Rosie x

Anonymous said...

well this is really a good challenge

Anonymous said...

i've never had these!! and they look good..mmm.

Anonymous said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



toontz said...

Thank you Sabryna!