I had a whole post typed out and then for some reason the draft was erased. Damn technology.
I am going to make this quick and painless seeing as I am dripping in seat from my Pilates class and hungrier than ever. The Daring Baker’s challenge this month was for Lavash crackers and I freaked when I saw the word YEAST. I don’t do yeast and the times that I have done it (Challah bread and Danish Braid) I don’t get the results I want. That doesn’t include the pizza dough though because that turned out FANTASTIC. I might need some more training and skill with yeasty bread but at least this challenge turned out right.
I added in sesame seed and cumin straight to the flour mixture which gave the cracker some interesting flavor. My mom couldn’t figure out what it tasted like, which is a good sign to me because I tricked her! Haha! One piece of advice- roll this sheet out as thin as you can. I got mine to get pretty thin but they still resembled pita bread instead of wheat thin crackers. At least they weren’t doughy…
Next time I would add in some chili powder, just to make things really interesting. And I would use some oil on the top of the cracker to get the additional toppings to stick since they kept sliding off during baking.
I was supposed to make a vegan dip too but I bailed out on that. I was crunched for time since I procrastinated and in between the presidential debate and making the crackers, I ran out of time and energy. But I bet that there are millions of Daring Bakers out there who have vegan dips for you. I won’t veganizing myself anytime soon but I loved trying new things out. I added in my adaptations to the recipe below since I made changes. Also, since I used active dry yeast, I proofed mine with the water first to get the yeast going…
Check out everyone else’s creations here. Till next challenge…
The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart
Makes 1 sheet pan of crackers
1 1/2 cups (6.75 oz) unbleached bread flour
1 tsp (.13 oz) salt
3/4 tsp (.055 oz) active dry yeast
1 Tb (.75 oz) sugar
1 Tb (.5 oz) vegetable oil
1 Tb. sesame seed
1 tsp ground cumin
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
Put the active dry yeast with the water and let it sit until it bubbles, about 5 minutes.
In a mixing bowl, stir together the yeast mixture with the flour, salt, cumin, sesame seed, sugar, oil, and just enough water to bring everything together into a ball. If your ball is dry and not wet enough, add in some water by the tablespoonfuls.
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.
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).
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.
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.