• Sat, Sep 27 2008

Daring Bakers Challenge for September

 daring bakers

I can’t believe how quickly the months go by..It seems like I live from Daring Bakers Reveal  to Daring Bakers Reveal with no time in between.  It sort of feels like the movie, Groundhog Day.

This months’ challenge was unusual in both the recipe and the freedom that we had to flavor the challenge item any way we wanted.  We made Lavash, either gluten free or not, and a vegan spread..our choice of ingredients and flavors.

Lavash

I used coarse sea salt,  flax, and sesame seeds  on the lavash and flavored it lightly with maple syrup.  I made a sunflower seed, maple, and balsamic spread to go with it.

If the dough is not rolled out evenly it will brown more in some areas than others..it is o.k..it is still great.

All in all this is a great snack.  It is easy and looks very gourmet.  I loved the acidity of the balsamic against the sweetness of the maple, and the richness of the sunflower seed butter.

Once again, thanks Daring Bakers!  The hosts this month were:  Natalie from Gluten A Go Go, and Shel, of Musings From the Fishbowl.  Great job!

Oh..don’t forget to leave a comment at the cookbook giveaway post to be registered for an autographed copy of a cookbook (not mine) that is being released in October.

Lavash

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 tsp (.13 oz) salt
* 1/2 tsp (.055 oz) instant yeast
* 1 Tb (.75 oz) agave syrup or sugar (I used maple syrup)
* 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 description 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.

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.

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.

Sunflower Seed spread

Sunflower Seed, Balsamic, and Maple Spread

3 Tbsp. sunflower seeds
3 Tbsp. sunflower (or other) vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 Tbs. Balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp. salt
pepper

Dried Cranberries for garnish

Process until as smooth as you like.  Sprinkle a few dried cranberries on top.  Allow flavors to blend at room temperature for 1 hour.

Images:MaryeAudet

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  • http://www.angryasiancreations.com Lan

    marye -
    the pictures of the crackers are so good! i love the closeups

  • http://artsy-foodie.com Alexa

    Beautifully done! The crackers look so pretty bejeweled with the sesame seeds and that spread sounds fantastic.

  • Marye

    Lan- thanks!
    Alexa..the spread is really good.

  • http://www.aspoonfulofsugar.net/wp/ Angela

    Your crackers look great and I love the sound of that sunflower spread. Congratulations on a successful challenge!

  • http://www.butterandsugar.org/blog jillian

    Your crackers look beautiful, and the sunflower seed spread sound really good and different!

  • Marye

    Thanks Angela!
    Jillian, thanks for stopping by,

  • http://gingerbreadcrumbsandcompany.blogspot.com Cori. G

    Hi Marye,
    This looks really interesting. How did you come up with the idea of the spread? I wish I lived next door so I could be your personal taster.
    Sorry I haven’t stopped by in a while. Life has a way of becoming crazy and that’s where mine is.
    Have a wonderful Sunday!
    :) Cori G.

  • Marye

    Cori..It is always good to see you when ever you can stop by! Always room for another taster!
    I came up with the spread flavors out of what was in my cupboard! And I am experimenting with balsamic and sweet things right now.

  • http://delightfuldelicacies.blogspot.com jen

    that dip looks so good, and an interesting mix! Great job!

  • http://dad-baker.blogspot.com Dharm

    Marye,
    That dip sounds the perfect companion to some lavash with a martini… i think I need to recruit you to MI6, your pics are just fabulous! Lovely job once again my dear friend!

  • http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com Bellini Valli

    Great job Marye. I loved this particular challenge:D

  • http://www.thefeastwithin.com Gabi

    Lovely crackers and amazing dip Marye! What an amazing combination of flavours! :)

  • Marye

    thanks jen!
    Dharm…umm…Can I get my own lether jumpsuit?
    Valli-me too!
    Gabi-it was great!

  • http://www.almanzosbelly.blogspot.com Joy

    I love the look of that topping – yum!

  • Marye

    Joy!So good to “see” you!
    It is really good!

  • http://www.eatfordinner.blogspot.com giz

    Really great looking crackers and such an interesting choice of dip.

  • http://www.cookiedoc.blogspot.com claire

    Looks great! This was a perfect snack.

  • Marye

    thanks Giz…
    Claire I loved this months challenge

  • http://motherbliss.blogspot.com Mother Bliss

    Wow, what an interesting dip. I think I’ll give it a try! Great job!

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