Sunday, September 28, 2008

Lavash Crackers

For whatever reason, blogger hates me. I had a long, elaborate post about these crackers. I come to see my post and discover that it's not there. I had it on a timed post. I don't think I'll ever do that again... Since I'm a bite crammed in work, I'm going to make this quick, nice and sweet.

This months Daring Bakers Challenge was Lavash Crackers. These crackers were a bit... annoying, if you ask me. I'm a perfectionist, and they were rather, well, rugged most of the time after baking. But, I made several batches of these being that the taste was delicious! I chose to use sea salt, rosemary, black pepper and garlic for these crackers. They're all pretty much my favorite spice, so I thought I'd combine them all for these crackers.

I also wanted to try and get fancy with these crackers. I poke holes into them. I try to make all of them even (I even measured because I wanted to have them all perfect!) and I poked 7 in each cracker. I was a bit nervous how they would turn out... I was unsure as to how they would bake. Whether they would rise or not. But, they turned out great. And these will be something I know I will make time and time again.


Lavash Cracker
The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart


1 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tbsp. sesame seed
1 tsp ground cumin
1/3 to 1/2 cup + 2 Tb water, at room temperature
Poppy seeds, sesame seeds, paprika, cumin seeds, caraway seeds, or kosher salt for toppings

1. Put the active dry yeast with the water and let it sit until it bubbles, about 5 minutes.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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).

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

Raspberry Honey Mustard Sauce

1 jar (12 oz. size) black raspberry jam
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup prepared mustard

1. In small pan, combine jam, honey and mustard, stir constantly, cook over medium heat until jam melts and sauce is smooth. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator.


Marija said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marija said...

Tarah, they are beautiful! And you cracked 7 holes in each! I see about 20 crackers on the picture so that makes at least 140 holes! You are really a perfectionist and a patient girl :) (Never mind the last comment, I study math, but can't manage to multiply 20 by 7 :P)

Arlene Delloro said...

I was going to echo marija in commenting about the work it took to poke holes in your crackers. They're beautiful.

Tiffany said...

Wow, way to make them beautiful! You spent a long time, I can tell!

Y said...

Those crackers look beautiful and absolutely perfect to me!

An Apron Straitjacket said...

I agree, they are beautiful!

~Amber~ said...

Your crackers are awesome!! I love how they are shaped. Excellent job.

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mmmm. those look lovely!:)

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