Saturday, September 27, 2008

Daring Bakers- Lavash Crackers and Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

This month's Daring Bakers challenge was Lavash Crackers and Toppings. This fun challenge was hosted by Shel- Musings From the Fishbowl and Natalie-Gluten a Go Go. They decided to go with a savory challenge that was vegan and/or gluten free. We were free to choose the toppings for our lavash and also encouraged to use a favorite dip or topping. I chose garlic sea salt, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and cumin as the topping for my Lavash. I kinda just sprinkled some of it everywhere. The edge pieces of my lavash were nice and thin, which meant they were very crispy and the ones in the middle tasted more like a pita. It was nice to have a difference in the thickness and texture. I made a Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, but cheated and used some of the bottled peppers I had in the fridge. I didn't really measure anything for the hummus, I just threw it in the food processor and pureed it. It was good though!

I had a little Lavash left over that I had to trim for it to fit in the pan and so I sprinkled it with cinnamon sugar. That was my 1 year old's fave of the bunch. This was a fast recipe (except for the fermenting) to throw together and it disappeared quickly! Go see what the other Daring Bakers came up with this month by visiting the Daring Bakers Blogroll!

Lavash Crackers recipe taken from The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering The Art of Extraordinary Bread, by Peter Reinhart
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
* 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 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.

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

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.

6. 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).
7. 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

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus adapted from Cooking Light
1 red bell pepper
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon tahini (sesame seed paste)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (19-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1 garlic clove, quartered

Preheat broiler.
Cut bell pepper in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 10 minutes or until blackened. Place in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 10 minutes. Peel.
Place bell pepper and remaining ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth.


Anonymous said...

These look really tasty! I love the color of the hummus.

Alexa said...

Your lavash crackers look so nice and the red pepper hummus must have been perfect with them. Well done Mary Ann!

Leslie said...

Everything looks wonderful..great job

Erin said...

Your crackers look great. The hummus looks absolutely wonderful. It has such a pretty color and I'm sure the flavor is incredible!

Anonymous said...

Great job on this challenge! All your versions look excellent - yippie for crackers!

Maria said...

what a great healthy snack! I will have to make this for game days.

Hannah said...

Red pepper hummus is one of my favorites- yours looks great!

Jacque said...

Mmmm, they look just right! Your roasted red pepper hummus looks delish and I like the color too. Very pretty with the crackers.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Very well done! Your Lavash Crackers look perfect and that dip is marvelous! Yummy!



Lauren said...

Ooo, your lavash looks wonderful! The hummus looks amazing as well.

Aggie said...

I have got to start making my own hummus. This looks awesome!!! Great job!

Prudy said...

Oh, just made Jeena's red pepper hummus and loved it. This is just so gorgeous. I sorta kinda wish I could be a daring baker, and then when we have to make a giganto ten layer cake and I have to write papers and run miles then I just want to make rice and run away. These crackers are making me want to get baking!

Jenny said...

Yum and yum! I love the sounds of homemade crackers and hummus! Great challenge.

Sarah said...

Looks great! I love how quickly they came together too!

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

That red pepper hummus sounds delicious! Lovely color!