I'd been interested in joining the daring bakers for months, but I wasn't sure I can commit to the rule that I can't miss more than 4 challenges per year. Since Mark and I have no plan for travelling outside of the States in the next six months, so I feel like I can do this.1This month challenge is hosted by Sheltie Girl of Gluten A Go Go and Shel of Musings From The Fishbowl. The challenge is to make Lavash Crackers from Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice and create a dip, spread, salsa, relish to accompany it.
As I own the book, I've made this recipe one time before. This recipe is easy to follow, but make sure you roll out the dough thin enough in order to get the crispiness. For the sauce, I make Thai peanut dipping sauce to go along with the crackers.
for the cracker
-1 1/2 cups (6.75 oz) unbleached bread flour-1/2 ts. (.13 oz) salt
- 1/2 ts. (.055 oz) instant yeast
- 1 tb. (.75 oz) sugar
- 1 tb. (.5 oz) vegetable oil
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup (3 to 4 oz) water, at room temperature
* Poppy seeds, sesame seeds, paprika, cumin seeds, caraway seeds and kosher salt for toppings
for the sauce
- 1/3 cup coconut milk
- 2 ts. masman curry paste
- 1/4 cup unsalted peanut, roasted and finely grind
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 ts. onion, chopped
- 2 ts. palm sugar
- 1/2 ts. fish sauce
- 2 ts. lime juice
for the cracker
1. In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, salt yeast, sugar, oil, and just enough water to bring everything together into a ball. You may not need the full 1/2 cup, but be prepared to use it all if needed.
2. 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 F. The dough should be firmer than French bread dough, but not quite as firm as bagel 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. Retard the dough overnight in the refrigerator immediately after kneading.
4. 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. 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 F 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 15-20 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.
for the sauce
Mix all ingredients in a food processor until smooth and creamy.