Daring Bakers Challenge: Lavash Crackers

September 28, 2008 at 12:00 am 2 comments

The Daring Bakers Challenge for this month was Lavash Crackers, crispy pita-like crackers that you spice up savory or sweet. I chose a combination of the two. The secondary part of the challenge was to make the recipe completely vegan or gluten free, or both. I chose vegan, the easy way out for sure… But I completed the challenge nonetheless. And I think they look darned good. See for yourself For my alteration of the recipe, I created these babies.

Lavender Lavash Crackers with Sweet Potato Dip

Lavender Lavash Crackers with Sweet Potato Dip

Lavender and Sweet Potato have always hit the spot for me. Something about the natural sweetness of the Sweet Potato as well as the subtle savory yet flowery aroma of the lavender. These turned out to be a big hit. I brought them to the first ever SUGAR Queens meeting and they were 3/4 gone when the meeting ended. When I came home, the last quarter of them was inhaled by my hubby. Talk about a hit. Here’s the recipe if you’re interested.

1 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp instant yeast
1 Tb honey
1 Tb canola oil
1/3 to 1/2 cup + 2 Tb (3 to 4 oz) water, at room temperature

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.

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.

(I sprinkled half of my crackers with Granulated Sugar and half with Kosher Salt. This gave everyone the choice of whether they’d like their experience to be Salty or Sweet. I loved the Sweet ones… but that’s just me the carboholic talking.)

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.

NEXT, our challenge was to make a dip that would be suitable with it. I threw this together:

Sweet Potato Garlic Dip

2 garlic cloves
2 sweet potatoes
2 medium carrots
1/2 to 3/4-cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped parsley (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (optional)

Put unpeeled garlic cloves on aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees F. for about 10 minutes, until soft. Microwave or boil unpeeled potatoes until done. Peel carrots, cut into large chunks and microwave or boil until soft. Drain carrots, peel potatoes and put both in a food processor. Squeeze in the baked garlic. Add 1/2-cup broth and blend. With motor running, add oil. Add remaining broth as needed until purée is fairly smooth and full. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to room temperature for serving and stir in the optional herbs right before serving with raw vegetables and bread sticks.

Hope you all enjoy! Let me know what you think. I HIGHLY recommend this sweet potato dip AND the crackers.

Happy Baking, Folks!


Entry filed under: Herbal, Recipe. Tags: , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lauren  |  September 28, 2008 at 10:08 pm

    Ooo, your lavash looks wonderful! Mmm, and your dips sounds great!

  • 2. heather  |  September 28, 2008 at 10:48 pm

    ohhh the addition of lavender sounds delicious! and i love the idea of a sweet potato dip… that sounds like a lovely combination with the lavender!


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