Saturday, September 27, 2008

DARING BAKERS Lavash Crackers with LoneStar Caviar

This month's Daring Bakers Challenge was to make Lavash Crackers and create a dip/spread/salsa/relish to accompany it. I was like a deer in head lights, what do you mean?? Crackers, seriously, no cake, danish or other baked sweet goods? I had a bad attitude about it until I really started thinking about what I would make. I started digging through the recipe box and looking at all my saved goodies online. I finally decided to make whole wheat lavash crackers topped with garlic powder, kosher salt, poppy seeds and also some sesame seeds. I decided to make a salsa recipe called LoneStar Caviar that my dear friend Laura had given me years ago for the topping.

I got going on the crackers only to find that another trip to the store was in my future. I didn't have the instant yeast that it called for. When I returned, I got down to business and mixed up the lavash dough. It looked much more complex on paper than it really was. I let the dough rise for about a hour and a half and then rolled it out. I placed it on parchment paper on a large cookie sheet and then put the toppings on. In order to make the toppings stick to the dough, you have to mist the dough with a little water first. I cut the dough prior to baking with a pizza cutter and then popped it in the oven. 15 minutes later, I had crackers. GOOD TASTING crackers too, if I do say so myself.
For the LoneStar Caviar I had to chop, dice and just open up a couple of cans of beans. HOW EASY. The caviar was so tasty that I was eating it by the spoonful! This was a very fun challenge this month and I am glad that I was able to make something that was not only tasty, but also was a bit healthy too! LONESTAR CAVIAR
Combine the following ingredients in a 1-quart bowl.
2 cans Black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
½ c. Green pepper, finely diced
½ c. Tomato, diced
½ c. Red onion, finely diced
½ c. Carrot, finely diced
¼ c. Cilantro, finely chopped
4 Cloves of garlic, minced
2-3 JalapeƱo peppers, minced

Marinade: Whisk the following ingredients together and pour over dip ingredients and let marinate for 1 hour in refrigerator.
½ c. Olive oil
4 tsp. White vinegar
1½ tsp. Worcester
1 tsp. Lime juice
1 tbs. Creole seasoning (Tony Chachere’s)The recipe for 1 sheet pan of Lavash Crackers is as follows:
* 1 1/2 cups 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 salt
* 1/2 tsp instant yeast
* 1 Tb agave syrup or sugar
* 1 Tb vegetable oil
* 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. 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 1/2cup + 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 … 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.


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.


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 pre cut 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.


Hischke Five said...

As Rachel Ray often says, "YUMMO"! I enjoy making but mostly eating the Lonestar Caviar as it's good as an appetizer, in pasta, on a fresh green salad to liven it up but I bet with the Lavash Crackers I'd see the bottom of the bowl before I'd stop! Love to try the recipe! Great blog!

Vegan_Noodle said...

That's some great looking lavash! And I must say, as a Texan, your lonestar caviar looks like the perfect accompaniment!

Jenny said...

Your crackers look great, and the "caviar" sounds really healthful.

ARLENE said...

Great looking dip! I loved making the lavash and now have an unending repetoire of dips to choose from.