paprika, oregano & sesame seed
This was my second DB challenge and I was relieved to discover that I didn’t have to go out of my way to hunt down exotic ingredients to make these crackers! I’ve been experimenting with wheat & gluten-free baking for a few years now, and I’ve yet to come up with a perfect solution! My breads either come out like brick dust or a lump of clay. I end up combining half wheat-flour with half non-wheat flour to get palatable results.
I attempted these crackers twice – first time round I went gluten-free, using a combination of rice, cornmeal & gram flour. My dough didn’t double in size & remained a solid lump. Despite this, I continued to make lavash that tasted best fresh out of the oven, but then hardened to become what my sister described as uncooked prawn crackers.
Second time around I combined wheat flour with cornmeal, and had better results. My dough eventually doubled in size after leaving it for 3 hours, I guess my house must be cold. I was confident that these crackers would be a success and they came out very tasty &extremely morish! This was a great challenge & i will definately be baking these again.
black onion seed & cumin
Lavash Crackers from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice
Makes 1 sheet pan of crackers
* 1 1/2 cups (6.75 oz) gluten free flour blend (If you use a blend without xanthan gum, add 1 tsp xanthan or guar gum to the recipe)
Attempt no. 1: ½ cup cornmeal, ½ cup rice flour, ½ cup gram flour
Attempt no. 2: 3/4 cup plain flour & 3/4 cup cornmeal
* 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
I used cumin & black onion seed
Ground star anise & sesame seeds
Paprika, oregano& sesame seeds
- 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.
- 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.
- 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). I had problems making my dough grow – it needed to ferment my dough for 2-3 hours & it certainly didn’t double in size…
- 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. I find using the reusable Teflon coated baking sheets ideal for this as my gluten free dough stuck badly to normal baking parchment.
- Preheat the oven to 350F/ Gas mark 4 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. I used my cookie cutter to make star & heart shapes. 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.
- 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.
scoring the cracker dough
Simple Guacamole Dip
1 tomato, deseeded & chopped finely
1 tsp lemon juice
½ tsp paprika
salt & pepper to taste
Mash the avocado with a fork to form a smooth paste. Combine the remaining ingredients together & mix well.
star anise & sesame seed
RECIPE REFERENCE: The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering The Art of Extraordinary Bread, by Peter Reinhart. Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, CA. Copyright 2001. ISBN-10: 1-58008-268-8, ISBN-13: 978-158008-268-6.