Saturday, September 27, 2008

Daring Bakers: Gluten Free/Vegan Lavash with Fig and Olive Tapenade

The Challenge: Make Lavash Crackers and create a dip/spread/salsa/relish to accompany it. This challenge allows for large helpings of creativity and personality, with the crackers, your flavor choices for the crackers, and with your dip/spread choice. This challenge came from Natalie from Gluten A Go Go, and co-host Shel, of Musings From the Fishbowl.

I really liked this challenge, it was a nice break from sweets. I opted to go both gluten free and vegan; our household often cooks both intentionally vegan and accidentally vegan so I looked forward to trying my hand at gluten free as well.
The crackers turned out great and way tastier than the last version of crackers that I made I attribute that to the mix of flours in the gluten free flour that I used.

Gluten Free Lavash
Makes 1 sheet pan of crackers

* 1 1/2 cups (6.75 oz) gluten free flour blend (I skipped the xanthan gum, cause I didn’t feel like running to the co-op)
* 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. 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. 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 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.

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.

I used a bit of black and regular sesame seeds and a sprinkling of sea salt on the crackers. I also tried some rolled out and some using the glass-smoosh method. When I make these again I will definitely stick to the smoosh method. I layed out the parchment and then made a small ball of dough and then placed a bit of parchment over it and flattened it with a drinking glass the just peeled back the parchment. This took a bit longer, but made for a more consistent cracker.

Fig and Olive Tapenade
From Elana's Pantry
Fig Tapenade
1 cup dried figs
½ cup water
1 cup kalamata olives
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped

1. Place figs in a food processor and pulse for 30 seconds, until well chopped
2. Add water and pulse to create a paste
3. Add olives and pulse until incorporated
4. Add olive oil, vinegar and thyme; pulse again for 30 seconds until tapenade is smooth

This was super tasty and would be a great with any number of other crunchy snacks, it was a great mix of sweet and savory.

Thanks for a great challege!


Anonymous said...

Your tapenade sounds amazing & your crackers look great! I'm so glad you liked the challenge!

allison said...

Your crackers look great. I wouldn't think of the glass smooshing method...glad it worked for you. Your tapenade looks great.

Lauren said...

Ooo, your lavash looks great! And that tapenade sounds wonderful!