Saturday, September 27, 2008

Daring Bakers Challenge...a huge success!!!

Whole Wheat Lavash with Hummus Dip

I LOVED this challenge. I have had problems lately with some of my challenges and I think it has been because I was time challenged. Well this time it was different. From the minute I read this one I was excited!!! So why did I leave it til the day before the challenge date??? Who knows. Time just gets away from me!

This month was also a special month as this is the first time that a recipe is vegan and can be gluten free. The hosts for this challenge were Natalie from Gluten A Go Go, and co-host Shel, of Musings From the Fishbowl.

The Challenge: Make Lavash Crackers and create a dip/spread/salsa/relish to accompany it. This challenge allowed for large helpings of creativity and personality, with the crackers, your flavor choices for the crackers, and with your dip/spread choice. We were allowed to create our own dip/spread recipe, use one of our favorites, or use one of the recipes they provided.

Now they weren't perfect. I tried everything to ensure that the salt and the sesame seeds would stick but still they popped off after baking. Otherwise I would say it was a huge success.

I did alter the recipe to make mine with whole wheat. The dough once it had risen was sooooo easy to work with!!! Mine formed out no problem at all. No springing back or anything.

For a dip I choose to make some hummus (I know not very creative!!!) without tahini as the girls don't really like it.

RECIPE - 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.

Here's a simple formula for making snappy Armenian-style crackers, perfect for breadbaskets, company and kids...It is similar to the many other Middle Eastern and Northern African flatbreads known by different names, such as mankoush or mannaeesh (Lebanese), barbari (Iranian), khoubiz or khobz (Arabian), aiysh (Egyptian), kesret and mella (Tunisian), pide or pita (Turkish), and pideh (Armenian). The main difference between these breads is either how thick or thin the dough is rolled out, or the type of oven in which they are baked (or on which they are baked, as many of these breads are cooked on stones or red-hot pans with a convex surface)...

The key to a crisp lavash, to roll out the dough paper-thin. The sheet can be cut into crackers in advance or snapped into shards after baking. The shards make a nice presentation when arranged in baskets.

Makes 1 sheet pan of crackers

* 1 1/2 cups (6.75 oz) 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)-I used Whole Wheat Flour
* 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. 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 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.

See how perfect the hummus looks with the cracker?


1 can of chickpeas drained
1/4 cup olive oil
1 T fresh squeezed lemon
1 tsp cumin
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and puree to desired consistency.

Would I make this again? Can't wait until my Potluck group (more on that later) decides to do a Middle Eastern theme!!! This was truly wonderful. I would add some herbs to the dough next time as I can't get anything to stick to the outside!!!

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!



Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I love the whole idea of wholewheat lavash Judy. The kids would have loved these with the hummus. I was excitred about this challenge too .....savoury rules in my books!!!!!!!!

RecipeGirl said...

Adding herbs to the dough is a great idea! My stuff didn't stick very well to the top either. I even used a bit of nonstick spray on top and it still was not very stickworthy!

Dharm said...

Wholewheat Lavash! Great idea! This is something that I would make again too. Great Job on this challenge my friend!

glamah16 said...

Ahh you did the wholke wheat cracker. Hummus is always an excellent choice. Take care of yourself I know you have a lot going on.

Thistlemoon said...

I loved this challenge too! I wish I would have been brave or daring enough to try whole wheat too! They look awesome!!! Love the hummus too!

kat said...

They really are perfect crackers for dipping aren't they. They look pretty in the whole wheat

creampuff said...

Glad you enjoyed the challenge! Some of my topping wouldn't stick either. Next time I may brush a bit of oil on so perhaps that will help!

Lauren said...

Ooo, your lavash looks wonderful, and the hummus sounds great!

Susan @ SGCC said...

Looks terrific, Judy! What a great idea to use whole wheat flour. Very well done!

I used a tad of olive oil on mine and pressed the seeds in a bit and I didn't have much of a problem with them popping off.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Very well done! Your crackers look great and I love hummus! Yummy!



Deeba PAB said...

I loved the challenge too Judy, & for the same reasons as yours. Love your whole-wheat lavash & the dip too. My kids don't like tahini too, so I think I'll try your recipe next time. YUM!!

Cakelaw said...

Hi Judy, you are right - the hummus does look perfect with those great whole wheat crackers. I rolled my seeds in lightly so that they became embedded in the dough to stop them popping off.

RecipeGirl said...

Your whole wheat version is so different looking from the rest. That was a great idea. And that hummus looks o-so-creamy and delish!

toontz said...

Great job Judy! You can never go wrong with Hummus!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

They do look a sucess! I wanna try whole wheat now! Great!

maybelles mom said...

whole wheat is great thinking. I will do that next time; and I too did hummous, but fava bean. It was a great challenge for you. Good job.

Helene said...

Great take on the challenge! The hummus sounds fantastic.
Keeping you in my thoughts during this difficult time for you and your family.

Núria said...

Hola Judy! You all sound so enthusiastic about this month's challenge!!! He, he :D Great job, girl!
I've noticed some big differences between your hummus recipe and mine... should taste yours... I didn't like mine when I first tasted it.

Shaheen said...

Oh we both made hummus! I think I'm going to try wholewheat the next time since its healthier.

Lynda said...

I find it very odd that you can't buy all sorts of yummy dips here in Cairo... mainly because everyone makes their own at home... In Sydney we could stop off and pick up 4 or 5 different types - pair them up with some other nibbles and you had an instant meal. Looks delicious.. I will try your Hummus, but the lavash might be a challenge.. Agave syrup - not a chance of finding that here.

Gretchen Noelle said...

Great job. I would like to try these again as whole wheat crackers. Excellent choice with the hummus as well!