September 28, 2008

DB Vegan Seed Crackers


My first Daring Bakers challenge! And can you believe it? I didn't have to make any substitutions thanks to this month's vegan recipe! For my toppings (from left to right) I used poppy seeds, sesame seeds, celery seeds, fennel seeds, lemon pepper, and a rosemary herb blend.

My sister's least favorite was the celery seed cracker, as it tasted like celery and was a bit bitter. My least favorite was the lemon pepper, which I felt was overpowering. As for favorites, my sister casts her vote for the poppy seed cracker. Although that one was delicious, I personally loved the rosemary herb blend, as it paired nicely with the sweetness provided by the agave nectar.

I also lack a rolling pin, so I rolled these out with a wine bottle. As a result, they were a bit thicker than was intended and took longer to cook. However, I preferred my chewy little crackers - excellent for dipping in Black Soy Bean Hummus (coming soon!).


Vegan Lavash Crackers
Makes 1 sheet pan of crackers

INGREDIENTS

  • 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)
  • 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

DIRECTIONS

  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 http://www.wikihow.com/Determine-if-Bread-Dough-Has-Been-Mixed-Long-Enough for a discription 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.
  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.
  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.
  6. 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).
  7. 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.

3 comments:

jen said...

I was the same my first time, didn't want to branch off too far from the recipe. Your wine bottle technique worked fabulously. :)

Great job on your first challenge. :) Welcome to DB.

TeaLady said...

Welcome to the DBs. You did a great job on your first challenge. Wish I had remembered it was that time of the month. See you again.

silverrock said...

Awww, your crackers look so cute and perfect! I wouldn't have guessed they were chewy. I can't wait to read your dip recipe... i'm waiting in anticipation. Happy baking :)