This months Daring Bakers challenge choosen by Natalie from Gluten A Go Go and co host Shellie from Musings From The Fishbowl was Lavash Bread from Peter Reinharts The Bread Bakers Apprentice. It is a recipe that can be adapted to be gluten free and is vegan.
I love baking bread. I am a fan of the no-knead techniques and tend to bring some of the ideas from no knead into any bread recipe. An easy way to do this is to include an auto-lyse step. (My version writen here is a rough and ready version of an ancient technique). In a nut shell you mix the flour, water and usually everything but the salt together (with a spoon) until it is a rough shaggy mess. Walk away (for this I hung the laundry on the clothes line). Come back in about 20 minutes (add the salt now). Mix or knead away. This gives the flour a chance to absorb the liquid the gluten starts to unravel itself. The resting period usually shaves a couple of minutes off the total kneading time required.
Aside from reducing kneading time (handy if you don’t have a mixer) it also means you preserve the caritonoids in the flour. Caritonoids give flour it’s creamy yellow tinge. Most mixers introduce lots of air into the dough. The oxygen bleaches the flour, so does the salt which is why lots of bread recipes have you hold the salt back until well into the mixing process. If time allows, I include 2 minute breaks when using the mixer as it lets the dough do some of the work for you.
I gave this a ferment in the fridge overnight to develop more flavour. I used my pasta maker to get this dough nice and thin.
When it came time to add flavours to the crackers I used a technique usually reserved for adding herbs to pasta.
I rolled out the dough to the correct thickness and then sprinkled on my herbs and seeds. I then folded it over (like closing a book) and put it through the pasta maker again. This meant the seasoning wasn’t as pretty as in Reinhart’s book but became integrated into the cracker.
These took 15 minutes to bake. I precut most of them, and they baked the most evenly. You really do need to let these get golden brown if you are after the crispy thing.
I served these with baba ganoush and a baby spinich, cashew and chili dip. I wish I could say I made them but time got away (I am typing this up on the 27th-the posting date and I only baked this evening) and I went to some very good bought dips. I will make these Lavash again and will make my own dips…