It's Daring Baker's time again! The challenge this month was from Shelly from Musings From the Fishbowl and Natalie of Gluten a Go Go. The Challenge: make Lavash crackers and create a vegan and gluten free topping or dip. The Lavash crackers are from Peter Reinhart's "The Bread Baker's Apprentice".
I was excited about this challenge because Lavash crackers are basically identical to Italian Croccantini crackers. These crackers are crisp and light and the perfect vehicle for any kind of spread or topping. This peperonata topping is one of my favorite things. You can use it for so many things - even over pasta, if you want!
The crackers were interesting to make. The recipe calls for rolling out the dough with a rolling pin until it's super thin. Well, I thought why do all that work with a rolling pin when I can just zip it through my pasta rollers? I rolled out the dough very thin and then I just cut the dough with a pizza cutter into the sizes I wanted and placed the dough on a Silpat in a baking pan. They crisped up really nice, although there were a lot of bubbles. But it didn't matter. The crackers were really delicious and crisp. And making the crackers fresh - what a difference that makes!
Lavash Crackers with Peperonata Topping
to print recipe only, click here
- 1.5 cups unbleached bread flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. instant yeast (Rapid Rise kind of yeast)
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. water, room temperature
- Kosher Salt and pepper for topping
In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, salt, yeast, sugar, oil and just enough water to bring everything together into a ball. You may not need the full amount of water, but be prepared to use it all if needed.
Sprinkle some flour on the counter and transfer the dough to the counter. Knead for about 10 minutes, or until the dough is nice and firm, 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 with plastic wrap. Let sit at room temperature for 90 minutes, or until the dough doubles in size. (You can also refrigerate the dough and bring to room temperature the next day, let it rise and continue on with the recipe).
Roll out the dough with a rolling pin into a paper thin sheet about 15 x 12 inches. You may have to stop from time to time so that the gluten can relax. Cover it with a towel while it relaxes. When it is the desired thinness, let the dough relax for 5 minutes. (Or alternatively, roll out the dough in pasta rollers like I did). Line a sheet pan with a Silpat or baking parchment. Carefully lift the sheet of dough and lay it on the parchment. (Or cut the dough with a pizza cutter into strips).
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with the oven rack in the middle. Mist the top of the dough with water and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. If you rolled out the dough into one large sheet with a rolling pin and you want to precut the cracker, use a pizza cutter and cut diamonds or rectangles in the dough. You do not need to separate the pieces, as they will snap apart after baking.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the crackers begin to brown across the top.
Remove the pan from the oven and let them cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. You can then snap them apart.
for the Peperonata Topping
- 2 yellow bell peppers
- 2 red bell peppers
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tbsp. salt packed capers*
- 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1/2 tsp. dried red chile flakes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
- chopped parsley, about 1/4 cup
Put the oven on broil. Cut tops off peppers, cut peppers in half and remove seeds. Lay a piece of foil on a baking sheet and lay peppers (including the tops) on sheet, skin side up. Broil until skin blackens. Place peppers in paper bag and let steam. Remove and let cool. Skins should slip off. Chop peppers into small pieces.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Cook the garlic gently for a couple of minutes. Rinse the salt off the capers and dry capers. Add the capers to the garlic and fry for about one minute over medium heat. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for a couple of minutes and then add onion, chile flakes and salt and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes.
Add the vinegar to the pan and deglaze, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan and then stir in the chopped peppers. Adjust seasoning for more salt or vinegar. Add parsley. Remove topping to a bowl and let cool. Do not refrigerate. Let sit at room temperature until ready to use.
*tip: Don't use vinegar packed capers, only salt packed! They are far superior. Just give them a rinse before you use them. They are so delicious.