Saturday, September 27, 2008

September Daring Bakers: Lavash Crackers with White Bean-Artichoke-Rosemary Dip

This month's Daring Bakers challenge comes from Natalie of Gluten A Go Go and Shel of Musings From the Fishbowl. The challenge was to go vegan and gluten-free for a month! For the lavash crackers, we had the option to use regular flour or gluten-free, and for the dip we had to make something both vegan and gluten-free.

The lavash crackers were super delicious! They were quite easy to whip up, with the only problem getting them to roll out thin enough! I think if I'd had a pasta maker it might have gone better, but as it was they were very difficult to get thin. Nonetheless, the crackers tasted delicious even if they were a bit thicker than normal. I sprinked half with Tuscan seasoning salt and the other half with Provencal seasoning salt, both of which resulted in truly tasty crackers. They were a little crisper the second day, which was nice.

For my dip, I went for a white bean-artichoke-rosemary dip that was quick to put together in the food processor and super delicious (also a little better the second day after the flavors had time to meld). The recipe makes too much for one batch of crackers, so I also enjoyed it as a spread on a ham and swiss sandwich.

Lavash Crackers (from The Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart)

The key to a crisp lavash,…is 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
1/2 tsp (.13 oz) salt
1/2 tsp (.055 oz) instant yeast
1 Tb (.75 oz) agave syrup or sugar (or honey if you aren't vegan)
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. 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.

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. 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 pre-cut 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.

White Bean-Artichoke-Rosemary Dip (from SELF magazine)

1 clove garlic, peeled
1 tsp dried rosemary
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 cans (15.5 oz each) white beans (drained and rinsed)
1 can (14 oz) artichoke hearts (packed in water, drained)
Salt and pepper to taste

Put the garlic and rosemary in the food processor and process until finely chopped. Add the lemon juice and pulse briefly. Add the white beans and artichoke hearts, and process until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.


  1. Well done! Love your squares. Maybe I'll do squares next time.

  2. Great job, and I love the sound of this dip. Do you think it could work as a sandwich spread? I'm always looking for vegan sandwich fillings.

  3. Great job, they look wonderful. I love how you cut them into such neat squares.

  4. Ooo, your lavash looks wonderful! Great job!!

  5. your lavish looks great and i love the sounds of the dip.

  6. ooouuuhhh! These look yummy. Great job.

  7. the lavash toppings look real good and that dip looks REALLY GOOD!!