Saturday, September 27, 2008

September Daring Baker’s Challenge was Lavashing

When I bake 99 times out of 100 it is something sweet, but this month two of our Alternative Daring Bakers choose something savory. The alternative part- vegan and potentially gluten free- did not shake me. I am pretty alternative in my baking and only use eggs when I have to. I never use butter. Anyway, the part that worried me the most was that the dish was savory. But I took the challenge head own, with great success might I add and toot my own horn… BEEP, BEEP!
Sesame Seed Lavash Crackers with Pesto Tofu Dip.

Lavash Crackers
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp rapid rise yeast
- 1 Tbs sugar
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tbs water, at room temperature
- Sesame Seeds for topping

1. In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, salt, yeast, sugar, oil, and just enough of the water to bring everything together into a ball.

2. Sprinkle some flour on the counter (or wax paper covered counter) and transfer the dough to the counter. Knead for about 20 minutes, or until the ingredients are evenly distributed. The dough should be 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.

4. Mist the a piece of parchment paper lightly with spray oil and transfer the half of the dough to the counter. Press the dough into a square with your hand and dust the top of the dough lightly with flour. Place another piece of parchment paper over the dough and roll it out with a rolling pin until it is paper thin (construction or heavy weight “paper thin” will achieve a less crispy, but still tasty cracker). At these times, lift the dough from the parchment and wave it a little, and then lay it back down. When it is the desired thinness, let the dough relax for 5 minutes.

5. Remove top sheet of parchment paper. Snipe of excess to make the dough fit onto sheet pan. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the dough and press-in by rolling the rolling pin over the dough. Using a pizza-rolling cutter, slice the dough into pieces. I did square/diamond shapes. Carefully lift dough and parchment onto baking sheet.

6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, in a preheated 350 degree oven 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.

7. Repeat with other half of dough.

Pesto Tofu Dip
- 3 cups fresh basil
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- chopped garlic or garlic powder: to taste
- salt and pepper: to taste
- 1 package silken tofu

In food processor:

1. Pulse together pine nuts and basil into a course but chopped-up consistency.

2. Drizzle in olive oil.

3. If using fresh garlic, add now.

4. The pesto part is now complete. The pesto should not be as liquid-like as a pesto to be served over pasta.

5. Add the silken tofu, cut into large cubes, into the pesto mixture. Pulse together until creamy.

6. Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.

7. Place in the fridge for a few hours to set-up a little more. Take out of the fridge about 15-20 minutes before serving.

8. Sprinkle the top with sesame seeds for garnish.