Monday, October 5, 2009

Snapadoo! A Cracker Recipe

I'm sitting in my apartment alone, reading the Joy of Cooking (which was a birthday gift from Brian, who is on the east coast until next week) and drinking leftover Grasshopper from my birthday keg. And then it occurred to me that I had planned to include a couple of recipes from my birthday spread on my humble blog here! The time is riper than $3 pumpkins at Superstore!

I made crackers a couple of weeks ago based on this lavash cracker recipe which was a Daring Bakers  challenge in September of last year.
(My recipe after the jump)

As a side-note, I just joined the Daring Kitchen myself! For those who are as unfamiliar with the food-obsessed blogging group as I was a few short weeks ago here's the run-down:

The Daring Kitchen is comprised of the well-established Daring Bakers and the newly minted Daring Cooks. Every month, a secret challenge is put forth to members of each group. Daring Bakers receive their challenge near the start of the month, and Cooks near the middle, so that members who are part of both groups have different deadlines. Everyone reveals their results on a set date about a month after the challenge was set.

September's challenge for bakers was vols-au-vent with homemade puff pastry. Of course, I can't say anything about October's challenge (my first!) but I'll be posting the run-down around October 27 or later.

Getting back to the task at hand–crackers–here is my version of the recipe, because the way I made the original wasn't cutting it for me.

Sesame-studded Rosemary & Thyme Crackers
makes a whole bunch of crackers, like if you put them in bowls, probably 4 litres of crackers. I know that is probably the worst measurement ever, and I apologize. Let's say...the equivalent of 2-3 boxes of crackers.

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour + some for dusting
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup warm (not hot!) water
  • 2 tbsp black sesame seeds
  • 1-1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1-1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
  1.  Combine yeast, sugar and water and let sit 5-8 minutes to allow yeast to proof.
  2. Stir in salt, oil, seeds and herbs plus enough flour to form into a ball.
  3. Turn dough out onto clean, floured surface and knead, incorporating the rest of your flour, until your dough is smooth and elastic, and not sticky, about 8-10 minutes. It's a little bit firmer dough than regular bread doughs.
  4. Form dough into a ball and place it in a large, lightly oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise for 90 minutes, or until doubled in bulk. My apartment is usually a bit cool, so I let my dough rise in an oven that I heat at 200 F for a minute and then turn it off and place my bowl of dough inside. The first time I made this recipe nothing rose much at all, but I kneaded some more after about an hour of rising time and then it finally started to rise.
  5. Oil your work surface – I use a brush and paint the oil over a sizable area of my kitchen table, probably 70 cm wide x 50 cm high, although if you have spray oil that would be great also. Divide the dough into two or three sections. Press the first section of dough into a square with your hands and then roll with a rolling pin until it is as thin as you can make it – about 1-2 mm. You may need to let the gluten in the dough relax for a few minutes if it is pulling back into a smaller shape before you resume rolling.
  6. Use a pizza cutter or other knife to cut dough into vertical strips, and cut those into rectangle- or square-shaped pieces. (NB my pizza cutter is sharper than I thought and now I have a few light, vertical lines carved into my table. You may choose to move your dough to a cutting board if you were not already on such a work space).
  7. Preheat your oven to 350 F. Transfer cut pieces to an ungreased baking sheet. Bake sheets one at a time for 12-18 minutes, until they become golden brown on the bottom. Your time may vary depending on the thickness of the crackers.
  8. Repeat 5-7 with remaining section(s) of dough.
  9. Serve with cheese, preserves, bean dip, salsa or snack on 'em plain!

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