daring bakers, september.
I moved to London this month. It's a crazy, huge, stressed-out-ant-colony of a city. Moving here from a small city in eastern Canada is like sticking your head inside a beehive and forcing yourself to get used to the stings. But I'm starting to really like it, I think.
Along with this craziness, however, comes the fact that I do not yet (!) have Internet at home. I am writing this to you from a completely swamped organic cafe across from Camden markets (quite near my house).
I did sea salt, pepper, and thyme lavash crackers. With a minted zucchini (courgette, I suppose) puree. Oh, and I did my crackers using spelt flour. They taste healthier, which seems deeply unnecessary.
1 cup spelt flour
1/2 cup bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp instant yeast
1 Tb maple syrup
1 Tb vegetable oil
1/2 cup room temp. water
sea salt, pepper, and fresh thyme leaves
1. In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, salt yeast, maple, oil, and just enough water to bring everything together into a ball.
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 http://www.wikihow.com/Determine-if-Bre … ong-Enough for a discription 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 precut 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.
minted zucchini puree
I think I've covered this recipe recently, but I like it and I'm obsessed with zucchini in late summer, so it was an obvious choice.
1 large zucchini, cut into 1 inch cubes
a few leaves of mint
a dash of lemon juice or umeboshi
1. Roast your zucchini with a bit of olive oil in the oven at about 400 degrees F. Once it's starting to lose water and brown, let it cool a bit.
2. Pulse in a blender with salt, pepper, mint, and lemon/ume. Taste.