OK, I really have been doing a few things over the last few months.... Among other things, Hubby took the camera off to the deer camp before I could unload my pics from the memory card, and now that deer season's over I had him get it out of his truck so that I could actually PUBLISH THESE BLOG POSTS.
So as you can see, this is coming out quite tardily and, although I guess I can't prove it, I was not late in actually DOING the challenge. Whatev's. I'm just glad that I actually typed this up in September, because then all I needed to do was make a few changes and add my pics. And there is NO freaking way on God's earth that I could have remembered all the details 4 months later....
Anyway, the September challenge was something really cool and, to me, totally unexpected: Lavash Crackers! Our honorable September Hosts were Natalie from Gluten a Go Go and Shel from Musings From the Fishbowl. Natalie and Shel are two of our Alternative Bakers, Natalie being a gluten-free cook and Shel a vegan one. Our challenge was to make lavash, which is a cracker bread made in many different cultures. It was to be accompanied by a dip, and the crackers AND dip both had to be gluten-free and/or vegan. Aside from that, we were wide open and could use any flavorings, sweet or savory, that we desired.
Lavash Crackers & Toppings
(Recipe from The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering The Art of Extraordinary Bread
by Peter Reinhart)
Mise en place, clockwise from top left: Flour , Water, Olive oil, Sugar, Yeast, & Salt
1. In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, salt yeast, agave/sugar, 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. [I did need all the water.]
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-Bread-Dough-Has-Been-Mixed-Long-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.
Then I had this creative idea and made a vegan/non-vegan yin-yang. Ha ha!
Many DB's took a break from the sweetness and made savory, but others still made some ravishingly good non-savory creations. Be sure to check the ever-growing Daring Bakers Blogroll to check them out!