Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Daring Bakers' Challenge: Crisp Crackers & Flatbreads

Sarah from All Our Fingers in the Pie was our February 2013 Daring Bakers’ host and she challenges us to use our creativity in making our own Crisp Flatbreads and Crackers!



We had an array of options to choose from, so it was hard to narrow it down, but I ended up maki the Rainbow Crisps, Herbed Faltbread, and Onion and Poppy Seed Crackers.  They were all so delicious! I had never made my own crackers before, but now after seeing how easy it is and how tasty they are, I will definitel be making them myself again!

Rainbow Crisps


Rainbow Crisps

Ingredients:
-2 cups (480 ml) (280 gm) (10 oz) all-purpose (plain) flour
-2 teaspoons (10 ml) (10 gm) (1/3 oz) baking soda

-1/2 teaspoon (2½ ml) (3 gm) salt
-2 cups (480 ml) buttermilk
-1/4 cup (60 ml) (50 gm) (1¾ oz) brown sugar, firmly packed
-1/4 cup (60 ml) honey
-1 cup (240 ml) (180 gm) (6½ oz) raisins, craisins, or any dried fruit of your choosing
-1/2 cup (120 ml) (60 gm) (2 oz) chopped pecans
-1/2 cup (120 ml) (125 gm) (4½ oz) roasted pumpkin seeds (optional)
-1/4 cup (60 ml) (30 gm) (1 oz) sesame seeds
-1/4 cup (60 ml) (30 gm) (1 oz) flax seed, ground (I also used poppy seeds)
-1 tablespoon (15 ml) (2 gm) finely chopped fresh rosemary


Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add the buttermilk, brown sugar and honey and stir in a few strokes. Add the raisins (or other dried fruit), pecans, pumpkin seeds (if using), sesame seeds, flax seed and rosemary, and stir just until all ingredients are blended.

Pour the batter into two loaf pans that have been sprayed with nonstick spray. I had one large loaf pan and one small loaf pan, so I used those, but if you have two smaller loaf pans, than the batter should split evenly into those.

Bake for about 45 minutes, until golden and springy to the touch. Remove the pans from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.  Then, remove the loaves from the pans and finishing cooling on a wire 

rack.



The cooler the bread, the easier it is to slice really thin. You can leave it until the next day or pop it in the freezer, which is what I did so that my slices came out cleaner. Slice the loaves as thin as you can and place the slices in a single layer on an ungreased cookie sheet. Slice so thin that they are almost lacy. Reduce the oven heat to slow 300°F/150°C/gas mark 2 and bake them for about 15 minutes, then 
flip them over and bake for another 10 minutes, until crisp and deep golden. Be careful not to burn.

Herbed Flatbread


Herbed Flatbread

Ingredients:
-1 cup (240 ml) warm water (about 110°F/43°C)
-1 teaspoon (5 ml) (2 ¾ gm) active dry yeast
-3 cups (720 ml) (420 gm) (15 oz) all-purpose (plain) flour, plus more for rolling
-3 tablespoons (45 ml) of extra virgin olive oil
-Coarse salt
-1 teaspoon (5 ml) (5 gm) sugar
-1 large egg whisked with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) water, for egg wash
-Sea salt, for sprinkling
-1/4 cup (60 ml) (7 gm) (¼ oz) fresh rosemary or thyme


Directions:
Place the water in a medium sized bowl and sprinkle in the yeast. Let stand until the yeast is foamy - about 5 minutes. Stir in flour, oil, 2 teaspoons coarse salt, and the sugar. Stir until a dough forms. You'll probably just end up needing to use your hands.

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 2 minutes. Use as much flour as necessary so it is not a sticky dough. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and roll the dough around in the bowl so that it is also lightly oiled on the surface. Cover the bowl with saran wrap or a clean dish towel. Let stand in a warm place until it doubles in volume, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4. Divide dough into 16 equal portions and cover with plastic wrap.

Roll out each piece to approximately 4"x10" (10cm x 26cm) on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with the egg mixture and sprinkle with sea salt and herbs. Bake, rotating sheet halfway through baking, until crisp and golden, 18-22 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Onion and Poppy Seed Crackers



 Onion Poppy Seed Crackers 

Ingredients:
-1 medium onion
-1 large egg
-1/3 cup (80 ml) vegetable oil
-2 teaspoons (10ml) (12 gm) salt
-2 cups (480 ml) (280 gm) (10 oz) all-purpose (plain) flour
-1 teaspoon (5 gm) baking powder
-2 tablespoons (30ml) (18 gm) (2/3 oz) poppy seeds
-1 tablespoon (15 gm) (½ oz) granulated sugar
-1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Directions:
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, puree the onion. One medium onion will yield approximately 1 cup puree. Measure 1 cup puree and liquid from the onion and return to the food processor.  Add the egg, oil and salt and blend until well incorporated.

In another bowl, measure the dry ingredients. Mix lightly to combine. Make a well in the center and add the liquids in this well. Mix in one direction until the dough is fully combined. Lightly knead the dough, flouring as needed, for 2 minutes. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4.

This is a very soft dough and you may find it best to roll it between two sheets of parchment paper.  I just floured my pasta roller and the dough and rolled it through there. Roll as thinly as possible. In fact, it is best if rolled as thinly as a strudel dough. But don't worry if you can't get it that thin. The crackers will still be fine. Cut into desired shapes.

Bake until evenly golden. The time required will depend upon thickness but anywhere from 5 - 15 minutes. If they are thicker, the crackers will puff up like little pitas. Cool thoroughly before storing in air tight container.

I hope you have a chance to try all of these delicious recipes! Enjoy!

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7 comments:

  1. You've been productiv! they all look yummy!

    ReplyDelete
  2. The thickness (or thinness?) makes or breaks these recipes. Love your basil behind the flatbread photo.

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    Replies
    1. Absolutely! I kept rolling the onion and poppy seed cracker dough through my pasta roller to get them just right! It was a pain, but well worth it!

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  3. Three great-looking crackers - the onion ones sounds especially interesting with the onion purée. Nice job!

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  4. There are so many gorgeous looking crackers here!! I love the look of the onion and poppy seed ones!!
    They look just fantastic! I know I will have to make them.

    I made grissini, pop over and say, you could link up using the linky tool for a blog hop if you want to direct more traffic to your site :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. so many crackers to choose from. I'll take one of each please!

    ReplyDelete