BBA #17 Loved the Lavash Crackers

The next formula in Peter Reinhart’s Bread Baker’s Apprentice is Lavash Crackers starting on page 178. I originally made these crackers last in the Fall of 2009, but with all the hub-bub of buying a house and moving, I didn’t get any pictures taken. They were really tasty and quick to make in an evening. They disappeared almost immediately at work the next morning.

The best tip from my fellow BBA bakers was to split the dough in half and work with each half at a time. This allowed me to roll the dough  very thin, which results in a crisper cracker. If you leave the dough thicker, you will bake something closer to pita bread – which is not necessarily a bad thing!

Cheese, sea salt and black pepper lavash

The first time, I used a variety of spices and seasonings and created a stripped pattern across the dough before baking, this created a strip of cracker that contained a different “flavor” for each bite. This was fun and interesting, but I think this time I will make half the crackers savory and half sweet.

Here are the usual suspects:

Unbleached bread flour, salt, instant yeast, honey, vegetable oil, and water. Additionally you’ll want to gather the various seasonings and spices you want to use to flavor your lavash.

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, yeast, honey, oil and just enough water to bring everything together in a ball.

Knead the dough, using the dough hook if you have one, for about 10 minutes.

Next, take the dough ball from the mixing bowl and transfer to a well oiled large bowl ( I oil my mixing bowl for this) and let it rest for about 90 minutes. Make sure you cover the bowl with plastic or a damp towel to keep the dough from drying out.

After 90 minutes, check  the dough and if it has doubled in size, you are ready to move forward. If it still needs some time to double, just check it in another 30 minutes. Now is also a good time to preheat your oven to 350 degrees, If you have a baking stone place it one the middle shelf to preheat.

Mist the counter with spray oil and turn the dough out of the bowl onto the counter. Take your bench scraper and divide the dough into two equal portions.

Take one half of the dough and put it back under the plastic wrap you used to cover your bowl to keep it from drying out.

If you have parchment paper, take a minute to pull out a couple of sheets. Parchment paper is your friend. Take half the dough and roll it out on the parchment paper, using flour to dust the dough and the rolling pin as you go. The thinner you make your dough, the crispier the cracker you will have.

Once the dough is roll out to your personal preference, apply a thin layer of spray oil to the surface. This will help your spices and topping stick after baking.

I chose shredded parmesan cheese and black pepper for this half. I will make a cinnamon sugar blend for the other half of dough. A little savory and a little sweet.

Ok, so what you have now is one giant cracker. You have a choice, either find your pizza wheel and slice the dough into strips or squares or bake it as-is and then break it into shards after it cools from the oven. Its your choice – its a free country.

Using the back of a cookie sheet or a pizza peel, slide the parchment off the counter and then transfer it to baking stone in the 350 degree oven.

Watch these fairly close, it shouldn’t take more than 8 to 10 minutes to crisp the dough to a golden brown. Remove the parchment from the oven and place it on a cooling rack for about 30 minutes or until cool. Nothing left to do but enjoy!

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