Have you seen the film Stranger Than Fiction, featuring Will Ferrell and Emma Thompson, where Ferrell’s character walks around while hearing his life narrated out loud by the author played by Thompson?
I’m not sure why or how, but I sort of felt like my attempt at making lavash crackers was being narrated by some otherworldly Daring Bakers’ entity with the last line of the film being: “And she burns her crackers! The End.”
These two leading ladies conspired to give us a Daring Bakers’ first this month: our very first alternative, fully vegetarian challenge in the form of lavash crackers with accompanying toppings.
While I can’t give you an exact count, a significant number of Daring Bakers are what Lis and I affectionately refer to as “Alt DBers”, which means that they in some way or other are alternative bakers. These are members who adapt recipes to be gluten-free, nut-free, vegetarian and everything in between.
When it comes to our Alt DBers, Natalie has been a tireless champion of the cause. Without her Lis and I would be quite stumped when it comes to answering so many of the questions that we get from Alt DBers. So we’re thrilled that both Natalie and Shel have the opportunity to put the spotlight on alternative baking and the challenges faced by those who can’t just open up a cookbook and have a go at it without substituting ingredients.
And now back to our story.
The recipe for lavash crackers is based on the one from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. As recipes go, this was probably one of the easier ones in recent DB memory.
We begin with our ingredients. The Cream Puff places together bread flour, salt, yeast, honey, oil and water in a bowl.
Let us move to Chapter 2.
With a mighty wooden spoon, the Cream Puff mixes the ingredients to form a ball of dough. And my, what a ball of dough!
The action continues with the ball of dough and the Cream Puff engaged in a violent battle otherwise known as kneading. After five minutes, the ball of dough has been somewhat tamed.
After ten minutes it’s as meek as a mouse. Cream Puff is able to stab it with a thermometer. Ouch!
But the lavash dough gets its revenge. Its unwieldy nature results in the Cream Puff’s somewhat irregularly shaped dough.
The Cream Puff attempted to exact revenge by using a sharp object otherwise known as a cookie cutter. Feeling somewhat guilty, she piled on some lavender buds in an effort to make amends.
She really went for the sympathy vote by sprinkling thyme, rosemary and sea salt on part of the lavash dough as well.
The lavender chapter seemed to end well.
The thyme, rosemary and sea salt chapter … not so much.
And she burns her crackers!
Does this sad story end here?
There is a happy ending in the form of a Red Pepper and Roasted Garlic Dip used to camoflauge the crackers.
And there’s even a sweet ending in the form of Lavender Lavash Crackers drenched in the Cream Puff’s newest discovery: agave syrup.
And so this story ends. With burned crackers and knowledge gained.
Here’s the recipe for the Red Pepper and Roasted Garlic Dip:
1 cup roasted red peppers, cut into strips
3 cloves, roasted garlic
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. tahini
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 tbsp. lemon juice
3 basil leaves, torn into pieces
1 sprig of rosemary, finely chopped
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until desired consistency. Taste and ajdust seasoning. Serve at room temperature.