Recipe (Makes 1 sheet pan of crackers) :
Unbleached bread flour or gluten free flour blend - 1 1/2 cups (6.75 oz)
(If you use a blend without xanthan gum, add 1 tsp xanthan or guar gum to the recipe)
Salt - 1/2 tsp (0.13 oz)
Instant yeast - 1/2 tsp (0.055 oz)
Agave syrup or sugar - 1 tbsp (0.75 oz)
Vegetable oil - 1 tbsp (0.5 oz)
Water - 1/3 to 1/2 cup + 2 Tb (3 to 4 oz), at room temperature
1. In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, salt yeast, agave, 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.
2. For Non Gluten Free Cracker Dough: 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 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.
2. For Gluten Free Cracker Dough: The dough should be firmer than French bread dough, but not quite as firm as bagel dough (what I call medium-firm dough), and slightly tacky. 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. For Non Gluten Free Cracker Dough: 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.
4. For Gluten Free Cracker Dough: Lay out two sheets of parchment paper. Divide the cracker dough in half and then sandwich the dough between the two sheets of parchment. Roll out the dough until it is a paper thin sheet about 15 inches by 12 inches. Slowly peel away the top layer of parchment paper. Then set the bottom layer of parchment paper with the cracker dough on it onto a baking sheet.
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.
What I did:
I finally got around to making the crackers yesterday. Everything went fine and the dough turned out to be smooth, soft and just right. I divided the dough in half before rolling it out. I rolled out the dough and cut them into rectangles, moistened the surface and sprinkled sesame seeds over them. Just to make sure that the sesame seeds stick, I gently pressed them onto the surface. (I also sprinkled a bit of cumin seeds and a pinch of chilli powder over my second sheet of crackers). My first sheet of crackers were fine (eventhough I didnt have to bake them even for 10 minutes), but the second sheet was browned too quickly. So I reduced the temperature of the oven to 300F. Even then, some pieces turned out too brown for my likes. So I reduced the baking time to about 6-8 minutes, and managed to salvage some lightly browned pieces, which were really crisp nonetheless. I made an Avocado - Mango Salsa from scratch to go with the crackers. The recipe for the salsa is from allrecipes.com.
Avocado - Mango Salsa :
Avocado - 1, peeled, pitted and diced
Lime - 1, juiced
Mango - 1, peeled, seeded and diced
Red onion - 1 small, chopped
Habanero pepper - 1, seeded and chopped
Chopped fresh cilantro - 1 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Place the avocado in a serving bowl, and mix with the lime juice.
Mix in the mango, onion, habanero pepper, cilantro and salt.
- I omitted the habanero pepper. Jalapenos would be a nice substitute to the habaneros. Or else, add some chopped red bell peppers to the salsa.
- I added one tomato, diced, to the salsa.
- I also added a tbsp of chopped green onions.
Hope everyone loved reading about this DB challenge and checking out the pictures. I cant wait for the next DB challenge! Dont forget to check out the wonderful crackers and toppings of the other DB-ers, here. Enjoy!!