Saturday, September 27, 2008

Daring Bakers September Challenge ~ Lavash & Creamy Pumpkin Dip

This month I participated in my very first **trumpet fanfare** Daring Baker's Challenge **trumpet fanfare**. I signed up in time to participate in August, but August was crazy busy, and I think I kind of chickened out, maybe that means I'm not all that daring. But I'm doing this because it is something that is out of my comfort zone (I am a definite novice in the kitchen, but I would love to be a fabulous chef, baker, cook, etc.).

This month's challenge, hosted by Shel (Musings from the Fishbowl) and Natalie (Gluten A Go Go), was to make Lavash and a vegan dip or spread to go with it.

I have been loving the onset of autumn, so I chose to make my Lavash with nutmeg and cinnamon as my spice topping and serve them with a creamy pumpkin dip (the original recipe on the pumpkin dip called for cream cheese, but since the challenge was to make it vegan, I substituted Tofutti's Better Than Cream Cheese).

My dough all rolled out and scored

Photobucket Fresh out of the oven.

Lavash Crackers from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice
Makes 1 sheet pan of crackers

* 1 1/2 cups (6.75 oz) unbleached bread flour or gluten free flour blend (If you use a blend without xanthan gum, add 1 tsp xanthan or guar gum to the recipe* 1/2 tsp (.13 oz) salt
* 1/2 tsp (.055 oz) instant yeast
* 1 Tb (.75 oz) agave syrup or sugar
* 1 Tb (.5 oz) vegetable oil
* 1/3 to 1/2 cup + 2 Tb (3 to 4 oz) water, at room temperature
* Poppy seeds, sesame seeds, paprika, cumin seeds, caraway seeds, or kosher salt for toppings

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 (see … ong-Enough for a description 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.


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.


The finished product.

The next time I make these I will most definitely roll the dough out thinner, but these were very tasty!

Pumpkin Dip

1 (8 ounce) package Tofutti's Better Than Cream Cheese, softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 (15 ounce) can solid pack pumpkin
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon frozen orange juice concentrate

In a medium bowl, blend cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Gradually mix in the pumpkin. Stir in the cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and orange juice until smooth and well blended. Chill until serving.

Thanks for reading! To hear about more Daring Bakers' experiences, or to find out how to join, visit the Daring Bakers Blogroll.


  1. Oooo, your lavash looks amazing! Oh, and that pumpkin dip sounds divine!

  2. I love anything with pumpkin in it!

  3. Katy Lin, I think that sounds delish and the photo makes my mouth water. Becoming a "chef" in the kitchen will happen, because you have the desire! :)

  4. Hi Katy Lin,

    Looks very tasty! You are well on your way to becoming a talented chef, baker (anything you want to be).

    Have a wonderful week.


  5. ohhhh...those look very yummy!! :) I love pumpkin! :)

  6. Ohhh all this is making me so hungry, Can I come over for some?... I think I must give it a try.

  7. Hi Katy Lin,

    I just wanted to let you know that the necklaces for my "giveaway" came in and I will be mailing them out this week OK. Let me know when you get yours. Thank you for subscribing to "In Her Shoes" and visiting me at Love Conquers All. You are such a wonderful and sweet blog friend!!

    PS. I can't wait to see "FIREPROOF!!"



Always great to hear from you! I ALWAYS read your comments, and they make my day!

Thank you!