Saturday, September 27, 2008


This months Daring Bakers Challenge made history in the world of the Daring Bakers our Lavash Crackers are required to be vegan and/or gluten free. I made mine vegan but not gluten free. The other part of the challenge was to create a dip/spread/salsa/relish to accompany it.

I made two batches of the Lavash crackers one with bread flour and one with whole wheat flour. For my dip I made a spicy guacamole. I did not get as many photos of this process as I would have liked but I will be attempting these again. To roll them out I used my pasta maker it was the first time I had ever used it and lets just say I need WAY MORE PRACTICE!

This recipe makes 1 sheet pan of Lavash Crackers
1 1/2 cups (6.75 oz) unbleached bread flour or gluten free flour blend. I also used a whole wheat flour
(1/2 tsp (.13 oz) salt
1/2 tsp (.055 oz) instant yeast
1 Tb (.75 oz) agave syrup or sugar (I used Agave syrup)
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. For the whole wheat version I used the whole amount of water. For the bread flour version I needed an extra 2/3 of a cup of flour. I made this in my mixer.


2. 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.


4. 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.

I only got photos of the whole wheat dough going through the pasta machine I think I needed to form it more into a block so it would have spread out evenly

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.

This is the whole wheat dough I forgot to take pictures of the bread flour crackers before they baked. For the whole wheat crackers I used paprika and maldon seas salt.

For the bread flour crackers I used the maldon sea salt and black sesame seeds

6. 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). I did not roll my dough thin enough certain parts were very thin like crackers while other parts had a similar texture to pita. I actually really enjoyed both textures. The whole wheat crackers took about 30 minutes to cook.

7. 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.


For my vegan dip I made a spicy guacamole. Next time I would like to make a spicy mango salsa to go with the crackers
6 ripe avocados
1 red onion
1 large jalapeno with the seeds
4 limes
1 tablespoon lime zest
2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
Maldon Sea Salt and Ground Pepper to tastes

Chop the red onion and avocados put the lime juice over. This will prevent them from turning brown Add the lime zest and salt and pepper then mash with a fork until you get the consistency you like then mix in the cilantro. When storing the guacamole I suggest using a piece of plastic wrap and pressing it onto the guacamole so it is touching it. This keeps it from going brown on you.

2 types of Lavash Crackers and Spicy Guacamole.







We have sucess Craig Loved the lavash and dip!

I would say this challenge was a sucess I just need more practice. This is something I will 100% do again. i just need to work on rolling the crackers out thinner and with more consitency ,but I really did enjoy the pita like texture of the bread flour lavash. Make sure to check out the other Daring Bakers and see how there lavash and dips turned out

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Over the weekend I decided to make some Lasagna. My boyfriend Craig asked for healthy lasagna so this is what he got. I am sorry to say I don't have the measurements but this is what I used

Tomato Sauce
1 Large yellow onion
2 springs of oregano
salt to taste
about 2 teaspoons of sugar (just to add a little sweetness)
onion powder
Italian seasonings
garlic paste about 2 tablespoons
4 garlic cloves just crushed with a knife
2 Cans Muir Glen Whole Peeled Tomatoes with basil 28oz cans
1 can Muir Glen Organic no slat tomato sauce 15 oz
1 can Muir Glen Diced tomatoes 150z

2 lbs ground 99% lean turkey
Italian seasoning
onion powder
salt and pepper

2 boxes spinach to layer in lasagna

Ricotta Sauce
two 15 0z containers of non fat ricotta
Italian seasoning
garlic paste
2 cups of Parmesan
Salt and Pepper
1 Egg Yolk

3 boxes whole wheat lasagna sheets

3 bags 8oz each fat free mozzarella

First I dice the onions put them in the pot over moderate heat until they are translucent and soft then I add the crushed 4 garlic cloves. I toss in the spices and the oregano until you smell the aroma. I then also add the garlic paste at this point. Once all of this is combined I add all the tomatoes and salt. I let this simmer for about an hour uncovered then I taste again at this point I add more salt and the onion power and Italian seasonings and I add the sugar. I cover and forget about it for another hour. Then I come back and taste it at this point I like the taste so I take my handy hand blender and puree the sauce but leaving some texture. I let this simmer on the stove and it just gets better and better as it simmers.

Since I was making healthy lasagna I sauteed in a pan 2 pounds of lean ground turkey breast to this I added paprika salt, pepper and Italian seasonings. I let it brown up and then I break it up so it can now be spread in the lasagna

While the chicken was browning I made the ricotta filling

For the ricotta I use two 150z containers of non fat ricotta mixed it up with Italian seasoning Added some garlic paste and about 2 cups of fresh Parmesan. I also season with pepper. The Parmesan adds enough salt. Make sure to taste at this point make sure you like the taste. Then I add 1 egg yolk to help it bind it.

I used 3 boxes of whole wheat lasagna noodles cooked them for 5 minutes they are undercooked at this point and now its time to assemble

I put sauce on the bottom add the noodles, then sprinkle ground turkey and spinach add some of the ricotta mixture and layer with the mozzarella. I then spread with tomato sauce. And then repeat the process two more times. When I get to the top I spread the noodles with a layer of mozzarella and Parmesan.

Preheat your oven to 350 also make sure to put the lasagna pan on a cookie sheet since it will bubble over. About 45 minutes to an hour its done. But wait don't cut into it yet give it about 10 minutes to set up. Make a salad and you have a lovely dinner.

Back by popular Demand CRAIG!!!! He loved the lasagna and we have had dinner for a week.