This month, Daring Bakers went towards a savory route. It also went fairly simple, with a recipe of lavash crackers and a vegan dip of our choice. For those that don't know, veganism is having a diet using no animal-produced products whatsoever. It excludes butter, gelatin, honey, that sort of thing. The lavash was very simple to make, and the fastest dip I could think of was guacamole.
I actually made a few batches of this dough. The first time I rolled out the dough, I rolled it too thin and it ended up being a hard cracker. I wanted something softer, more bread-like, so I tried a second time to great success. The third was just last night - I needed something to eat some leftover hummus with. Because it's quick to throw together and bake, it's perfect for that sort of situation.
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry instant yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons water
Toppings of choice
In a stand mixer bowl, combine flour, salt, yeast, sugar, and olive oil, and add 1/2 cup of water. Knead with a hook attachment until the dough comes together. If necessary, add 1 teaspoon of water at a time until the dough forms a ball. If it feels a bit too wet, you can add some extra flour. Knead for 10 minutes, or until you can pinch a bit of dough, stretch it, and see light coming through before it breaks (shows that enough gluten has formed). Place into a bowl and cover with a tea towel, and allow it to proof for 90 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Punch down the dough and divide in half. On a piece of parchment paper, roll the halves into 8-inch (21-cm) circles. Add the toppings of your choice (I kept it simple, using a heavy pinch of kosher salt). While still on the parchment paper, place onto a baking sheet and move into the preheated oven. Bake for 6 minutes, then using a spatula, flip the lavash over (if your toppings aren't pressed into the dough, skip this step). Bake an additional 6 minutes, then remove from the oven and allow to cool on a rack. Slice into shapes of your choice (I made pie slices, resulting in 12 wedges). Serve at room temperature with dip of your choice.
3 medium avocados
2 bell peppers (yellow, orange, or red for extra color), sliced
1/2 medium white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 1 lime
1 handful cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste
Cut the avocados in half, remove the pit, and spoon out fruit into a medium bowl. Mash with a potato masher, or a large fork. Add the bell peppers, onion, garlic, lime juice. Stir until it's mixed together well. Add cilantro to taste, then salt and pepper. Mix together and cover with a piece of plastic wrap - press right against the surface of the guacamole to prevent oxidation and discoloration. Place into the refrigerator and let sit for at least 1 hour so the flavors have a chance to meld. Spoon into a serving bowl and serve with crackers.
I tried a pinch of the raw dough to get an idea of its taste, and noticed it was on the sweet side. I decided to make a quick dessert lavash out of the remaining half of the dough, so rolled it out and baked it plain. Following a simple dessert my brother and I used to do with flour tortillas as kids, I ran a stick of butter over the top of the hot lavash (NO, not the whole stick went in...it's just easier to hold a whole stick), then topped with a 50-50 mix of cinnamon and sugar. Cut into 12 wedges again, and served warm. It would be great with a simple ice cream.
Variations on this one are endless. There are several toppings you can place onto the savory lavash - poppy seeds, cumin, oregano, anything that won't burn too easily in the oven. You could even bake one and make a mini-pizza out of it. Serve with mango salsa, hummus, any sort of dip you think will match your topping well. Similarly with the sweet version, there are various toppings you can add and side-dishes to serve with. The overall premise of this recipe is simple, and can be adapted to your liking.