Lavash Crackers and Green Chutney

This month’s Daring Bakers‘ challenge was to make lavash crackers with an accompanying dip, hosted by Natalie and co-host Shel. The crackers were easy to make, and though the recipe was gluten-free, I chose to make a fully-gluten version as I used a regular bread flour.

And the chutney? Well, I’ve craved and eaten significantly more Indian food this month than past months, so the idea of a green chutney immediately popped in my head, and no other dips felt like a fit. It was my first time making it, and it, too, was easy to make. I searched around for various chutney recipes, and decided to try a hybrid of them, adding in an extra pepper because, well, I like my foods spicy. If I ever try my hand at making some Indian curry or other dishes, I’ll definitely be making the chutney again.

Lavash Crackers
from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/3 to 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoon water, at room temperature
black sesame seeds for topping

Directions:
1. In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, salt, yeast, sugar, oil, and just enough water to bring everything together into a ball. You may not need the full amount of water, but be prepared to use it all if needed.
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, 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.
3. Ferment at room temperature for 90 minutes, or until the dough doubles in size.
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.
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 sesame seeds or spices on the dough. Use a pizza cutter to precut the cracker, and cut rectangles in the dough. You do not need to separate the pieces, as they will snap apart after baking.
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).
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.

Green Chutney

Ingredients:
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
2 hot green chili peppers
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:
1. Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

Basil Feta Triangles

We had a women’s brunch at church a few weekends ago, and what a delicious variety: scones, other pastries, salmon tarts, frittatas, salads, and more breakfast foods. My contribution were these basil feta triangles. I kept this phyllo dough in my freezer for a while with the intention of making baklava… but I suppose I’ll get around to that another day.

Basil Feta Triangles
adapted from Betty Crocker

Ingredients:
1 lb. feta cheese
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 tspn white pepper
1/8 tspn salt
1-16 oz. package frozen phyllo sheets (18×14 inches), thawed
1/3 cup melted butter

Directions:
1. Crumble cheese into small bowl; mash with fork. Stir in eggs, basil, white pepper, and salt until well mixed.
2. Cut phyllo sheets lengthwise into 2-inch strips. Cover with plastic wrap, then with damp towel to keep them from drying out.
3. Place 1 teaspoon cheese mixture on end of 1 strip. Fold strip over cheese mixture, end over end in triangular shape, to opposite end. Place on cookie sheet. Brush triangles lightly with butter.
4. Bake 12 to 15 minutes at 400 degrees or until puffed and golden brown. Serve warm.