27 September 2008

Daring Baker Lavash Crackers


Once again it is Daring Baker time!!!!! Browsing and clicking through the blogosphere today take a few minutes to see what the over 900 Daring Bakers have been up to this month. The Daring Bakers is the brainchild of our beautiful and talented co-founders Lis at La Mia Cucina and Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice . We are given a challenge each month, choose a day to bake our little hearts out and then we all post our top secret recipe on the same day. Today is that day!!!!!
Today you are inundated with Lavash Crackers.This months challenge was hosted by Natalie from Gluten A Go Go, and co-host Shel, of Musings From the Fishbowl. They have a gluten free option for making this dish. We were given a lot of leeway this time around and able to make these crackers our own with large helpings of creativity and personality. We were also to create a vegan dip, spread, salsa or relish to accompany our creations. I was more than excited to be making a savoury dish this time around rather than sweet!!!!!!!!!! The recipe comes from The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering The Art of Extraordinary Bread, by Peter Reinhart. Copyright 2001. You will find the recipe here.

Lavash crackers are similar to many other Middle Eastern and North African flatbreads known by different names. You may have heard of mankoush or mannaeesh (Lebanese), barbari (Iranian), khoubiz or khobz (Arabian), aiysh (Egyptian), kesret and mella (Tunisian), pide or pita (Turkish), and pideh (Armenian). The main difference between these breads is either how thick or thin the dough is rolled out, or the type of oven in or on which they are baked. Many of these breads are cooked on stones or red-hot pans with a convex surface.The key to a crisp lavash you ask? Roll out the dough paper-thin!!!!!! The sheet can be cut into crackers in advance with a pizza cutter or snapped into shards after baking. The shards make a nice presentation when arranged in baskets.
We were supposed to prepare a vegan dip to serve with these but I already had this goat cheese and artichoke dip in mind for L'il Burnt Toasts birthday. The Lavash crackers were well worth the effort. It was fun to decorate them with seeds and spices. I added layers of poppy seeds, sesame seeds and hot chili pepper flakes.
In breaking British Columbia news our Premier Gordon Campbell Campbell said that as of 1 pm Friday, the tolls that have been in place since the Coquihalla Highway's opening in 1986 are being removed. Yay!!!!!!!!The announcement was the highlight of my day!!!!!The Coquihalla's toll was $10 for cars, with other vehicles paying between $5 and $50. In the 1980s, Bill Bennett's Social Credit government said the toll was meant to pay for fast-tracking construction of the Hope-to-Merritt section. But when that amount was paid off in 2000, the fees remained. This means that when I drive to Vancouver it won't cost me an extra $20 on top of our mounting gas prices. Gas is up to $1.46 a litre already!!!!The many local Merritt employees who worked at the toll booth will lose their jobs but they have been promised government jobs. This almost makes me want to vote for Gord Campbell in the upcoming election....but he is implementing the carbon tax...so no way!!!!!!!! Sorry just a political snippet there.......on to the food!!!!!!!!!!!

**Baked Artichoke, Goat Cheese & Pesto Dip**

1 lb Goat Cheese
1 lb Neufchatel cream cheese
1 cup pesto (See pesto recipe below)
1 cup half and half
1 can artichoke hearts, chopped
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
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Soften goat cheese and neufchatel cheese to room temperature. Put goat cheese and neufchatel in a food processor and blend until smooth with no lumps. Add pesto and half and half and pulse until combined evenly. Remove and add chopped artichoke hearts stirring with a spoon. Season with salt and pepper to taste as necessary. Pour into an oven-proof casserole dish and top with grated parmesan cheese. Bake at 350° F for 10-12 minutes or until top becomes golden brown. Serve with olive oil crostini or your favorite crispy bread or crackers....pr...in this case Lavash crackers. Enjoy!

Pesto

2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup toasted walnuts
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 - 1 cup extra virgin olive oil

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Combine ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
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35 comments:

  1. looks lovely! and that dip must've been fabulous!

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  2. I loved this challenge too Val...it was nice knowing I won't have to fight for the rest of the month to get the weight off that I put on during the DB challenge!!! Love the dip...very creative!

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  3. Great job Val. Love your dip as well. I am a chicken. I do not dare to join the daring bakers.

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  4. Greta Lavash crackers Val...well done! And I also see that you have your favourite ingredient, goats cheese in the accompanying dip!

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  5. Your dip and crackers looks so delicious! I wish I had some of mine left to munch on!

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  6. Wonderful way to celebrate good news...any saving is great news in these times! What nice looking crackers & a yummy dip too Val. Love the spoon & the bowl the dip is in...YUM. BTW, I've finally put my post out.

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  7. I would have loved a little goat cheese in mine! Yummm,Val! And Yay for you for not paying that toll anymore!

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  8. Great job with the crackers and that dip sounds divine!

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  9. Lovely crackers, the poppyseeds really made them beautiful.

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  10. The tools gone but the possibility of more taxes. We cant win for trying. Anyway I was drooling over the picture of the dip. Me want some.

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  11. I love your dip Val! I am so with you on loving this challenge! Great pics!

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  12. WOW! You did a great job on this. The dip sounds incredible

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  13. love your choice of dips.

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  14. Oh, wow! It all looks wonderful, Val! Your lavash look perfect and that dip is amazing! I need to add this one to my repertoire. Well done!

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  15. Those crackers look awesome and your pesto dip sounds like a delicious combination of flavors. You Daring Bakers are inspiring!

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  16. Wow, those dips are highly flavorful and satisfying! I particularly love the artichoke one! Great Lavash Crackers too! Very well done!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  17. Lovely crackers and that dip sounds divine!!

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  18. Yours may be the only hot dip I've seen so far in the DB posts -way to go!

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  19. Hi Val, your lavash crackers looks great and I love teh dip that you made as well.

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  20. Vall your crakers and Dip look wonderful! xxReally! Gloria

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  21. Terrific how wonderful a challenge without eggs and sugar and butter and cream can be isn't it. This was grand.
    Love that dip!

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  22. Your pictures are always really beautiful. I think your lighting is perfect.

    The crackers and dip look oh-so-good. Great job!

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  23. This is so fun, I LOVE the dip you did and it sounds like pure heaven!

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  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  25. Hey kindred spirit :)
    Lovely job- funny we do have really similar tastes -ie the baked artichoke dip and I was going to do O for orzo today too :)

    xo

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  26. Your crackers turned out wonderful! That dip is truly to die for! Well done!

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  27. Your crckers look fabulous. I Love the decorative look of the seeds, and that dip, well, what can I say but WOWSER, WOWSER. It looks delicious. I was quite happy myself to be making something that could be considered somewhat healthy for a change. I love to bake and I Love to eat sweets, but my oh my these were just wonderful!

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  28. Next time I have a dinner party I should make this dip and those crackers. You always do good at every challenge that you take.

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  29. looks lovely. it was a great challenge, i agree.

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  30. That dip looks totally awesome!

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  31. Oh my goodnesss your dip sounds fantastic! Your crackers ame out beautiful too!

    I was late posting --I thought it had to go up the 30th!

    Pat in NY

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  32. I am swooning over that dip... Definitely one to bookmark and try :) Your crackers look fab too, and I can't believe there are now so many daring bakers!

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  33. Hi Val this was a great challenge and I enjoyed this one too. You've done a great job and your dip looks scrummy :)

    Rosie x

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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