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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Daring Bakers Go Crackers

This month we are making Daring Bakers history as our September challenge is vegan and/or gluten free. For the first time ever, the torch has been passed to Alternative Daring Bakers, Natalie from Gluten A Go Go, and co-host Shel, of Musings From the Fishbowl.

Many of the Alternative Daring Bakers must change a recipe to fit dietary restrictions or lifestyle decisions. They are a pretty smart bunch. They can take an egg laden, glutenized, nutty, sugar loaded concoction and transform it into a masterpiece. My hat is off to every alternative baker for educating us.

Our hosts chose something savory this month, the recipe for Lavash Crackers from Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice .

This challenge allowed for large helpings of creativity and personality. Free range was given in flavour choices for the crackers and dip/spread choices. You could make the Lavash Crackers either with wheat flour or we could make them gluten free. All the dips had to be vegan and gluten free.

This challenge was much less time consuming than some of our past ones. Because it was a relatively quick challenge, I made it three times. Each time I tweaked the recipe flavouring and finally, I adjusted the liquid to yield a better gluten free cracker.

The first time, the crackers barely rose and they were the hardest gluten free Frisbees to take to the air. It wasn't a fault of the original recipe. Gluten free recipes need more liquid because the xanthan gum competes with the yeast and the yeast loses. It can't grow, bubble and lift the dough without more liquid. My next attempt doubled the liquid of the original recipe and there was a much better result.

Each cracker attempt had different flavours of flour and spices.

#1 Millet based flour with cinnamon and sugar
#2 Garbanzo flavoured flour with oregano and thyme
#3 Teff/sorghum flour with caraway and fennel seeds, sprinkled with coarse salt

We paired the crackers with hot pepper jelly and hummus because I have no imagination when it comes to vegan dips...

...but I make an amazing pate!Thank you Shel and Natalie, this quick recipe allowed me to experiment a little more with my gluten free side. Much much appreciated!

You can check out the other Daring Baker exploits by clicking on the Daring Bakers Blogroll.

23 comments:

shellyfish said...

Bravo! I think you rock for trying to do GF, seriously! They look beautiful (I love your bowls, too!)

Aparna said...

I wasn't brave enough to attempt the gluten-free version.:)
I do know how difficult it can be to find the perfect combination of flours to substitute in regular recipes.
I think the garbanzo and sorghum variations would have scored over the millet, taste-wise? They all look very good.

Marija said...

WOW! You made them gluten free! Great job!

Babeth said...

Great crackers! You tried so many different ones, that's great!
xoxo

Megan said...

Your crackers look great. Reading about the yeast and xanthan gum, maybe my crackers needed more water. I was worried because the recipe said I might need all the water. :)

enza said...

gluten free Frisbees and please anyone can my dentist?

I'm still laughing.
You're so strong to gain the third attempt and I must have the red hot chilli pepper recipe....pleaseeee....I'm going to put in the jar my sweet pepper and red onion preserves...with salted cheese or meat is delightful.

Arika said...

Love the frisbee comment, lol. Your lavash really looks good!

Arika
My Yummy Life

Lauren said...

Wow, you did a great job with it gluten free! Oh, and the spices on top sound amazing.

Sheltie Girl said...

Great job on your crackers. I'm thrilled that you took the challenge to making a gf version.

Natalie @ Gluten a Go Go

RecipeGirl said...

It was tough to come up w/ non-cheese dips, wasn't it? Well, at least you got a new frisbee out of it. Glad the next batch turned out. Looks great!

Natashya said...

Wonderful that you made so many different variations. The crackers look great.
I ahve one question - Teff/sorghum - are they the same thing???
I had heard of teff from injera but have never known what sorghum was.

Alexa said...

This was such a fun challenge...and you did such a beautiful job with it.

Zita said...

mmm... 3 different flavors, and all GF, Brave!:)

MaryMary said...

Three times? That's dedication. Looks like you mastered it!

Dana McCauley said...

Looks like a wonderful texture for a gluten free cracker. Nice work!

creampuff said...

I was totally going to use that title for my post too!!! Nice job on the crackers ...

Jenny said...

Great job, I should have come baked with you!
PS Sold in 1 day!

Jude said...

haha.. gluten free frisbees sounds like a fun day at the beach. I'm so interested in using xanthan gum now.

Dharm said...

I wasnt brave enough to try Gluten Free! Great job on this challenge and I agree it was a lot of fun!

creampuff said...

Way to embrace the challenge, Mary!

Lisa said...

Great job on going completely Gluten-free, your lavash crackers look fantastic. Not to mention, hot pepper jelly and hummus as dips, especially with a bit of each on every cracker, sounds delicious!

Katelynn said...

I love garbanzo flour! I think you did a splendidly creative job! :)

Laurie said...

I love your variety and creativeness! I too enjoy garbanzo anything! :)