Daring Baker’s Challenge: Crackers and Crispy Flatbreads

About a year and a half again when I decided that I wanted to make croissants, I went searching for the best recipe that I could find. My search led me to more blog posts that I can count and most of them kept referencing one thing: The Daring Bakers. Spanning the globe, the Daring Bakers and Daring Cooks tackle a challenge every month—the Daring Bakers attempting everything from croissants to panettone and the Daring Cooks giving a go of things like homemade sausage and paella.

After hemming and hawing for a very long time, I bit the bullet and decided to join. The first Daring Cooks challenge for me, making homemade sausage, was a little out of my league; however, the February 2013 Daring Baker’s Challenge to make our own crisp flat breads and crackers was right up my alley. This challenge was presented by Sarah from All Our Fingers in the Pie.

If you’re interested, the Daring Baker’s reveal their challenges to the public on the 27th of each month and the Daring Cook’s reveal theirs on the 14th.

So without further ado, here’s my first foray into the Daring Kitchen:

Carta da Musica “Sheets of Music”
from King Arthur Flour’s recipe found here

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup semolina (wheat flour for pasta)
1 ¼ tsp. salt
1 cup lukewarm water

Directions:
Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place a cookie sheet in the oven while it is pre-heating. You want it to be really hot.

Grab all of your ingredients; there are only four!

In a bowl stir together all of the dry ingredients

until well combined.

Then add the water,

and stir it all together

until a dough forms.

The original recipe states that this should be a soft dough, but, truth be told, mine was a bit on the dry side.  However, I decided to avoid the temptation of adding more water to the mix, trusting that everything could and would turn out all right.

Knead the dough for about 7 minutes in a mixer. I’m not sure how long you should do it if kneading by hand. I don’t knead dough by hand.  Some people find it therapeutic, but I  find it frustrating.

Remove the dough from the mixer.  See, it moistened itself up quite a bit.

Divide the dough

into 12 pieces or more if you’d like. I ended up with 16 ultimately.  Obviously, that was after I took this picture.

Cover them and let them rest for 15 minutes.

With a rolling-pin, roll each ball into an 8 inch round on a lightly greased surface. I kept a bottle of vegetable oil nearby with a paper towel.

Mine aren’t round at all.

In fact, my first ones were closer to round, but when I cooked them they puffed up to crazy heights, as you’ll see in a second.  The thinner I rolled them, the flatter and crisper they became.

Move the rounds to the baking sheet and bake for about 4 minutes or until the top of the bread is lightly browned and firm.

Flip the rounds over and bake on the other side for another 3 minutes.

The first batches were lighter in color.  The longer the oven was on and the hotter the oven became, the browner and crisper they became.

These were from the first batch.

See how poofy they were?  They were a bit too soft, too.

These were from my second batch.

They were larger and thinner and much less round.

These were the last three that I baked– thinner still and much crisper.

Let them cool before serving.

On their own, they taste like unsalted saltine crackers.  KAF suggests that you “brush them with seasoned oil or serve with dips.”  Or you can just eat them the way we did.

For my husband and daughter, I spread the bread crisps with a little unsalted butter and then sprinkled them with a little kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper.

I topped mine with a smear of unsalted butter, banana peppers, feta cheese, and a sprinkle of kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper.

I had two for lunch and they were ridiculously delicious.

Store leftovers in a zip-top bag.

Yield: 12-16 crispy flat breads

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2 responses to “Daring Baker’s Challenge: Crackers and Crispy Flatbreads

  1. They look lovely! Great job on the challenge

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