IF YOU ARE STILL IN THE PROCESS OF RAISING CHILDREN, BE AWARE. THE TINY FINGERPRINTS THAT SHOW UP ON ALMOST EVERY NEWLY CLEANED SURFACE, THE TOYS SCATTERED AROUND THE HOUSE, THE PILES AND PILES OF LAUNDRY LYING AROUND TO BE TACKLED, WILL DISAPPEAR ALL TOO SOON. AND, YOU WILL, TO YOUR SURPRISE, MISS THEM PROFOUNDLY. THOMAS S. MONSON

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Daring Bakers Alternative Style!!!



This month daring bakers went on the history books! For the first time ever, they turned the reigns over to the Alternative group. They are the ones that have allergies, and special dietary needs. I am pretty sure I failed this challenge, as I really don't need to be aware of gluten context in foods. So, in the words of, Mad Dog, and many other people who know me, "I follow the beat of MY OWN drum!" I just hope I don't get cut! Could I get cut? Uh-OH! Let's worry about that later!

Our challenge, was to make vegan and gluten free crackers, and vegan and gluten free dip, spread, stuff to go on the crackers. So I got 75% of the directions right. Natalie from Gluten A Go Go, and co-host Shel, of Musings From the Fishbowl brought us this challenge. They gave us the flexibility to add any seasoning, and make whatever type of dip we want. This is usually where I get in trouble. I am best when I have direction to follow. When they say, "Be creative", that is where I SUCK! I followed the crackers recipe exactly (minus-the paper thin rolling of the dough-oops!) For the seasoning I used an EVERYTHING seasoning; equal parts: poppy seeds, dried onions, dried garlic, flax seed, kosher salt, sesame seeds... (Is that everything? HAH!!!) It was really yummy! For the dip... it was gluten free (as far as I can understand), but not quite vegan free. It is my favorite spread, and my sister-in-law must think about it all the time, because when I was pondering what I should do, she suggested it. Great suggestion Alie... you should be the daring baker!

So here it is friends...

Makes 1 sheet pan of crackers

* 1 1/2 cups (6.75 oz) unbleached bread flour or gluten free flour blend (If you use a blend without xanthan gum, add 1 tsp xanthan or guar gum to the recipe)
* 1/2 tsp (.13 oz) salt
* 1/2 tsp (.055 oz) instant yeast
* 1 Tb (.75 oz) agave syrup or sugar
* 1 Tb (.5 oz) vegetable oil
* 1/3 to 1/2 cup + 2 Tb (3 to 4 oz) water, at room temperature
* Poppy seeds, sesame seeds, paprika, cumin seeds, caraway seeds, or kosher salt for toppings

1. In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, salt yeast, agave, oil, and just enough water to bring everything together into a ball. You may not need the full 1/2 cup + 2 Tb of water, but be prepared to use it all if needed.

2. For Non Gluten Free Cracker Dough: 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 be firmer than French bread dough, but not quite as firm as bagel dough (what I call medium-firm 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. (You can also retard the dough overnight in the refrigerator immediately after kneading or mixing).

4. For Non Gluten Free Cracker Dough: 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. 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).

6. 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.

Then how about that dip:

1 can (14 ounces) artichoke hearts in water, drained and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
2 tablespoons finely snipped fresh parsley
1 lemon
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 garlic clove, pressed
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 350. If you have a food processor… throw everything (yes everything, all the ingredients) in that and let it do the work. If not then…. Coarsely chop artichokes, dice bell pepper, dice parsley and zest your lemon to 1/2 teaspoon.Pour into a big bowl. Add mayo, mozzarella and squished garlic into bowl. Put mixture into an oven safe quart-ish size dish. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top. Bake for 8 minutes or until edges are golden brown or cheese is melted. Remove and serve HOT BABY!!!

2 comments:

Jean Smith Photography said...

seriously...this is so much fun for me to see your HUGE talent at work (and the story behind it too). it's about time you got that camera so you can show the rest of us what you do behind closed doors! the food looks fabulous (gluten free or not)!

Julie Barb said...

YOu are amazing Kirstynn! Man, whenever I read your blog...I suddenly get hungry!!