BBA #17: Lavash Crackers

April 28th, 2011 by Chris


I made these today in the middle of doing some prep work for school, barely even paying attention or putting much effort along the way. Seriously – this is one easy challenge. Quite possibly the easiest one yet in the book.

It’s not just easy, though. Lavash Crackers are also very delicious. I was skeptical about how they would turn out, but my skepticism was misplaced. The specific combination of spices used on these “crackers” (more like breadsticks) is really, really addictive. Once you eat one of these things, you just keep eating. And eating. And eating. Luckily this is not a high-calorie challenge!

(As fellow BBA’ers stream in, such as Nancy and Coz, I’ll quick link to their products right here).

On DIFFICULTY, I’d rate the Lavash Crackers as extremely easy. As a matter of fact, this is a great recipe for a total beginner to start off with, since the product is so aesthetically pretty and tasty and the difficulty level so low. So it’s quite easy to pull off a great product, which would be a great confidence builder for someone who is just getting into baking and needs to get their “baking legs”.

On the PROCESS of making Lavash Crackers, there’s the (a) dough-making stage and proofing, and (b) the shaping stage, and (c) the baking stage.

The (a) stage is easy enough. Standard dough creation, it just has a few extra ingredients, such as honey. That said, the first rise didn’t go exactly as expected. PR says that after 90 min the dough should double, but it took mine a good three hours, and even at that point it wasn’t quite doubled. I almost gave up on the dough, and then figured “what they hell” — and I decided to just push forward and see what happens.

The (b) stage is not difficult at all. Basically, create  a square with the dough and then rolling pin the dough until it is extremely thin. After this, let it sit for a few minutes to let the dough relax. Once that’s done, brush some water onto the dough and then add all the spices. I used:

1. Paprika (which tasted great, by the way)
2. Caraway seeds
3. Cumin seeds
4. Poppy seeds
5. Sesame seeds
6. Kosher salt

Last time when we made the Kaiser rolls, PR said to just use water to get the seeds to stick, but mine — after baking — fell off. This time he says to do the same thing, so this time around I used my finger to gently press the seeds/spices into the dough to make sure they didn’t fall off afterward (it worked well, they stayed put).

Here’s my dough once I added the spices:

Looks a bit like an odd rug, doesn’t it? (note my new snazzy silpat as well!)

At this point, you just use a cookie cutter and cut the shapes. I did a lot of long shards, and some smaller rectangles. I can imagine that you could actually go a bit nutty with weird shapes, but I held off this time as I just wanted to see how they came out.

Stage (c) is simple: 350 for 20 minutes. Simple.

On TASTE I’d rate the Lavash Crackers very high. These were just good, I’m not sure what else to say. Even my 5 year old kept eating them, and she’s a snob who refuses to eat my breads. In fact, she even cried when I took the pictures, because it was delaying her getting another one to munch on. Seriously. That good, I guess. My wife ate a bunch as well.

In fact, my one criticism here is that the recipe is so small. Typically, I don’t know what to do with all the bread a PR recipe yields. I usually get so much bread I’m trying to figure out how to store it all. In this case, there was barely enough for a few people to munch on. So my one complaint is that this yield is simply too low. But I guess if that’s the big complaint, then there’s not much to argue about.

Here are some other photos:

and this one

NEXT WEEK: Light Wheat Bread

Alright, let’s be honest. Light Wheat Bread? After some of the interesting breads we’ve made?  I’m not going to lie, I’m not looking forward to this next one. I’m actually bored already. Ah well, win some, lose some.

15 Responses to “BBA #17: Lavash Crackers”

  1. Coz Says:

    Chris your crackers look amazing. How exciting you have a new silpat. I just got one a few monthes ago and enjoy it. I have my post up http://www.scratchbaker.blogspot.com

  2. Chris Says:

    Coz –

    The advantage of the way you cut them was you can eat them with cheese! I made mine like breadsticks, so there wasn’t any way to eat them with anything else. Still, they were pretty damn tasty! Yours look good!

  3. Coz Says:

    Thanks Chris, I am from Wisconsin so everything must go with cheese. I bet these crackers would be good with some hard shredded cheese on top of them before baking. Your right though-they are good on their own.

  4. Joanne Jones Says:

    Both of yours look so good! I have been wanting to make this since last week, and just haven’t had time to! Made two loaves of 100% whole wheat sourdough bread, on two different days, but that is all the baking I have had time for. My apple trees are needing pruning, which is a HUGE job and we must clean up the yard when the sun decides to shine. Hope to make these soon, they do look wonderful!

  5. Chris Says:

    Thanks, Joanne. I wish I had apple trees! I have walnut trees, and they drive me nuts — pun intended.

    I agree, by the way, it’s hard to keep up with weekly challenges. Life gets in the way.

  6. jim Says:

    OMG walnut trees, apple trees, life on a farm…I bought a patio peach, does that count?
    well did the lavash, as you said Chris pretty simple, if it’s rolled really thin.Some of mine were not so crisp, but still tasty. The more I think about them the more variety of toppings come to mind.
    havent put up a post on my blog as yet.

  7. Joanne Jones Says:

    Lol, Jim, you are so funny! Don’t worry there are definite downsides to living in the country! Like trying to find a variety of flours, without bleeding through the wallet! The apple trees were planted way to close to the house, so we are thinking of buying some dwarf ones and putting them a little further away. These are full sized one, and can be quite a pain at times. We don’t have traffic jams though, unless you call stuck behind a cattle drive a couple times a year a traffic jam. I also have fresh chicken eggs each day, and homegrown meat for my dinner table. It’s a 50/50 mix, of good and bad! The same as every other place I have lived though.

  8. Chris Says:

    Jim

    Those crackers look awesome! Nice photo!

    I too had a few come out not as crunchy as you might expect or hope. I figured this was in part due to the way they are baked — on the sheet pan. I’m not sure, though.

    Walnut trees are pretty while the walnuts are still in the trees. When they fall off the trees you start cursing the fact that you have them.

  9. Joanne Jones Says:

    Oh, just a note, if your crackers are not as crunchy as you would like, turn the oven on to it’s lowest temp and stick them in it. Watch them, I usually check every 10 to 15 minutes, till they are nice and crisp. I have a dehydrator that I use to do this. You can do this with any crackers that you have forgotten to close up etc. or are simply not crisp enough.

  10. Joanne Jones Says:

    Oh, boy, Chris is right on that one! My friend in Sacramento had 4 huge walnut trees in her yard. Walnuts on the ground and definitely a lot worse than apples on the ground. The deer come out and eat the apples, but walnuts have to be picked up or they sprout new trees. YUCK, that is a lot of work!

  11. jim Says:

    Thanks Chris, I think I saw a farm program once where they had laid a mesh of sorts below the tress to gather the nuts?
    Joanne ,I know farm life is full of work, when we lived on LI in NY, the area was zoned for farming.One day I heard roosters crowing,I said to the wife ‘we should get chickens’ ( meant as a joke).Unfortunately she said ‘you can’t have chickens’. Wrong thing to say to me!!Now I have a new challenge to work on!!
    So, went to the library took out every book they had about raising chickens,finnally selected one that was written for the layman and as a fun to do project, opposed to being a Perdue comptetitor.
    Oredered chicks from Murry Mcmurry’s in Iowa.OMG, didn’t know how vast the specie is .Well we were getting a dozen eggs a day, couldn’t give them away fast enough!!They were really delicious compared to store bought.
    finnaly gave them away after 2 years, to friend that had lot’s of land and a little mix of goats, pig, ducks .The chickens lived happily ever after, naturally.Did not want to go to the enormous project of slaughtering them.

  12. Geoff Says:

    Wow – looks great! These look like what we were served in an Irish ‘Gastro’ Pub up in Vancouver a long while back – delicious with beer too. Fermentables, fermentables! They were also served with creme fresh and assorted cheeses – which shoots the low cal option out of the water.

  13. Joanne Jones Says:

    Well, I finished mine! http://journeywithbaking.blogspot.com/2011/05/bba-lavash-crackers.html

  14. NancyB Says:

    I’ve got a flurry of posts, in catchup mode. My crackers are here: http://nlbarber.blogspot.com/2011/06/bba-17-lavash-crackers.html

    Summary: good and easy, but I want to roll them thinner next time.

  15. Chris Says:

    Mine were very thin. I liked them – I think these would make for a great party food alongside some dips.

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