This month's Daring Bakers challenge provided me with the opportunity to try not just making my own crackers for the first time, but two other recipes I've had my eye on.
Seeing all the other DB's efforts totally put my own to shame, but I had a ton of fun anyway.
Making the crackers was actually fairly easy. I happened to have the book where the recipe came from (Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering The Art of Extraordinary Bread), so I followed it from there. Basically it's like making bread dough, but instead of shaping into loaves you're rolling it out thin and sprinkling seeds and seasoning onto it.
Here the first batch of crackers have been rolled out, cut, and seasoned (paprika, sesame seeds, sea salt). I was pretty proud of how thin I was able to roll them out. The second batch I baked as a whole sheet and broke it into shards when it was finished baking.
Unfortunately, even though the dough had seemed really thin when I rolled it out, the baked crackers lacked the snap of real crackers -- and were obviously too thick. Still decent enough to eat, but the next time I make these I may try using a pasta roller to make sure I get the thinnest possible dough.
Here we have the two dips I'd been wanting to make: hummus, and what I'm calling "Bright Red Salsa." I've been wanting to make my own salsa and hummus for awhile, and having crackers around was the perfect excuse. Both dips I made were completely vegan, as per the requirements of the challenge.
The recipe for the hummus that I used required too much lemon juice, so it ended up being far more sour than I prefer hummus to be. The salsa, though, was fabulous -- fantastic not just for taste, but nutritional value!
Bright Red Salsa
- 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes, drained
- 8 oz. of red beets, diced (canned or freshly roasted)
- 6 oz. of sweet corn kernels
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1/4 cup cilantro or parsley, chopped
- 2 tsp olive oil
- salt to taste
Combine all ingredients. Add salt to taste. Best when served a bit chilled.