Saturday, 27 September 2008

The Daring Bakers Rock the Flatbread

One of the great things about the Daring Bakers is that there is a large population of folk who have specialized diets. There is so much support for gluten-free, lactose-free, vegan and many other dietary restrictions and choices that that alone would be a great reason for joining this great (and enormous) group.

This month's Daring Baker challenge is Lavash, an Armenian flatbread. The flatbread is to be paired with a vegan dip or spread as the hosts this month are vegan; Natalie from Gluten A Go Go, and co-host Shel, of Musings From the Fishbowl. Options to go gluten-free were provided as well, but I went with the classic recipe.

I am a huge fan of Peter Reinhart and have a copy of the Bread Baker's Apprentice, it is a great bread book - as are his others. I worked from the book and realized after that I had forgotten to take one piece of advice from the Daring Bakers. If you rolled the dough out in two pieces it will roll flatter. I did one large piece and it did puff up around the edges. The taste was still wonderful though and I used all of the recommended seasonings - cumin, caraway, poppyseeds, sesame seeds, kosher salt, and paprika. Next time I would season it even more - and add cracked black pepper.

One tip that I have for anyone rolling out something very thin that they have to move after - tape a large piece of parchment paper down onto your counter with painter's tape. The paper should be at least one inch larger than how big the dough will roll out to be - on each edge. When it is rolled out to desired thickness and size - cut away the excess paper and transfer the whole thing to the baking sheet or stone. The painter's tape will be easy to remove from the counter and can be tossed along with the trimmed edges of the parchment paper.

To go with the flatbread, I had made salsa this year from Small Batch Preserving by Ellie Topp. I am very proud as this is the first time I have done any canning.

Fiery Yellow Pepper Salsa - I didn't find it too hot, more lime-flavoured - I labeled it as I thought it tasted: Lime Red Pepper Salsa.

2 cups chopped sweet yellow pepper (I used red)
2 cups chopped peeled ripe tomatoes (I don't peel tomatoes, mine are so small)
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup finely chopped hot yellow pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped jalapeno pepper
2 large cloves garlic
1/4 cup lime juice (bottled)
2 tbsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp pickling salt
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro

1. Combine everything except cilantro in a medium stainless steel or enamel saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat and boil gently, uncovered, for about 15 minutes or until mixture is thickened, stirring frequently. Stir in cilantro and cook for 2 minutes.

2. Remove hot jars from canner and ladle salsa into jars to within 1/2 half of rim. Process 20 minutes for half-pin and pint jars.

Check out the Daring Bakers blogroll to see how the other members rocked the flatbread.