Saturdays, I'm reliably informed, are meant for fun. That's what Mr A&N keeps telling me today, as we pass each other in the hall between rounds of dusting furniture, vacuuming carpets, washing floors, and generally trying to chase away the dust left by the builders currently making our somewhat peaceful and mostly orderly lives go topsy turvey. The builders are back on Monday but since I asserted I couldn't live in the post-apocalyptic dust bowl we currently call home, we've spent a fair portion of the day doing cleaning which we know will all come undone with the first footfall of a builder as he enters the house.
Between the dusting and cleaning and the "Where's the fun?" queries today, I've also tackled this month's Daring Bakers task of making lavash bread. Lavash is a middle eastern bread and (at least according to wikipedia) can be used as a sandwich/kebab wrap when rolled out very thin and served fresh, or served as crisp crackers when cooked longer and left a bit thicker. The DB task was to treat the bread as crackers, as well as to make a dip or spread on the side to eat with the crackers. The only other requirement was to make it vegan, and the option was there to make the crackers gluten-free as well.
I embraced the gluten version, though found the dough wasn't as elastic-y as other bread doughs tend to be. Reports on the Daring Bakers message board were that people wound up kneading the dough for 20 minutes or more (rather than the recommended 10 minutes), and I did the same. Though it did turn silky in the end, it tended to stay in a ball rather than stretch far. I had used less water than was suggested since the dough seemed wet enough without it all added, and perhaps this lack of water gave it the texture I worked with - a bit like a big ball of bubble gum, chewed and left to sit on the counter for a few hours before you go back to chew it again.
I topped the crackers with ras el hanout (a Moroccan spice mix), sesame seeds, and smoked sea salt. The crackers smelled wonderful cooking, and both crisped and browned perfectly, and I appreciated that we were given a recipe that could reasonably be started and finished in a couple of hours. For my dip, I made more beetroot hummus since that's now a high-demand foodstuff in the A&N household.
After he was finished hanging up our second load of laundry for the day (the dusty clothes, towels, and cleaning cloths that fell victim to the building works), Mr A&N came in to try the lavash with hummus. "That's good" he affirmed. "I think the fun can begin now."
Thanks goes to Natalie from Gluten A Go Go and Shel from Musings from the Fishbowl for setting the challenge. The recipe for the Lavash can be found at either of their sites.
Saturday, 27 September 2008