I started exploring the art of baking some four months ago, that is if my memory still serves me right. The first baking recipe I ever perfected is the oatmeal cookies, or so to say one that I can bake repeatedly and come up with the same taste and consistency without taking the slightest glimpse on the recipe. So when Sarah of All Our Fingers in the Pie announced The Daring Bakers’ challenge for February which calls for crispy flatbreads, I was so tempted to tweak my oatmeal cookie recipe to be flat and crispy, which I was successful in doing so, but then I realized that would be cheating and it would completely defeat the whole purpose of the challenge. Where’s the challenge in that?
You see I have came to enjoy baking so much and I realized I still have a lot more to learn but I don’t really know what other things I needed to learn so I have decided to participate in The Daring Bakers’ monthly challenges for that purpose — to know what things I needed to learn and learn about them.
For this month (which also happens to be my first in joining the monthly challenges) my entry is based on the herbed flatbread recipe posted on the challenge announcement page (you may download the printables here) which I tweaked a bit with what’s available in my closet-turned-pantry. Also, I used fresh basil leaves instead of thyme or rosemary because I can’t find fresh ones in local groceries (or just my little excuse so I could put my basil forest into good use).
Herbed flatbread recipe
3 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
1 cup lukewarm water
1 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
toasted black and white sesame seeds
Place warm water on a mixing bowl and sprinkle with active dry yeast. Leave for 10 minutes or until foamy. Stir in the flour, oil, basil, salt and sugar and mix until it forms a dough. Knead for a few minutes until smooth, dust as necessary so it would not be sticky. Return the dough in the mixing bowl and cover with a cling wrap. Leave it on a warm place for about 1 to 1 1/2 hour or until it doubles in volume.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Divide the dough in 10 equal parts, roll each piece as thin as possible. Brush the surface with olive oil and sprinkle with toasted black and white sesame seeds. Lightly roll once to embed the seeds on the dough. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes or until very lightly browned.
The batch on the two photos above I made by rolling each dough to about 8″ x 10″ and sliced into six parts before baking. I was planning to bring them to my workplace and I thought rectangular crackers would fit better on a rectangular airtight containers so that’s what I did.
The batch below were rolled very thin which came out crisp as corn tortilla chips and were paired perfect with leftover spaghetti sauce.
And to borrow the words from that creepy purple talking backpack, “Yum, yum, yum, yum. Delicioso!”
I’m still tweaking the recipe for these pesto crackers as they’re still crumbly. I’ll post the recipe once completed.