Sunday, November 21, 2010

Spiced Pumpkin-Seed Flatbread (Crackers)


Makes at least 50 crackers
Recipe from Gourmet Magazine 1998 Epicurious.com and Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen

I really had fun making these. The dough was very easy to work with so if you are a beginning baker, give this a try. If you are lucky enough to have a dough hook on your mixer, by all means, use it to mix and knead the dough. These were tasty as is, but next time I make them, I’ll add a bit of cayenne for more heat. Serve these at your next party with cheese or your favorite dip.

• 1 cup lukewarm water (about 100°F.)
• 1 Tablespoon sugar
• 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
• 6 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter
• 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/3 cup cornmeal
• 1 Tablespoon pure chili powder (I used smoked paprika instead.)
• 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
• 1 cup hulled green pumpkin seeds
• 1 large egg
• 2 Tablespoons cold water
• Kosher salt for sprinkling

In a large bowl stir together lukewarm water, sugar, and yeast and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Cut butter into bits and stir into yeast mixture with flour, cornmeal, chili powder, and salt, stirring until mixture just forms a dough. On a lightly floured surface knead dough until smooth and butter is incorporated, about 5 minutes. Form dough into a ball and put in a lightly oiled bowl, turning it to coat. Chill dough, covered with plastic wrap, 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400°F, and lightly flour 2 large baking sheets.
Chop pumpkin seeds. (The finer they are chopped, the thinner the flatbread will be. I used a mini chopper for this task.) In a small bowl with a fork beat together egg and cold water until combined well to make an egg wash**. Divide dough in half and chill one half, covered. On a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin roll out remaining half of dough into an 1/8-inch-thick rough oval and sprinkle with half of pumpkin seeds. With rolling pin press pumpkin seeds into dough and roll dough as thin as possible. Brush dough with some egg wash and cut into irregular long thin wedges (about 6 by 1 inch). Transfer wedges to baking sheets and sprinkle with kosher salt to taste.
Bake flatbread wedges in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until crisp, 10 to 15 minutes (My oven is contrary and so it took about 20 to 25 minutes for my crackers to be done) and transfer to racks to cool. Make more flatbread wedges in same manner with chilled dough.
Flatbread wedges may be made 3 days ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.

Egg wash tip: To make the egg wash spread easier, after mixing the egg and water together, pour the mixture through a mesh sieve. Doing so will break up the albumin and make the egg wash easy to spread over your dough.

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