Sarah from All Our Fingers in the Pie was our February 2013 Daring Bakers’ host and she challenges us to use our creativity in making our own Crisp Flatbreads and Crackers!
When we did our crackers daring bakers challenge a few months back I was working on a recipe for the sweet sesame crackers my grandmother used to make and could not get it quite right then so when this challenge was announced I knew that this is the recipe I wanted to make
These crackers are called Karakeesh قراقيش and they are perfectly crisp, sweet but not overly so. The sesame seeds add a beautiful texture, they pop when you bite into them and because there are sesame seeds in the dough itself and on top of the crackersو all the popping is almost like there is a little firework show in your mouth :). The anise and the cardamom play gently in the background, they are not pronounced in the final baked cracker but they add a nice spicy depth and warmth to the taste.
My other take on this challenge was using Linda’s sundried tomato and basil flat bread. I make this bread often to serve with soup or with dips but this time around I made it into crackers and a round loaf that I rolled out thin then toasted in the oven. I stuck to Linda’s recipe except for using dried herbs and adding oregano to the basil. I also added some tomato paste to the dough itself and reducing the garlic a little. The kids call these pizza bread and pizza crackers and love them warm out of the oven. As you can see from the pictures my bread really rose in the oven , so next time I may divide the dough into 4 parts and roll it super thin to get to be more crisp
Sweet sesame crackers “Karakeesh” قراقيش فلسطينيه فلاحيه
1 kg all purpose flour (you can replace part of the flour with whole wheat flour)
1 and 1/2 cups toasted sesame seeds
1 cup olive oil
1 and 1/2 tablespoons anise seeds slightly crushed
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 cup warm water
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a bowl add the flour, salt , anise, cardamom and sesame seeds
Add the olive oil and rub it into the flour mixture until the flour absorbs all the oil and turns into wet sand consistency
Dissolve the sugar in the water and add the vanilla to it
Add the sugar water gradually and knead the dough until you get a smooth dough that does not stick to the sides of the bowl
Cut the dough into 30 balls and allow them to rest, covered with a clean cloth for 10 minutes
Sprinkle your working surface with sesame seeds and start rolling out the dough into circles 7-10 cm in diameter and 1/2 cm in thickness
These crackers are meant to look rustic so don’t worry about getting perfect circles, rough uneven edges are part of their charm
If you find that the dough sticks to the working surface sprinkle some flour with the sesame seeds
Transfer the rolled out dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment
Bake on the lowest rack of a preheated oven at 200 C until the edges turn golden and then place them under the broiler until the tops are golden brown too
Cool the crackers on a wire rack
Sun-dried Tomato and Basil Flatbread
Adapted from Savoring every bite
1 teaspoon yeast
¾ cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped *
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 ¼ cup white wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
Garlic oil or plain olive oil for brushing and sea salt for sprinkling on top
Combine the yeast, sugar and warm water in a large bowl or stand up mixer with dough hook attached. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes. (if the yeast does not foam and bubble then it has gone bad and you need to discard it and start over with new yeast)
* If the sun-dried tomatoes were not previously marinated, soak them in hot water for about 5 minutes to soften.
Add in the drained sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, oregano and basil stirring to combine.
Mix in the flour and salt and knead by hand or dough hook until smooth, about 10 minutes by hand, 5 minutes by mixer.
Place the dough in a well-greased bowl and allow to sit for one hour, slightly covered with plastic wrap or a towel away from any drafts.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. When dough has risen, divide in half and flatten to about ¼ inch thick either in a round shape or rectangle.
Brush the top with olive oil and sprinkle on the salt.
If you plan on making crackers cut the rolled with the pizza cutter of knife into little squares.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes until brown and crisp.
If you like your crackers to be extra crisp, warm the oven to 220C then turn it off and place the crackers in it on a baking sheet and then leave them in the closed oven until it cools down completely
The sesame crackers can be stored in an air tight container for weeks, they also freeze well
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