Seeded Cracker Bread
Cracker bread, an extra-thin focaccia-type loaf, is quick and easy to make, bakes fast, and can be broken into serving-sized pieces at the table. Eat it with a meal, spread it with dip or a soft spread, use it to scoop up caponata or another cold vegetable salad, or just munch it with a drink; this is an all-purpose bread.
Yield: 1 Servings Ready in 3 hours
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Seeded Cracker Bread Preparation
Stir together all the above ingredients. Knead them to form a smooth dough, and place in a large, greased bowl, turning to coat all over with oil. Cover it and let rise for 1 hour, or until nicely puffed.
Punch dough down, shape into a ball and let rest for 10 minutes. In the meantime, lightly oil the bottom of three half-sheet pans (13 x 18-inch).*
Divide dough in thirds. Take one third, place it on the bottom of a half-sheet pan, and roll it out as thin as you can; it should be 1/16-inch thick or less. If dough resists rolling and keeps springing back, let it rest for 5 or 10 minutes, then start again. Dough should cover entire bottom of pan.
Preheat oven to 450°F. Lightly brush dough with oil, and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds, and coarsely ground pepper and salt, if desired. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes (this depends on your oven), or until bread is very brown. Remove it from the oven and let cool; bread will become crisp as it cools, and is actually better 24 hours after you bake it.
*Any type of large, flat pan will work here. The point is, you want a large enough pan -- or enough smaller pans -- to be able to roll the dough very thinly. Since this bread bakes so quickly, you can do the whole thing using only one pan, if you have to; it'll simply take longer.
This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. III, No. 6, July-August 1992 issue.
I use my manual pasta maker to press perfectly rolled sheets of cracker dough. It allows you to experiment with thicknesses that are repeatable. Doing this with a rolling pin is difficult.
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