These Armenian crackers are an easy and impressive dough to whip up, stretch out and bake into salty, crispy deliciousness. They look great with whatever you put on them, and are nuetral enough to dip into absolutely anything.
Yield: Two 13 x 9 sheet pans of crackers, over 3 dozen medium crackers
Time: 1 1/2 hours, start to finish
- Medium sized bowl
- Measuring cup
- Teaspoon & tablespoon measures
- Rolling pin
- Pizza cutter, or sharp knife
- Pastry brush
- 2 cookie sheets (13"x9")
- Baking paper
- Thermometer (optional)
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup water, at blood temperature
- 1 egg for an egg wash (optional, can use water)
- Toppings such as sesame seeds, poppyseeds, paprika, chopped nuts, cracked pepper, sea salt etc..
1. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine warm water and yeast and let sit for 5 minutes to give it a head start. Your water should be around 95 degrees, or just slightly warm to the touch. If you are using instant yeast, you can skip this step and just combine all ingredients into a bowl. Stir in the flour, salt, honey, olive oil and bring everything together into a shaggy ball.
2. Sprinkle some flour on the counter and transfer the dough to the counter. Knead for about 10 minutes. The dough should be satiny to the touch, not tacky, and supple enough to stretch when pulled. If the dough tears easily when stretched, knead a little bit longer until it can be stretched out without tearing. The dough should register 77° to 81°F on a thermometer if you're using one. Lightly oil a bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or tea towel and let dough sit in bowl at room temperature for about an hour, or until the dough doubles in size. (You can also retard the dough overnight in the refrigerator immediately after kneading or mixing).
3. Press down your dough and fold it in on itself a couple of times to redistribute the yeast. Divide in two. Press the first half of dough into a square with your hand and dust the top of the dough lightly with flour. Roll it out with a rolling pin into a paper thin sheet about 9 inches by 13 inches. I find its easiest to pick the dough up, and gently stretch it out using your knuckles and the back of your hand until you can see light through it. Repeat with the second half of the dough.
4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line sheet pans with baking parchment. Carefully lift the sheets of dough and lay it on the parchment. If it overlaps the edge of the pan, snip off the excess with scissors. Use a very sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut the dough sheets into triangles.
5. Beat an egg in a small bowl with a teaspoon of water. Gently brush the top of the dough with egg wash and sprinkle a covering of seeds or spices on the dough.
6. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until the crackers begin to brown evenly across the top. Remove from the oven and let them cool in the pan before moving.