Crisp Lavash Crackers with Roasted Pepper Sun-Dried Tomato Anchovy Dip and Sweet and Sour Asian Eggplant Sesame Dip

Roaster Pepper Dip

Another month, another Daring Bakers’ challenge. This month challenge is quite different from the previous ones. First of all, it’s a savory dish and the second, it’s vegetarian. Even more, the dip or spread for serving with crackers is supposed to be vegan. Well, the eggplant dip matches this category, but the roasted pepper one is not-so–vegan, since I couldn’t resist the temptation and added the anchovies. I love these gutsy things that much.

The both dips are delicious and different. The crackers that I served with Italian pepper dip are sprinkled with coarsely ground pepper, sea salt, and fennel seeds. And the second batch, meant for the Asian eggplant dip, I sprinkled with sesame seeds. I didn’t serve them all at once of course. Every dip-crackers set was served, on its turn, with a nationally appropriate dinner.

Eggplant Asian Dip

The dough recipe is adapted from Peter Reinhart.

Makes about 6 dozens crackers; 2 cups pepper dip; 4 cups eggplant dip

For the crackers:

  • 1 cup unbleached bread flour
  • ½ cup stone-ground whole wheat flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp instant yeast
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/3 to ½ cup + 2 tbsp water, at room temperature
  • Freshly ground black pepper, good quality sea salt, fennel seeds, and sesame seeds for sprinkling

For the Italian roasted pepper dip:

  • 2 large red bell peppers
  • 6 sun dried tomatoes, packed in oil, coarsely chopped
  • 4 anchovy fillets, coarsely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp good quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 scant tbsp capers, rinsed and drained
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Roaster Pepper Dip

For the Asian eggplant dip:

Adapted from Bon Appetit

  • 2 to 3 eggplants, total weight about 3 lbs
  • 1 ½ tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 3 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp sweet Thai chili-garlic sauce
  • 3 tbsp (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3 plum tomatoes, seeded, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 ½ tsp Asian sesame oil
  • Some chopped green onions for sprinkling

Asian Eggplant Dip

Make the crackers:

Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 350F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Set aside.

In a bowl of the stand mixer, stir together the flour, salt, yeast, sugar, oil, and just enough water to bring everything together into a ball. You may not need the full ½ cup + 2 tbsp of water, but be prepared to use it all if needed.

Place the bowl onto the stand mixer base and knead with the dough hook for about 6-8 minutes at medium speed, until the dough is satiny to the touch, not tacky, and supple enough to stretch when pulled, the dough should pass the windowpane test and register 77 to 81F. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, rolling it around to coat with the oil. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and let ferment at room temperature for about 1 ½ hours, or until the dough doubles in size. You can also retard the dough overnight in the refrigerator immediately after kneading. Bring the dough to room temperature before rolling.

Punch the dough down. Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Cover with a big bowl and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes.

Divide the dough in half. Roll each half very thinly on the floured surface. Pasta roller is a wonderful tool for this task. Roll as thin as possible.

Cracker Dough

Cut the rolled dough into the long strips fitting them onto the prepared baking sheet. Mist the top with water and sprinkle with seeds and/or salt and pepper. Don’t overdo the salt and pepper. Roll a rolling pin over to embed the seeds into the dough. Score the dough into desired shapes with a pizza wheel.

Bake in batches, for about 10 minutes, until the crackers begin to brown evenly. The time greatly depends on how thinly and evenly you rolled the dough.

Crackers Baked

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let them cool slightly on the sheet on a rack. Snap them apart and cool completely on the rack.

Make the Italian roasted pepper dip:

Roast the bell peppers. Place an oven rack 4 inches from the grill. Preheat the broil to high. Line a baking sheet with foil. Arrange the peppers on the prepared sheet and grill, turning often until blackened and blistered on all sides, about 15 minutes. Transfer the peppers into a large bowl, cover with foil and let steam. It will loosen the skin from the flesh, making them easier to peel.

After the peppers have cooled, peel off the skins. Remove the ribs and seeds. Do not rinse the peppers under water, use paper towels to blot excess juices. Coarsely chop the peppers.

Place the sun-dried tomatoes, anchovies, garlic, and olive oil into a bowl of the food processor. Run until the mixture is smooth. Add the roasted peppers and pulse several times until the peppers are finely chopped but not pureed. Transfer to a small bowl, add the capers. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Serve with the pepper and fennel seed crackers.

Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Serve at room temperature.

Make the Asian eggplant dip:

Preheat the oven to 425F. Pierce the eggplants all over with a fork. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Roast in the oven until the eggplants are very soft and deflated, turning once, about 1 hour. Cool slightly.

Cut the eggplants in half; scrape the flesh into a strainer set over a large bowl. Let drain for 30 minutes. Transfer the eggplant to the food processor. Pulse until almost smooth.

Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the green onions, ginger, garlic, and chili-garlic sauce; sauté just until the onions soften, about 45 seconds. Stir in the brown sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Mix in the eggplant puree and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the chopped tomatoes, and the sesame oil. Cool to room temperature. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl, sprinkle with the green onions and serve with the sesame seed crackers.

Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Serve at room temperature.

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46 Responses to “Crisp Lavash Crackers with Roasted Pepper Sun-Dried Tomato Anchovy Dip and Sweet and Sour Asian Eggplant Sesame Dip”

  1. Oh my god ! Yours are soooo thin ! How clever to use the pasta machine !
    Anne

  2. Such thin crackers – they look great! I also love all the dips!

  3. That pasta machine is such a life saver isn’t it. Great job – perfect crackers. Love your little eggplant serving dishes – so ocute.

  4. beautifully thin lavash. excellent vera!

  5. Your paper-thin Lavash Crackers look marvelous! What a great idea to use your pasta machine! I love both dips! Very well done!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  6. Oh I love the lovely thin crackers. But the dips are simply incredible. It’s always so wonderful to come here and see your colorful creations!

  7. How did you bake them so perfect? :) I only managed to save a few worth photographing. The rest was burned :)

    Ps: Wonderful bowls!

  8. Spectacular as always!!

  9. Hi Vera, ohh…so gud…! I am drooling at ur pics. what a lovely bowls…!And ur pics are always amazing.
    Well Done…!
    Sonu:)

  10. Oh my gosh I want those serving plates! Want them!!! Gorgeous picture and I’m glad you enjoyed the challenge.

  11. I really like the idea for the crackers. I also love the fact that you used the pasta attachment to make them thin.

  12. Everything looks delicious. Those eggplant dishes are adorable!

  13. Looks wonderful Vera! I like that you sneaked in the anchovies. I had to add a little goat cheese to my challenge.

  14. Wow,
    your crackers by far the thinnest one that I’ve seen. Well done! I love all of your dips. I am sure they are all delicious!

  15. Wow! Your crackers are very thinnest!! Great job! Elga db member

  16. They look so thin, crisp and perfect. Wow, great job!

  17. Love thsoe little ggplant dishes. How cute is that! Eggplant dip, YUM I have been so into eggplant this year.

    The crackers look like sore bought gourmet!

  18. Stunning..Love your dips and I LOVE your bowls!!

  19. Whouhahouuu your challenge looks like a pro.
    Awesome!
    Cheers

  20. You really rolled them thin! They look very crispy and both dips are very nice!

  21. Wow, stunning! I love the eggplant and pepper dishes–so cute!

  22. Your crackers are so thin I need to learn from your about the pasta machine since I did not have your sucess.

  23. Your crackers are the thinnest I’ve seen, and I love how the toppings correspond to the dips. Nicely done.

  24. Using a pasta roller is a genius idea! I wish I had thought to use mine. Your crackers and dips sound great – but hold the anchovies for me!

  25. Just fantastic! I love the thinness of the crackers! And the bowls for the dips are just too cute!

  26. Nice photos! I like the dip combos you created very much – delish!

  27. Wow! Vera, your crackers are so neat. I’ll try pasta roller next time. :)

  28. Fantastic use of your pasta maker! (I’ve got to get one some day.)

  29. What a great way to roll the crackers. Love the sound of both the dips and the pepper serving dish is great – I want one

  30. wow those crackers look so nice and they re perfect. the dip looks great too.

  31. the first seconds I saw your photos I asked myself how you could have rolled your dough so thin !!!! Terrific idea and terrific crackers !!!! Soooooo great !!!!! Whaow !

  32. your dips are fabulous! the crackers also rock, but really, all i’d need is a spoon! :)

  33. Great idea to use the pasta machine to make them paper thin! Both dips sound excellent! Brilliant execution again!

  34. Wow your crackers look great but I’m not surprised.

  35. Such cute little bowls.. Perfect for the dips!
    Wish I had a pasta machine to sheet out the dough. That’s probably what Reinhart meant by paper-thin. Mine came out cardboard-thick.

  36. Such thin and crisp crackers. Frankly though, your bowls are stealing the show.:)

  37. My huge thank you to everyone who stopped by and left a comment! I greatly appreciate it! Thank you very much!

  38. What perfect looking lavash, Vera! And those dip bowls are so cute :)

  39. I love your lavash triangles… I wish I could dip deep into your dip! :)

  40. Y, Leonor, thank you!

  41. Those are the thinnest, most perfect looking crackers I’ve seen. The dips are no slouch either!

  42. Very good idea to make the crackers chip-like in shape, it makes total sense :). The colors in the dip look amazing in the picture!

  43. Oooh, I love the picture of the dough running through the pasta attachment. Very cool!

    Your crackers and dip are perfect in every way.

  44. hi vera, luv yr wonderful site. just visited ur site & i’m so impressed by all ur recipes. ur ultra thin lavash and the special dips are a definite winner.thanx 4 the recipes.

  45. o.k., I thought I would never find the end to all those comments! :)

    I love the roasted pepper, tomato and anchovy version dip, this is something I would love on hand always! Can this be preserved? And I took my pasta machine out too thinking of using it, but my clamp was missing and my machine was sliding all over the place.. It was more work for me than just rolling them out.
    Yours look perfect Vera!
    Ciao!

  46. WOW…perfect crackers, mouth watering dips and absolutely amazing photographs. I’m in awe…AND hungry :)

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