crackers & canapés

earlier this week, i made pizza again (still refining the recipe) and stored half of the dough for a couple of days in the fridge. this morning, i decided to make some crackers and tartlet shells from the crust dough. pretty easy, just run the dough through a pasta roller and cut with a mini biscuit cutter or shot glass.

gf crackers maldon salt

the tartlet shells were fun, i baked them in a silicone mini tartlet mold. the fun part was deciding how to dress them up. the crackers, i sprinkled with maldon sea salt and i filled some of the tartlet shells with creme fraiche, minced red onion, capers and chopped prosciutto and the rest i filled with a chèvre truffle tremor and put those back into the oven until the cheese was just bubbly. a perfect lunch and great test run for my next cocktail party.

gf tartlets

Here’s the updated pizza dough recipe below, along with details on how to make the crackers.

for the crackers: preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. lightly brush a sheet pan with good olive oil and set aside. take the risen dough and pat flat and dust lightly with flour. you can roll it with a rolling pin or use a pasta roller, as i do. with the roller i take it to about setting # 4, lay it on a lightly floured board or counter and  then i cut out the dough with a mini biscuit cutter or a pastry wheel. place the cut dough on the prepared sheet pan and brush each cracker lightly with olive oil. sprinkle with any combination of maldon sea salt, pepper, herbs, spice mixes or seeds. bake for 10 minutes. removes from pan and let cool.

Gluten Free Pizza/Cracker Dough

 Ingredients

4 teaspoons active dry yeast or instant yeast

1 cup lukewarm water (95°F)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large egg

480g (3 ¾ cups) Cup4Cup flour blend plus flour for dusting dough

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

1 pinch of sugar for proofing yeast

 Method

1) Dissolve the yeast, with a pinch of sugar, in 2 tablespoons of the lukewarm water (take this from the approx. 1 cup of water you have measured). Let the yeast and water sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, until the mixture has proofed.

2) Combine the proofed yeast with the remainder of the ingredients. Mix and knead everything together—by hand, till you’ve made a soft, smooth dough. Don’t over-mix the dough; it should hold together, but can still look fairly rough on the surface.

3) To make pizza up to 24 hours later, skip to step 5.

4) To make pizza now: Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and allow it to rise for about 90 minutes. The rise may not be very obvious.

5) To make pizza later: Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 45 minutes at room temperature. Refrigerate the dough for 4 hours (or for up to 48 hours). This step allows you more schedule flexibility; it also develops the crust’s flavor. About 2 to 3 hours before you want to serve pizza, remove the dough from the refrigerator.

6) Decide what size, shape, and thickness of pizza you want to make. This recipe will make one of the following choices:
Two 1/2″-thick 12″ round pizzas
One 3/4″-thick 13″ x 18″ rectangular (Sicilian-style) pizza

7) Divide the dough in half, for two pizzas.

8) Dust the dough lightly with flour and roll out into the desired shapes.

9) Lightly grease the pan(s) with olive oil.

10) Place the dough in the prepared pan(s). Roll the edges over to create a crust.

11) Allow the dough to rise, covered, for about 90 minutes (if it hasn’t been refrigerated); or 2 to 2 1/2 hours (if it’s been refrigerated). Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 450°F.

13) Bake the pizza crust on the lower oven rack till it looks and feels set on top, and is just beginning to brown around the edge of the crust, but is still pale on top. This will take about 5-7 minutes for thinner crust pizza; about 10 to 12 minutes for medium thickness; and 12 to 14 minutes for thick-crust pizza. If you’re baking two pizzas, reverse them in the oven (top to bottom, bottom to top) midway through the baking time.

14) To serve pizza immediately: Remove it from the oven, and arrange your toppings of choice on top. Return to the oven, and bake on the upper oven rack for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until the crust is nicely browned, both top and bottom, and the cheese is melted. Check it midway through, and move it to the bottom rack if the top is browning too much, or the bottom not enough.

15) To serve pizza up to 2 days later: Remove the un-topped, partially baked crust from the oven, cool completely on a rack, wrap in plastic, and store in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, top and bake in a preheated 450°F oven, adding a couple of minutes to the baking times noted above. Your goal is a pizza whose crust is browned, and whose toppings are hot/melted.

16) You can also freeze the un-topped crust for several months in a ziploc type freezer bag. No need to thaw it before heating.

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