Monday, May 20, 2013

My answer to store-bought crackers...

There are certain things my DH loves to eat with crackers... and I wanted to get him some the other day.  I carefully read label after label, trying to find something that didn't have any scary ingredients like soy oil and other things that he doesn't eat anymore.  There was NOTHING except some little round "melba toast" garlic-herb thingies and they were made with white flour.  I did get those for him.  And I got to thinking I might be able to come up with my own version.  Here it is and we like it.  They are very crunchy, but nicely tasty with some liver pate or broken into soup.

Sourdough Garlic-Herb Melba Rounds

1 cup sourdough starter
3/4 cup lukewarm water
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, packed down well
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh sage, packed down well
2 large garlic cloves, put through a garlic press or minced very finely
1 teaspoon Realsalt
Freshly ground whole wheat flour
Extra-virgin olive oil for bowl

French bread pan for two loaves (optional)

Combine the sourdough starter, water, garlic, herbs and salt.  
Begin adding whole wheat flour, a little at a time and stir in thoroughly.
Add and stir in flour until the dough is stiff enough to knead.
Using a little more flour to prevent sticking, knead vigorously for 10 minutes.
Wash and dry bowl.
Put a little olive oil in the bowl and rub it around.
Put the dough in and turn it over to oil the top.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap.
Let rise for 12 hours.
Moisten your work surface with water and place the dough on it.
Divide it into two, and form into two long skinny loaves that will fit in your French bread pans that have been buttered well.
Alternately, you can put them on a buttered baking pan, but they will be less "round."
Allow to rise in pans until when you touch it lightly with your finger, the dough springs back slowly.
Bake in pre-heated oven at 400 degrees F. for 30 min.
Cool completely on wire rack.
Slice into 1/4 inch slices.
Place slices on baking sheets and into a 200 degree F. oven.
After 2 hours, turn slices over and put the baking sheets back into the oven for 1 more hour.
Remove from oven and check to make sure they are dry and crisp.
Do not let them cool before putting into containers if you live in a humid climate.
Store in air-tight containers at room temperature.  

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