Chefs on the FarmBefore the turkey, before the stuffing, even before the pumpkin pie that sometimes defines all that is the Thanksgiving meal... there are the Thanksgiving appetizers. Breads, cheeses, salads, and other tasty morsels displayed lovingly on tables for guests to enjoy before sitting down to the main attraction.

It is easy enough to head to the store, grab a couple boxes of crackers and some pre-made dip and call Thanksgiving appetizers complete. But if one wants to put as much love into their appetizers as they do the main course, Lora Lee and Rick Misterly, authors of Chefs on the Farm, suggest you try a recipe for homemade lavosh crackers by Chef Karen Jurgensen. These simple, homemade lavosh wafers will fill your home with the smell of baked bread, offer you a chance to create something with wholesome ingredients, and give your guests a treat!

Spread out some artisinal cheeses, some fruit and vegetables and you have yourself a delicious and homemade Thanksgiving appetizer to wow your guests.

While a cracker recipe might seem intimidating, Chef Karen Jurgensen has created a homemade lavosh - crisp flatbread cracker - recipe that is tasty, full of healthy ingredients, and easy to make! Here's what she says in Chefs on the Farm:



Makes 8 large crackers, approximately 9 by 14 inches

LavoshThese crisp flatbread crackers hail from Armenia. They are a dramatic complement to the farm's cheese displays. We brush them with olive oil and coarse sea salt and top with different herbs (rosemary and thyme) or seed spices (nigella, caraway, cumin, or poppy) for color and flavor variation.

Here's what you'll need:

  • 3 tablespoons active dry yeast (4 packets)
  • 3 cups warm water
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (to increase the sustainable factor, use whole wheat & flour from a local producer)
  • 5 cups all-purpose or bread flour
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh herbs (rosemary, mint, sage, or your choice)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

Mix the yeast with the water and let sit in a warm place until it foams. Put the water–yeast mixture in a large mixing bowl and stir in the whole-wheat and white flours, herbs, and salt.

Add more flour if the dough is too sticky. Let rise until doubled in bulk, then punch down with your fist to deflate the risen yeast dough.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Roll the dough very thinly and evenly, large enough to cover a baking sheet. You should make about 8 large sheets of Lavosh dough. Place the flattened dough on ungreased baking sheets and bake in batches for about 15 minutes, or until crisp and golden, flipping once.

Serve crackers whole for dramatic presentation, or break up into pieces if desired. Only garnish the crackers that you are serving immediately; the dry crackers will keep well stored in an airtight container for a week or more.

Want to know more about the Misterly's unusual farm in eastern Washington where chefs come to learn true farm-to-table cooking? Learn about the farm and get more than 70 recipes by Chef Karen Jurgensen in Chefs on the Farm. Order your copy today.


-- Adapted from Chefs on the Farm, Skipstone ©

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