Lavash

Makes about 6 large crackers.

Note: This is a showstopper at parties -- a thin cracker as large as a baking sheet, striped with a pattern of seeds and spices, ready to be broken apart and nibbled. Klecko says this cracker bread has been a staple in old-world countries for centuries, "but for years I could not get any chefs to touch this product. When Boston, L.A., New York and Seattle started serving lavash in their cafes around 2001, I knew we were only a half-year from accepting this."

•1 pkg. active dry yeast

• 13/4c. warm water, divided

• 31/2c. bread flour

• 31/2c. whole wheat flour

• 1 tbsp. salt

• 2 large eggs beaten with 2 tsp. water for egg wash

• Various toppings: sesame seeds, poppy seeds, paprika, cumin, salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in3/4cup warm water, and set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine bread flour and whole wheat flour. Add yeast mixture, and then slowly add remaining water, holding some back as you mix. You want the dough to resemble Silly Putty. Add 1 tablespoon salt, mixing well.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until dough is smooth. Divide into 6 pieces. Roll each piece with a rolling pin until as large as a cookie sheet yet paper thin. If dough pulls back on itself, stop occasionally and let gluten rest. Remember, thinness makes them lavash; size makes them impressive.

Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Carefully place lavash on the parchment. Brush with egg wash, leaving some parts unwashed, which provides a color contrast. Sprinkle washed areas with sesame or poppy seeds. Experiment with other toppings, such as paprika, cumin or salt. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Nutrition information per serving of ¼ cracker:

Calories 149 Fat 2 g Sodium 302 mg

Carbohydrates 28 g Saturated fat 0 g Calcium 13 mg

Protein 6 g Trans fat 0 g Dietary fiber 3 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 bread/starch.

Winter Midnight Bulgur Bread

Makes 2 to 3 loaves.

Note: Will Powers has been working on this recipe for about 20 years and says he is "finally satisfied with it." It incorporates a basic recipe for cracked wheat bread from "The World of Breads," by Dolores Casella, and one for pane integrale from "More Classic Italian Cooking," by Marcella Hazan. Baking this bread in a Pullman pan, with its sliding lid, results in the ideal sandwich shape with a crust all around of deep mahogany. This bread makes use of highly seasoned sesame oil; only a few drops are needed. (Store the oil in the refrigerator; it easily goes rancid.) And no, you don't have to wait until midnight to make it.

• 4 c. very hot water

• 2 c. bulgur

• 6 tsp. salt

• 3 tbsp. olive oil

• A few drops roasted sesame oil

• 3 tbsp. active dry yeast

• About 6 c. all-purpose flour

Directions

Shortly before midnight (or the evening before you want to bake), pour hot water over bulgur. Add salt and olive and sesame oils, and let cool to lukewarm. Add yeast, and let sit awhile. Gradually, add and mix flour until dough is stiff enough to knead by hand. Knead about 10 minutes, place in an oiled bowl, turning to coat top, cover with plastic wrap, and place in a cool room. Take a walk, see the stars, and then go to bed.

In the morning the dough should be risen when you rise. Punch down, cover with a towel, and let rise a few more hours in a cool place until doubled. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and shape into loaves. (Will Powers likes to make a flat round loaf, about1/2-inch thick, to bake on a pizza stone, a couple of submarine-shaped rolls and maybe a sandwich loaf for his lidded Pullman pan.) Cover and let rise again until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bake for 12 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees, and bake up to 40 minutes more for large loaves, less for smaller loaves. Bread should sound hollow when thumped on bottom. Cool on a wire rack.

Nutrition information per slice (10 slices per loaf when making 3 loaves):

Calories 138 Fat 2 g Sodium 475 mg

Carbohydrates 27 g Saturated fat 0 g Calcium 9 mg

Protein 4 g Trans fat 0 g Dietary fiber 3 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 bread/starch.

Ihla's Oatmeal Bread

Makes 2 loaves.

Note: My mother, Ihla, once took first place for her oatmeal bread in a baking competition sponsored by the South Dakota Farm Bureau. Typically, she gave the credit to the recipe. I thought it was unbelievably impressive that my mom had won a prize for her bread, at the same time thinking, "Well, duh." It was that good.

• 2 c. boiling water

• 1 c. quick-cooking oatmeal

• 4 tbsp. shortening

1/2c. light molasses

1/2c. brown sugar, packed

• 2 tsp. salt

• 1 pkg. active dry yeast

1/2c. warm water

• 51/2c. all-purpose flour

Directions

In a large bowl, pour boiling water over oatmeal. Stir in shortening, molasses, brown sugar and salt. Cool to lukewarm.

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water, and let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add to oatmeal mixture. Stir in enough flour so that dough comes together in a ball and can be handled. (It will be sticky.) Gradually, knead in remaining flour. Place dough in an oiled bowl, turning to coat top, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and divide in half. Shape each piece into a loaf, and place in a greased loaf pan. Cover with a cloth, and let rise until doubled. Gently brush with milk, and sprinkle with additional oats.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 45 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped. Remove from pans, and cool on a wire rack.

Nutrition information per slice (12 slices per loaf):

Calories 175 Fat 3 g Sodium 202 mg

Carbohydrates 34 g Saturated fat 1 g Calcium 25 mg

Protein 4 g Trans fat 0 g Dietary fiber 1 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 bread/starch, ½ fat.

Recipes reprinted from "Baking With the St. Paul Bread Club: Recipes, Tips and Stories," by Kim Ode (Minnesota Historical Society Press, copyright (c) 2006). Used by permission of the Minnesota Historical Society Press.