This crisp cracker bread's colorful name comes from the dough, which is supposed to be rolled so thin that you can read sheet music through it. It's the perfect vehicle for anything from a quick dip in seasoned olive oil to a spoonful of caponata
Carta puffs up and crisps beautifully on a super-hot pizza stone. But don't let the lack of a stone stop you; it bakes nearly as nicely on a baking sheet.
This recipe comes from the pages of The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion, our "EVERYTHING baking" cookbook.
* 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
* 1 cup semolina
* 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
* 1 cup lukewarm water
1) Preheat your oven to 450°F, with a pizza stone in the middle or lower part (not top) of of the oven. If you're not using a stone, preheat a baking sheet in the oven for about 10 minutes before placing breads on it to bake.
2) Mix the flour, semolina, salt, and water, stirring to make a soft dough.
3) Knead till dough is smooth and resilient, about 7 minutes in a stand mixer set at medium speed.
4) Divide the dough into 12 pieces, rounding each piece into a ball. Cover the balls and let them relax for about 15 minutes; this will make them easier to roll out.
5) Roll each ball of dough into an 8" to 9" round on a lightly greased (NOT floured) work surface. The rounds will shrink to about 7".
6) Transfer the rounds, 2 or 3 at a time, to your baking sheet or the hot pizza stone. Bake until the top of the bread is firm and lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Turn them over, and bake until the other side is lightly browned, about 3 to 4 minutes.
7) Remove from the oven, and cool on a rack. Serve with spreads or dips. Or brush with seasoned olive oil, and sprinkle with a touch of salt.
Yield: 12 carta.
20 mins. to 30 mins.
6 mins. to 8 mins.
41 mins. to 53 mins.
Tips from our bakers
If you notice your oven starting to cool down due to the constant opening and closing of its door as you turn the carta, give it a rest between batches; the crackers will puff best if the oven temperature is 450°F.
source: King Arthur e-mail newsletter