Homemade graham crackers

So, the hubbo bought me a number of baking-related cookbooks for Christmas and, after going through and marking all the recipes that looked interesting, I dove in. First up, graham crackers!

Graham crackers bear an interesting provenance, in that they were invented by the dietary reformer Rev. Sylvester Graham in 1829. They were part of his Graham Diet, which was developed to help people control their “carnal urges.” Graham was a proponent of vegetarianism and a whole-wheat/high-fiber diet; fresh milk, cheese, and eggs were permitted in moderation. Interesting that while many of Graham’s tenets have come back into fashion, his most enduring legacy, the graham cracker, is now pretty much junk food.

But no more! Here is a recipe that strips that foodstuff of its fillers and nasty industrial sugars like high fructose corn syrup! I reckon you could even substitute the butter with some Earth Balance and make it vegan! (Be sure to vet your sugars, though; many sugars aren’t vegan because they’ve been processed using bone shards.) So, without further ado, I give you:

Crispy Golden Grahams
adapted from The Craft of Baking

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, at room temperature
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup (the original calls for honey, but I prefer the bright nuttiness of golden syrup)

In a bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, dark brown sugar, granulated sugar, and golden syrup Mix on medium until well combined, about a minute. In two additions, add the dry ingredients, letting the first fully incorporate before you add the second.

Flatten the dough into a rectangular shape, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes or up to 2 days. (You can freeze the dough for up to a month if you wrap it really well.)

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment (I used a silpat).

Unwrap the chilled dough, and on a lightly floured surface, roll it out into a rectangle approximately 1/8 inch thick (mine was between that and 1/4 inch). Cut the dough into rectangles and use a spatula to transfer the rectangles to the baking sheet as you go. Reroll and cut the scraps as necessary until you’re out of dough. Using a fork, pierce each rectangle with two rows of four to six marks (I don’t think I was this precise. I just jabbed at the dough in some sort of pattern and called it good).

Bake the graham crackers, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until they are golden brown, 15-20 minutes (mine took exactly 15 minutes, and probably could have been taken out a minute or so sooner). Cool on a wire rack. Try and save some for your kids when they get home.

The graham crackers will keep in an airtight container for room temperature for up to a week. Yeah, right. Like they’re going to last that long.

I reckon these would taste really good slathered with almond or peanut butter. Or with Nutella and some marshmallow creme. Or you could make some marshmallows, throw in some fancy dark chocolate and call them gourmet s’mores. The possibilities for dolling these up are endless, but they are also pretty darn delicious on their own. You could also roll it out a bit thinner and use it for pie crust.

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  1. Sally

     /  February 4, 2010

    Aww, I feel so flattered! I do think I make a nice pot pie, I must say. One thing I do is pre-steam carrots and potatoes, till they’re just underdone. Then add them in with the chicken, broth, etc. Another thing I do, to make things just a little quicker, is use a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. Saves having to cook the chicken beforehand, and you get the nice flavor of chicken cooked on the bone. Plus, a good variety of meat. Pre-chill the rotisserie chicken, and prepare to get your hands messy. Take off your rings before getting started.

    Oh, and I use heavy cream, but I tend to just splash some in until I think it’s enough–usually 1/4 cup or so. The potatoes thicken up the sauce nicely, and I can’t imagine adding an entire cup of cream.

    And, yup, it’s the JoC biscuit recipe. Mark Bittman’s is pretty good, too, but I’ve used the JoC’s longer, and feel freer to adapt it to whatever use I have. It makes for nice shortcakes, scones, biscuits, pot pie topper, and so forth!

    • Sally

       /  February 4, 2010

      Whoops! Somehow responded to the wrong entry. I do want to try your graham crackers recipe, though.

  2. Okay, I baked half the batch this evening (I’m cutting them up in 1″ x 3″ strips) and half of tonight’s results were good – the second round misfired because (I think) I rolled them out too thin. Tomorrow night, I break out the ruler.

    I brushed both batches with milk and on the first I added a little sparkling sugar and on the second some cinnamon sugar. I may try a light dusting of cinnamon and then some sparkling sugar tomorrow night for Round 3. NC and I are happy with the Round 1 results so far. The real test, of course, is when CX tries them tomorrow at snack time!

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