Homemade Graham Crackers...
I've been baking lately. More baking than normal. I've felt the need to bake some of the many recipes I've bookmarked for some time now. This recipe for graham crackers was one of them. I love crackers... and I love to challenge myself to make a recipe that comes as close to(or better) than the store-bought version. I love the feeling when I feel the recipe is a success. These crackers really tasted like graham crackers....and they even resembled them. Many thanks to Nancy Silverston...
After I made them, I offered one to my husband for his opinion. His face lit up. I knew we were on the same page....they were good!
I am going to keep this post short...to make up for the last post:). But I wanted to share the recipe, and file it for future reference. Please feel free to check the original recipe as I adapted it(I felt the need to use some whole wheat pastry flour and omit the sugar/cinnamon topping)...there's also a cream cheese frosting recipe as well. The crackers stay crisp for days. Hope you enjoy...
Note: Top photo is of crackers baked for about 15 minutes or so. Bottom photo of crackers baked slightly less...about 12 minutes or so.
You will need: adapted from 101Cookbooks and originally from Nancy Silverston's cookbook Pastries from La Brea Bakery
1 cup+ 2 TBS unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour(or unbleached all-purpose flour)
1 cup dark brown sugar*
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 -1/2 tsp cinnamon, optional
pinch of salt
7 TBS unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen
1/3 cup mild-flavored honey
5 TBS whole milk
2 scant TBS pure vanilla extract
*just noticed that the original recipe had a cup of lightly packed sugar...I packed mine:), so my result is with a sort- of- packed cup of dark brown sugar.
1. In the bowl of a food processor combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Pulse for a few seconds to evenly incorporate the mixture.
2. Add the butter and pulsing on and off on...until the mixture is like that of a coarse meal.
3. Whisk together the honey, milk, and vanilla extract and add it to the flour mixture. Pulse on and off a few times until the dough barely comes together. The dough will be soft and sticky.
4. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill until firm... a couple of hours or so...or overnight.
5. Divide the dough in half and return one half to the refrigerator. Place a large piece of parchement paper onto a work surface and sprinkle the parchment liberally with flour.
6. Place dough on floured paper, sprinkle additional flour, and roll the dough into a rectangle or the size of your parchment paper... about 1/8-1/4 inch thick. The dough will be sticky, so flour as necessary.
7. Trim the edges. Gather the scraps together and set aside.
8. Cut through the dough to make large crackers(2x4) or small ones(2x2), if you prefer. If making large crackers, mark a vertical line( or dotted line) down the middle of each cracker...just be careful not to cut through the whole dough.
9. Using a toothpick, skewer or fork, prick the dough to form two dotted rows on each side of the dividing line. Or simply cut in small squares and prick the dough. Place the crackers along with the parchment on a baking sheets.
10. Chill until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes.
11. Repeat with the second batch of dough and gather all the scraps together into a ball, chill until firm, and reroll.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
12. Bake for 10-15 minutes(original recipe says 25 minutes...I thought it was way too long as after 15 minutes they start burning, but maybe it's just my oven...just check them after the 10 minute mark), until browned and slightly firm to the tough, rotating the sheets halfway through to ensure even baking.
Crackers will continue to crisp up as they cool...crackers should have a "snap" to them when you break them.
If you feel the crackers are still a bit soft, just place them in the oven after you've finished baking(oven temp off) to further crisp up from the residual heat.