Posted by: A Part of the Solution | November 11, 2011

Graham Crackers

Sometimes I just get a bug up my parts. Sometimes I have a vision for the kitchen and it won’t let go. Sometimes I want the routinely yummy to go to the next level and be spectacular. Who knew I’d go there with graham crackers of all things. And yet, and yet, I did.

Well, I didn’t. I just tossed the assignment to our super-WWOOFer, he’s a former pastry chef, and told him produce the graham crackers. Happily, he told me where he found the recipe, and how he applied it, and I can tell you. Plus I watched him as he was working. He didn’t do what I could not, he did what I didn’t have time for but really, really wanted for the last bonfire of the year. ‘Cause after all, s’mores are good; but s’mores with homemade marshmallows and graham crackers are a heck-of-a lot better.

Graham Crackers

1 1/2 cups plus 2 TBSP (8.1 oz)  unbleached all-purpose flour

1 cup (5 oz) whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup (7 oz) brown sugar, packed

1 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp kosher or coarse sea salt– 1/2 tsp anything finer, like table salt

7 TBSP unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen

1/3 cup mild honey

5 TBSP milk, whole milk if possible

2 TBSP pure vanilla extract

Topping (optional):

3 TBSP sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

Combine the flours, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt in the food processor or in the bowl of a stand mixer. Pulse or mix on low to incorporate. Add the butter and pulse, or mix on low, until the mixture is the consistency of  cornmeal.

In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, milk, and vanilla extract. Add to the flour mixture and pulse or mix on low until the dough barely comes together. It will be very soft and sticky. Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap and dust it lightly with flour, then turn the dough out onto it and pat it into a rectangle about 1-inch thick. Wrap it, then chill it a couple of hours or overnight–until firm in any case. Prepare the topping, if using, by combining the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.

To roll out the crackers:

Divide the dough in half and return one half to the refrigerator. Flour the work surface and roll the dough into a long rectangle about 1/8″ thick.  Trim the edges of the rectangle to 4″ wide. Working with the shorter side of the rectangle parallel to the work surface, cut the strip every 4 1/2″ to make 4 crackers. Or go with 2″ squares, which are cute and the right size for a good s’more.

Place the crackers on one or two parchment-lined baking sheets and sprinkle with the topping–if using. Chill until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes in the fridge or 15 to 20 minutes in the freezer. Repeat with the second batch of dough. Finally, gather any scraps together into a ball, chill until firm, and re-roll.

Adjust the oven rack to the upper and lower positions and preheat the oven to 350°F.

Decorate the crackers:

Mark a vertical line down the middle of each cracker, being careful not to cut through the dough for the traditional cracker shape. Using a toothpick or skewer prick the dough to form two dotted rows about 1/2″ for each side of the dividing line.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until browned and slightly firm to the touch, rotating the sheets halfway through to ensure even baking.

Dang! These are so good, you might not get as far as making s’mores with them.

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Responses

  1. Wow!!!!

    • They were really ridiculously good. They stopped being that humble food stuffed in the faces of fractious children everywhere and started being a delicacy in their own right. Whoa!


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