Saturday, January 1, 2011

Graham Crackers, Start to Finish

This is my first official post of 2011, and I did not intend for it to be about crackers. However, a friend of mine, whom I love dearly but gives me too much credit, linked my blog to another blog today, claiming I knew how to make whole wheat graham crackers. After reading it, I realized my last post on the subject was not very informative. It was more exclamatory.... a bit of a, "I totally rocked this, boo-yah!"

So, tonight I'm going to walk you through the process in a few easy steps, and then you will totally be able to rock the homemade grahams too. My family adores them, even my husband, and I can barely keep them in stock.

 If you want to cut back on preservatives, dyes, and hydrogenated oils in your kids' snacks this year, this recipe is your friend. I originally found it at this wonderful blog, but I've since modified the recipe a bit. Last time I made them I cut the sugar down to 1/3 cup, and no one even seemed to notice; so that's an option too.



  • 1 stick butter,melted
  • 4 Tablespoons honey (1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar or sucanat (flavor and texture is best with brown sugar)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

So first off, you're going to melt the butter in a little saucepan on the stove. You can probably do this in the microwave, but I use the stove. When the butter is mostly melted, remove from heat and stir in vanilla, water, and honey. Let it sit there to cool a bit while you mix up the other ingredients.


I keep it simple, and probably break all the baking rules, by just dumping all the dry goods (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon) into my mixing bowl and using the mixer to stir it up. 

Then you pour the wet ingredients into the dry.

Give that mixture a little twirl too, until the dough comes together to form a ball. It should clean up the sides of the mixer, which only takes a minute or so.  

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (not totally necessary, but makes the rolling super easy and the keeps the crackers from sticking to the pan.... I love me some parchment paper)

I also use these little rings on my rolling pin to keep the dough an even thickness. I believe these yellow ones are for 1/8 inch thick dough. 

I move the piece of parchment paper from the pan to the counter for the rolling, because it's easier, and plop half the dough in the middle, covered with another sheet of parchment paper. 
Since you are only working with half the dough, it will not cover the entire piece of parchment, and that's fine. Roll the dough until it's an even thickness. The rings on the pin help with this part, but I've done it without them and it was fine. Just try to keep it about 1/8 inch thick. 

Roll the other half of the dough out the same way and move the parchment paper, with the dough on it, back onto your baking sheets. Use a butter knife or a pastry scraper to cut your dough in the sizes you want your crackers to be. You are not wiggling the knife to separate the dough, just pressing gently through the dough until you reach the pan.

It's not rocket science, you can cut the dough however you like. You could even use mini cookie cutters if you want, to make animal crackers. 


Does that pan on the left make you Penelopies crazy? Do you wish you could re-roll it and have perfectly symmetrical crackers? So sorry, chickies, but perfection has never been a hangup of mine. 

Then you bake the pans in a preheated 350-degree oven for 15-20 minutes (start checking after 15).

If you can't fit both pans on one shelf, like me, then you can either bake one sheet at a time (recommended)  rotating the pan halfway through, or bake on two separate shelves and swap them halfway through. I bake them together, but the rotating is especially important to prevent burning.

Sorry that picture is blurry; my 19-month-old looked like he was getting ready to play Hansel and Gretel with the oven.

After 15-20 minutes, the crackers should be browned on the edges (I do the full 20 minutes). Pull them out and let them cool completely on the pan. They will seem soft at first, but will harden as they cool.
When they are cool, snap them apart; if there are any left that is.... usually at least one pan of crackers is a casualty of cooling time at my house. Then just plop them in your favorite air-tight container and store in the pantry. They will last for at least a few weeks. Mine are usually lucky to make it a few days.


That's all there is to it. If I can make them, anyone can. Serious. 

Download recipe card here. 

Or get the recipe in Ziplist form


HERE

10 comments:

  1. Thanks for the inspiration, I have been meaning to try these out. For once my avoidance paid off and now I get a photo tour of how to do it. Yeah!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yum! I'm totally going to make these. I may even try them with graham flour. Have you ever?

    How did I not know about those little ring things? Brilliant!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Melissa, I haven't tried them with graham flour yet, but that's only because I haven't tracked any down. While reading the comments on the original recipe I saw one where the lady said graham flour really helped them taste like "real" graham crackers and was slightly sweeter than whole wheat. If you make them that way, let me know how they turn out!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Kira, I found graham flour on Azure for $4.30 for a 5 pound bag https://www.azurestandard.com/shop/product/7283/ (you can't see the prices unless you login). Do you want to split a 5 pound bag and we can see if we like it? Email or facebook me if you are interested.

    ReplyDelete
  5. We made these last night. Since perfection is a hangup of mine (heehee), I decided to roll it all out evenly onto one pan. Obviously, I didn't read your first graham cracker post until after the fact; otherwise I would have known better! They're still great, though, and do turn crunchy after they sit. I'll try two pans next time.

    I made microwave s'mores with them. My kids thought I was the bomb.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Awww man, I can't wait for someone to try these and have them turn out :) Yep, rolling them in one pan makes for grahams that are crunchy on the sides, soft in the middle. That was why I diverged from the original recipe. Hope you try it again!

    How do you make a microwave s'more?? Is that a dumb question? You just microwave the grahams with the marshmallow and chocolate? Yum!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Martha Stewart uses a little mini pizza cutter with a special blade that makes fluted edges on her crackers. You could also use that to cut off the rough edges of the rolled dough so your crackers would be more uniform. I try to make my crackers roughly 2x3 inches in size, but there are plenty in there that are crooked or have funky edges.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I tried them again today and they were great, my kids love them and so do I! I think the first time I had them too thin and then they cooked to fast. I also used brown sugar this time and the texture was better. I will be making these again:).

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm not gonna lie; I am SO RELIEVED Heather!

    ReplyDelete

I adore reading your comments; they bring sunshine to my day. Thanks for reading!

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