Ever since I saw Graham Flour at a fancy food shop where I had a gift certificate I’ve wanted to make home-made Graham Crackers. Mostly because I have such fond memories of them from when I was young. There are actually many recipes for Graham Crackers out there on the inter webs – most of them use Honey in addition to sugar and a few use Molasses.
I was surprisedhow in some of the recipes the amount of actual Graham Flour was seemingly insignificant (1/2 cup in one recipe I saw). Of course my response to a recipe with such a small amount of actual graham flour in a graham cracker is as much about the fact that I just bought a bag of the stuff and want to use it.
It is sort of odd making a baked good where your flavor expectations are based on the packaged ones you ate as a kid. This recipe is a good start, but I think this is a topic that will need more exploration (I mean what else can you use graham flour for?)
3 Tablespoons of Honey is used in almost all the recipes I looked at, so in this recipe there are 3 Tablespoons of Honey, but be warned, if you use a strong flavored honey, like I did, your crackers will be redolent of it. Not a bad thing, it’s just the packaged kind I used to buy which were called Honey Grahams, had no honey flavor at all and I’m sure the “Honey” part of the name is just a marketing ploy based on an insignificant amount of commercial grade flavorless honey that is added as a gesture, but is undetectable in the cracker flavor. Funny how I didn’t like the honey flavor in my crackers was because: it didn’t taste like the packaged kind.
Anyway if you, like me, are wanting a blander cracker use a mild honey or use Lyle’s syrup or agave. Next time I also want to add some Molasses, but for now here’s the recipe. Oh and if you can’t find Graham Flour you can make your own.
In the bowl of a food processor add: 1 3/4 cups Graham Flour, 1/2 cups plus 1 Tablespoon of Oat Flour, 1/4 cup Sugar, 1/2 teaspoon Salt, 1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon, 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder and 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda. Pulse briefly to mix.
Add to the dry ingredients: 6 Tablespoons of cold Unsalted Butter. Pulse briefly – there should still be small chunks of butter. Add 3 Tablespoons Honey (or some variation of the above suggestions) 3 Tablespoons Whole Milk and 1 Teaspoon Vanilla. Pulse until the mixture just forms a dough.
Turn out onto a clean surface and form into a ball, flatten into a disk and wrap in Parchment and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Now here is the fun part: rolling out the dough. It is pretty much impossible to roll out dough in a perfect rectangle. Not to worry. Cut a piece of parchment the size of a cookie sheet. Place the dough in the center and start to roll. It should be about 1/4″ thick and the first version will probably look something like this: Not to worry, I trimmed the rough edges gathered up the discarded bits and re attached them to where I needed them and continued to roll. The dough is moist and very forgiving.After a while you will have a rectangle (ish) shape. And probably small ball of left over (I made a little individual cookie out of it) . How big you divide the rolled out dough up is your choice, I used a knife and divided mine into 8 equal parts, then used a fork and pricked it all over. Which in hind site was not a great idea if you add sugar (as I did) because the sugar filled in all the nice fork whole and I had to do it again.Again the thing that surprised me was how when you add sugar to these crackers they start to veer into shortbread territory. Which is fine, I love shortbread, but it’s not the Graham Cracker I remember. So depending on how specific you are you may want to skip the sugar all together, if not use enough sugar to coat the surface of the dough (about 3 Tablespoon) and then get out your fork and make a nice imprint all over.
I served these with roasted caramelized Pineapple and Chocolate spread. Home made Nutella, or even peanut Butter would be other good options. Of course you may like to take a trip down memory lane and just have them plain with a cup of cocoa or tea. Great for dunking.