Monday, April 9, 2012

Graham Crackers

Did you know that graham crackers were originally a bland health food developed in the 1820's to help prevent people from having impure thoughts?  Yeah, I didn't, either.

Of course, they've since morphed into a mis-named cookie, staple to so many childhood snacks and camping trips.  I love graham crackers, and decided to take a stab at making some myself.  These use real graham flour, which is a whole grain.  Most graham crackers on grocery store shelves are made with white flour, so these will be a bit grittier in texture than what you may expect.

The dough is reminiscent of a pie dough, and the original recipe calls for a food processor to blend the butter with the dry ingredients.  I don't have a food processor, and the string of small kitchens I've lived in have forced me to heavily consider each appliance purchase...but I have a trick for you!

One quick note: the original recipe calls for measurement by weight, not volume.  I'm a huge fan of recipes that call for grams/ounces instead of cups (it's more accurate, it allows for easier dry ingredient substitutions, etc.), but I understand not everybody has a scale.  I attempted to measure as I went, and the volume measurements are approximate.

Recipe from Alton Brown 


  • 8 3/8 ounces (1 1/2 c) graham flour
  • 1 7/8 (1/2 c) ounces all-purpose flour
  • 3 (1/2 c, packed) ounces dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 ounces unsalted butter, chilled and cubed (frozen if you do not have a food processor)
  • 2 1/4 ounces molasses (I did honey, which ended up being 2 T)
  • 1 1/2 ounces (3 1/2 T)  milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place all dry ingredients into a food processor and pulse to mix.  Add the butter slowly, and keep pulsing until it resembles cornmeal.  Add wet ingredients one at a time, and process until a ball forms. 
OR, if you don't have a food processor, follow the steps below:

Combine dry ingredients in a stand mixer.

Keep your butter in the freezer, and when frozen solid, grate the butter into smaller pieces.  Work quickly, and use the butter wrapper or gloves to keep your body heat as removed as possible.

Mix butter in with the dry ingredients, and beat until it looks like this:

Now add your wet ingredients one at a time.  Alton calls for molasses, but I wanted a milder I went with honey instead.  You could also do 1/2 and 1/2 between molasses and honey.

The following steps are the same, regardless of how you prepared the dough.

Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 min.  Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Roll the dough between two sheets of parchment paper until about 1/8" thick (I ran out, so I did plastic wrap for the top layer).

 You can now lay the parchment paper directly onto a baking sheet, and use a small knife or pizza cutter to cut into rectangles.  Be sure to use a fork to dot the tops.  I opted to do shapes with a cookie cutter instead (I apologize for the quality of the following camera battery died and I had to go with a backup plan):

Poke the tops with a fork:

Bake for 20-25 min, or until the edges start to brown.

A preview of what's coming up next post....

1 comment:

  1. What's the fork-poking (porking?) for?

    You should name these crackers after yourself. Wang + crackers = ........(wait for it)........... WANKERS.

    Take that, purity!