July 24, 2012

Homemade Graham Crackers

Like probably most parents, we had been feeding our son graham crackers. Unlike probably most parents, I decided to make them from scratch. And that's when I realized we'd been feeding our son honey. I know, I know, the name of the most popular store brand is pretty blatant about that ingredient, but it never crossed my mind. Honey is not recommended for children under 1 due to a risk for botulism.

Most graham cracker recipes I found called for honey, but some called for molasses. Molasses still seems to be a bit iffy for children under 1 for the same reason. So I adapted a recipe from Food Loves Writing to use only brown sugar, which I realize involves molasses but in a more processed form. This is the second variation on graham crackers I've made, and I really like these for their slightly less sweet taste and lesser amount of butter. The crackers are delicious, soft enough for a 10-month old but sturdy enough for a s'more.


Homemade Graham Crackers
1 1/2 cups wheat flour
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/3 cup chilled butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 to 1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla 

In a food processor, pulse flours, salt and baking powder together until mixed. Add the butter and pulse until the dough is the consistency of coarse crumbs. Add the sugar, and combine. Then add the 1/4 cup milk and vanilla, bringing it all together into a stiff dough. (If it’s more crumbly than dough-like, add 1/2 Tbsp. milk at a time.)

Cover with Silpat mats two baking sheets. On a floured work surface, cut the dough in half, and shape the first half into a rectangle. Using a floured rolling pin, roll dough into a bigger rectangle. If the dough sticks to the counter, keep sprinkling it with flour until it no longer sticks. The dough should be 1/4-inch thick.

Using a knife (or a fluted pastry cutter for cute wavy edges, if you’d like), trim the edges of the dough rectangle to form crackers. Cut into approximately 3-inch squares. Lightly prick the dough with the tines of the forks, so it looks like little graham crackers. Using a spatula, carefully transfer the crackers to the prepared baking sheets. Repeat the process with the second half of the dough and remaining scraps.

Chill the crackers for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the chilled dough for 18 to 20 minutes, until just a little bit browned at the edges. Cool completely, and enjoy! Makes 3 dozen crackers, give or take depending on the size you cut them.

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