Thursday, June 10, 2010

HOMEMADE GRAHAM CRACKERS

graham crackers (2)
Here’s the question of the day:  Is it really worth it to make homemade graham crackers? 

My answer:  I think it depends on how often you eat graham crackers.  I mean, really.  If you only occasionally use them for making graham cracker crusts, then why bother?  If you or your family members like to munch on them as a snack or treat fairly often, then definitely make your own.  Who wants to eat all that partially hydrogenated stuff and God knows what else on a regular basis? 

I’m not a muncher.  I’m a baker and I give away most of what I bake.   My graham crackers will wind up at the bottom of a cheesecake.  So why should I mess up my kitchen and drain my time by making something  that will be so infrequently used?  That being said, as I taste-tested the crackers, I found that I could very quickly become addicted to these things.  The nutty whole grains and buttermilk lend nice flavor to these tender, mildly sweet, crisp and buttery crackers.  If you make these, I’m sure you’ll agree that homemade graham crackers made with butter are far superior to the store-bought ones made with questionable ingredients.  

My first batch was made using Alton Brown’s recipe, with changes recommended by reviewers.  They were good, but I was still searching.  The recipe below is from The Washington Post, and it was better than Alton’s.  If I ever make graham crackers again (doubtful), I will try using light brown sugar instead of granulated. 

Homemade or store bought, the choice is yours.  But you should try these just once to see what all the flak is about. 

Homemade Graham Crackers
Adapted from washingtonpost.com
Rating:  9 out of 10
PRINTABLE RECIPE


INGREDIENTS:
9 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1-1/3 cups whole-wheat flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
4 Tbsp. buttermilk (or 4 Tbsp. milk + 1/2 tsp. white vinegar)

Combine butter and sugar in bowl of stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer with heavy-duty motor.  Beat on medium speed until light.  Combine flours, baking powder and salt on a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper.  Reduce sped to low; add flour mixture, then buttermilk in several increments, ending with flour.  You should have a soft dough.  Divide in fourths, then wrap each portion in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for 1 hour, or until well chilled. 

Heat oven to 325F.  Line baking sheets with lightly greased parchment paper.  Lightly flour a work surface.  Working with one dough package at a time, lightly flour top of dough.  Roll out to a rectangle with a thickness of slightly less than 1/4 inch.  Cut out with cookie cutters, or cut into squares or rectangles of desired sizes.  Prick with fork to make vent holes.
002
003

Re-roll scraps only once, or just put irregular pieces on the pan and bake (especially if you’ll be making them into crumbs).  Bake one pan at a time on middle rack for about 8-10 minutes,* then turn crackers over and bake about 8-10 more minutes, or till creackers are lightly browned and baked through.  Let cool on baking sheets before serving or storing.  (*Baking time will depend on thickness of cracker and your individual oven.  Please use baking time as a rough guide, and watch the crackers carefully so as not to burn them or underbake them.) 
Now make your crumbs.  Break the crackers into pieces and put them in the work bowl of a food processor.
008
Pulse till you have crumbs.  It won’t take long at all, because these crackers are tender and crisp.  You can nibble on some of the pieces before you pulse them.  So good.
Yield:  About 2-1/2 cups crumbs
009

15 comments:

MelindaRD said...

That looks awesome. Ryan and I do our from scratch meals and I think this would be really fun to try. Thanks for the idea.

Valerie said...

Judy, Your graham crackers turned out beautifully! I had to make my own a few months ago as part of a Daring Bakers recipe. I'm now a fan of the homemade version. You are so right, these 100% better than the cardboard boxes sold in stores. :)

biz319 said...

I never actually thought of making graham crackers - they look so good Judy!

My daughter loves smores - we usually only have graham crackers on hand in the summer!

Hope all is well and that your son Jim is doing well! :D

Chow and Chatter said...

they look great and your right on the reason to make them

Sophie said...

MMMMM,...tasty home made graham crackers!

They sure look good!

Michele in Durham said...

I made homemade graham crackers for my children. Here's a tip for you--use a dog bone shaped cookie cutter, which is easy for a toddler to hold and chew on--but be prepared for the horrified looks you get from people who think you gave your baby a dog biscuit!

Katrina said...

I've made them a few times. I liked them. But you're right. I would never make them for crusts. I thought they were great with different sandwiches things, like Nutella, frosting, pb, etc.

Mary said...

Judy, these would be so much fun to do when my grandsons are visiting. I am new to your blog and spent quite some time going through your earlier posts. I love your recipes and will be back often. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

theUngourmet said...

I would absolutely love to try making these. They look so delicious! :)

Judy said...

Mary and Michelle, Thanks so much for stopping by. Mary, that's a great tip for mothers, thanks for sharing it.

Judy said...

Whoops, it was Michelle who had the tip about making the graham crackers in the shape of doggie bones for little ones to easily pick up.

Christy said...

Judy, I follow your blog daily and just love your recipes. I just took these out of the oven and tasted them...DELICIOUS! I like to snack on graham crackers, so this is perfect. Plus when my baby gets a little older, I will feel much better giving him these when I KNOW exactly how it was made. Thank you again for another recipe to add to my book!!

Judy said...

Christy, you just made my day with your comments. Thanks so much for being a faithful reader.

Ingrid said...

Oh, I want to try these (& all the other yummy recipes I've seen here!) just not enough time in the day. I blame work and the kids! LOL
~ingrid

Anonymous said...

Awesome post. Do you mind if I ask what your source is for this information?