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
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.
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.
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