Earlier this year I had been searching for a cook book which offered recipes for the ‘basics’ (crackers, mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, butter, ricotta, olives) as well as a few simple pleasures like homemade graham crackers, marshmallows, gravlox, juice pops, jam…well, I found it.
I am so looking forward to going through this book, recipe, by recipe…Check out the recipe for graham crackers (I also included my personal side notes) below – they were so good! Definitely worth the time commitment – especially when you envision them on either side of a homemade marshmallow (recipe to try next!) topped with a slab of chocolate; S’mores anyone?
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup black strap molasses
1/3 cup plus 4 tablespoons sugar
1/4 whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a small bowl or food processor, mix or pulse the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, salt, and baking powder. Cut in the butter or if using a food processor, add the butter and pulse until the dough is the consistency of course crumbs.
Add the honey, molasses, and the 1/3 cup sugar and combine. Then add the milk and vanilla, bringing it all together into a stiff dough. (at first I didn’t think it would turn into ‘dough’ because it seemed dry, but it does, beautifully…)
Lightly oil 2 baking sheets. (I used butter). On a work surface, cut the dough in half. Shape the first half into a rectangle and place in the center of a sheet of parchment paper.
Lay another sheet of parchment paper over the dough. Roll, trying to keep the dough as rectangular as possible -not as simple as it sounds – But worth the effort…
The dough should be 1/4 inch thick and about 12 by 15 inches. I actually measured the dough the first time I made these, in the end I felt they were too thick for my liking. Next time, I will just use my eyes and intuition. See what works for you. Thinner the better I think.
Lightly prick the dough all over with the tines of a fork. Sprinkle evenly with 2 tablespoons of the sugar and roll the sugar gently into the top of the dough with a floured pin. I experimented with the two batches – one I sprinkled sugar on, the other, I didn’t. I originally thought, “really more sugar?”, but in the end I did prefer the texture of the batch with the added sugar and I will add it again. It also adds to the crackers’ overall appearance.
Using a knife or fluted pastry cutter – depending on your preferred aesthetic – trim the edges of the dough rectangle to yield neatly shaped crackers – or not. Cut into approximately 3-inch squares. Using a spatula, carefully transfer the crackers to the prepared baking sheets, leaving just a little space between. Repeat process with the second half of the dough. Freeze the crackers for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Bake the chilled dough for 18-22 minutes, until just a little browned at the edges. Cool completely and enjoy.
HOW TO STORE – Store in an airtight container, up to 2 weeks. You can also freeze crackers for 2 months, allowing 2 hours to thaw before eating.
Do you have a favorite treat you make from scratch? If so, I’d love to know the recipe.