Over the weekend the image of graham crackers popped in my head. I am not sure why, exactly. I remember eating them as a kid and liking them well enough. I went through a phase in graduate school where I would have graham crackers and peanut butter – mainly, because it could be considered dinner at the end of a long day. Fast forward to the present….I had all of the ingredients already on hand. How could I not try my hand at crafting these crackers?
I caught an episode of ‘Martha Bakes’ on PBS where Martha was making the most perfect croissants, pain au chocolate, and other treats. After watching the episode I realized I would not be making croissants any time soon. It seems like you need days for the various rises, turns, and rolling. Here is the thing, Martha made it look so easy. And she was awfully proud of her dough- she exclaimed it was beautiful over and over. So, I figured if Martha could make croissant dough look simple surely her graham cracker recipe would be easy too.
What is graham flour? Did I need it? My research told me that in 1889 Sylvester Graham was on a crusade to promote better nutrition. Thus the flour was milled from the wheat berry creating whole wheat flour. Martha says use this:
In my mixer stand I creamed together a stick of unsalted butter, light brown sugar and molasses. Martha had called for honey but I wanted a deeper flavor. The flour mixture was combined with the wet ingredients and I thought it would come together beautifully.
Now, what I should have done was add a teaspoon of water to the dough until the dough came together. But I am stubborn and I did not do this. Martha would not steer me in the wrong direction, right?! I divided the dough into quarters, rolled them thin, poked a few holes and slid them onto a parchment lined baking sheet. The whole batch was chilled in the freezer for 20 minutes until firm.
I have swapped almond butter for the peanut butter in an attempt to be a grown adult. But what about the fluff? Well, I had to please the little kid in me! The flavor of these crackers are beautiful – a light, slightly sweet crisp thin cracker. The wheat flour and wheat germ give it a great texture full of flavor – unlike those packaged boxes at the store.
- Recipe lightly adapted from Martha Stewart
- Note: I, foolishly, only made a half batch. I also swapped molasses for the honey. If you prefer a honey taste add it instead
- Yield: 10 large crackers
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon molasses (original recipe calls for honey)
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup untoasted wheat germ
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350*. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the softened butter, brown sugar and molasses and mix until light and fluffy (2 -3 minutes), stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, toasted wheat germ, salt and cinnamon. Add this mixture all at once to the butter mixture and mix on medium speed until the dough comes together. (Note: If your mixture is crumbly, add in a teaspoon of water until the dough holds together)
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and divide into quarters. Roll each quarter out to a large rectangle, 1/8" thick. Trim the edges, if desired, with a fluted pastry wheel. You may use cookie cutters, or simply score the dough (don't cut all the way through), and gently poke some holes in each cracker. Slide the dough onto the prepared parchment baking sheet and chill in the freezer until firm.
- Bake the crackers at 350* for 8-9 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking for even baking. These will burn quickly...keep an eye on them! Allow the crackers to rest on the baking tray for 5 minutes until moving them to a cooling rack to cool completely. Crackers will last, in an airtight container, for 5 days.