In my mind, graham crackers seem to take a place somewhere between cracker and cookie. They seem to be too thin and crunchy to be a cookie, but they are so sweet that it's hard to place them in the same category as a normal, savory cracker like a Wheat Thin or Ritz. Regardless of where graham crackers are categorized they are delicious and perfect for snacking on when you just want a bite of something sweet. Homemade graham crackers are even better than the store bought kind, and they don't seem to go stale as fast. Whenever I buy graham crackers they seen to go soft and stale before I can eat them all, but that is no problem here. These crackers are salty and sweet, fully flavored with honey and vanilla, baked to a deep amber crunch, perfection in a bite.
The dough for these graham crackers is pretty simple to put together. It is a bit sticky and crumbly after mixing it up, but after resting in the fridge for a few hours it is much easier to work with. To roll out the crackers, I found it easiest to split the dough into four pieces and roll out each piece separately while keeping the rest of the dough in the fridge. I like to roll my crackers pretty thin so they are nice and crisp after baking, but you can roll them a little thicker if you prefer, you just might have to adjust the baking time.
The first time I made these I tried using a cookie cutter to make nice, even shapes, but the dough became so sticky as it warmed up that it became really difficult to use the cookie cutter well. After that I just used a knife to cut the crackers into little squares or diamonds and that seemed to work a lot better. They may not be as uniform in size or shape which makes it a little more difficult to bake them evenly, but I didn't have too much trouble. I kind of like the rustic look that cutting out the crackers free hand gives.
These puppies can over bake in mere seconds, so watch them carefully toward the end of baking, especially if they are quite thin. Right after pulling them out of the oven they will still be slightly soft, but don't worry, as they cool they will crisp up right away.
I can't wait until summer when I can make a big batch of these homemade graham crackers to have ready by the campfire, just waiting to create the perfect smore!
Some all purpose flour and some whole wheat flour,
the base for my graham crackers
Add in the brown sugar
Measure out the honey and the milk
Then in goes the vanilla
Cold butter, ready to go
Into the mixing bowl
Mix until nice and crumbly
Add in the liquid
And mix it up until it almost comes together, it will
still be quite crumbly
Dump it all on top of some greased plastic, and place in the refrigerator for a few hours
Cut off about a fourth of the dough and get ready to roll
Rolling, rolling, rolling...
Nice and thin
Start cutting out your shapes
Place on a baking sheet and dock with the
tines of a fork
Perfect for snacking
From Smitten Kitchen
- 2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (375 grams) flour (I used about 2/3 all purpose and 1/3 whole wheat)
- 1 cup (176 grams) dark brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 teaspoon (6 grams) baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt (4 grams)
- 7 tablespoons (3 1/2 ounces or 100 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen
- 1/3 cup (114 grams) mild-flavored honey, such as clover
- 5 tablespoons (77 grams) milk, full-fat is best
- 2 tablespoons (27 grams) pure vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons (43 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon (5 grams) ground cinnamon
Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade or in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Pulse or mix on low to incorporate. Add the butter and pulse on and off on and off, or mix on low, until the mixture is the consistency of a coarse meal. (If you don't have a food processor or electric mixer, you can cut the ingredients together with a pastry blender. Just make sure they're very well incorporated.)
Add the honey, milk and vanilla to the flour mixture and pulse on and off a few times or mix on low until the dough barely comes together. It will be very soft, sticky and crumbly. Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap and dust it lightly with flour, then turn the dough out onto it and pat it into a rectangle about 1-inch thick. Wrap it, then chill it until firm, about 2 hours or overnight. Meanwhile, prepare the topping, if using, by combining the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and setting aside.
Divide the dough for rolling (I cut mine into fourths), take one piece and return the rest of the dough to the refrigerator. Sift an even layer of flour onto the work surface and roll the dough into a long rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. The dough will be sticky, so flour as necessary. Cut the dough into crackers of your desired shape and size, (you can square off the edges if you want to make the crackers nice and neat, or just leave the ragged edges for a rustic touch.) I like small squares or diamonds, perfect for snacking on.
Place the crackers on parchment-lined baking sheets and sprinkle with the topping if using. Chill until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes in the fridge or 15 to 20 minutes in the freezer. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
Adjust the oven rack to the upper and lower positions and preheat the oven to 350°F. Use a fork, toothpick or skewer to prick the dough if desired.
Bake for 11-15 minutes, until browned and slightly firm to the touch, rotating the sheets halfway through to ensure even baking. Watch them carefully toward the end of baking, they can over cook quickly if you aren't paying attention, and nobody likes a burned cracker.