Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Graham Crackers

After going to Whole Foods and unsuccessfully locating some wheat-free graham crackers, I endeavored to make my own. I had spent a few minutes googling recipes and was beginning to get discourages (yes, that quickly) because most of the ones I found required refrigeration and I didn't have time for a fancy pastry dough before dinner needed to be ready. Then I found this recipe. Made me smile just to realize that there are other people like me--who want graham crackers NOW :)
Here's the recipe as I made them.

Gwam Crackers Makes about 24 3" crackers

1 1/2 cups whole-grain spelt flour 1/3 + cup brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (+ cinnamon to coat the spatula used to transfer to cookie sheet) scant 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup oil 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1/4 cup rice milk (plus maybe an extra tablespoon or so), soy milk or water will work, too

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a light-colored baking sheet [next time I do these, I'm going to use a perforated pizza baking sheet and see how it turns out. I think it might make the crackers crispier].

In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Make a well in the middle and pour in oil, molasses and vanilla. Give the liquid ingredients a quick wisk with a fork and then continue mixing until everything is well combined and crumbly.

Drizzle in the milk and combine with a fork. You should be able to form a pliable ball of dough.

Line a work surface with parchment. Place the dough on the parchment and work into a rectangle. Flatten a bit with the palms of your hand and sprinkle with flour (or cinnamon). Use a rolling pin to roll into a rectangle that is roughly 10 x 14 inches. The dough should be about 1/8 inch thick. If the edges look crumbly, that’s okay.

Cut the edges off so that you have a relatively even 12 x 8 rectangle. Cut the dough into 8 crackers, to do this evenly use a sharp paring knife to slice the dough into approximately 3" x 2" rectangles.

Use a very thin flexible spatula to transfer the crackers to a baking sheet. [I dipped my small spatula into my cinnamon bottle (one of the big bottles from Costco) :) and the powdered coating worked well.]

Gather up the scraps of dough and form them into a ball, then roll it out into a 4 by 8 rectangle, or whatever size you can manage. I was able to get 4 more crackers out of the deal, but your mileage may vary. Cut the edges evenly and slice into 4 crackers then transfer to the baking sheet.

Score each cookie with a fork 4 times in 1 column. You don’t need to poke all the way through. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes. 14 will give you nice crispy crackers, 12 minutes will be better for making ice cream sammiches.

Let cool completely on the baking sheet.

I was pleasantly surprised at how well these turned out. They're a bit more substantial than regular graham crackers and they hold together a little better, too. More like a cookie and less like a crumbly-powdery-flakey thing.

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