Graham Crackers

You mean you’re going to make your own graham crackers? Yes, my friends, I am. You thought I was kidding about my s’mores-making skills? I wasn’t. Real-deal s’mores aren’t made with those poncy, crumbly things you buy in a store. Rather they’re held together by good, honest crackers, made at home and with some chew. And anyway, graham crackers aren’t hard to make. The trouble most people have is finding the flour. Graham flour, you see, is it’s own special thing, invented by — who else — Reverend Sylvester Graham, about whom we’ll learn much more later. His flour was what you might call a sort of whole grain pastry flour, low in gluten high in bran and germ. It’s nice stuff, but impossible to find unless you get it off the web. The following recipe — which is courtesy of Gale Gand — substitutes whole wheat and rye flours, which are a lot easier to come by.

Graham Crackers

2.5 ounces (1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
6.25 ounces (1 1/4 cups) whole-wheat flour
2.5 ounces (1/2 cup) light rye flour
3.5 ounces (1/2 cup) sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into pea-size bits
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoon molasses
1/4 cup cold water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. In a food processor or the bowl of an electric mixer, mix together the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add the cold butter and mix or process until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the honey, molasses, water, and vanilla. Mix until the dough comes together in a ball.

Between 2 sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap, roll the dough 1/2-inch thick. Chill for 1 hour, until firm. Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Lightly flour the dough and roll 1/8-inch thick. With a sharp knife or cookie cutter, cut into 2-inch squares. Arrange the crackers on nonstick or parchment lined cookie sheets. With a fork, prick several holes in each cracker. Bake for 10 minutes, rotate, and bake about 7 more minutes, until lightly browned at the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan.

4 thoughts on “Graham Crackers”

  1. Hi Joe!

    I know this recipe isn’t new (though I remember when it first showed up on your blog), but I have a question about the graham dough. I’d like to make a graham cracker icebox cake, and I’d like to make the graham dough from scratch instead of using store bought crackers. I was thinking of making several 6″ wide disks (just under 1/2″ thick), baking, stacking, and refrigerating them. Do you think this recipe would provide me with the refrigerated soft texture I’m looking for? Or should I make adjustments like adding more butter or liquids?

    Thanks a bunch!

    1. Hi Helena!

      Neat idea! I think these will work for you. The texture of the finished crackers will largely depend on the extent to which they’re baked. For a softer texture roll them thick and bake at a lower temperature, for crisper crackers roll thinner and bake at the temperature suggested, until the edges toast a little. Let me know how the cake turns out!

      – Joe

  2. Any substitution tips you can add for those poor light rye flour-less souls out there?

    1. Hey Noah!

      Graham crackers are an inexact science to be honest. A mixture of flours is really all you need. Extra whole wheat flour is fine, but you could use almost anything from a health food store flour section (even something like spelt or amaranth) and they’ll turn out fine.

      Have fun!

      – Joe

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