DIY: Graham Crackers

We are a privileged generation. I realised this while making 15 litres of yogurt for Tasting Tuesday last weekend. Believe you me, while you’re stirring milk around, your mind wanders. Let me set up the scene for you – I was up late, making yogurt and my Grandmother walks in, half asleep and asks me why I need two thermometers to tell me when my milk is just hot enough. I don’t know about you, but here, my grandmother’s generation was quite accustomed to making things on their own. Yogurt, cottage cheese, ice-cream, rice pudding – nothing came out of a box. Everything was made by hand, by guesstimating (Juno reference) and shared. Which meant, it was made in larger quantities too. So when I was fretting over the yogurt possibly not setting, she laughed it off and said that she didn’t need any kind of fancy equipment (as insurance, I argued) to tell her it was done. They just knew. They were so accustomed to watching the tell-tale signs. Food talks, people. Anyway, that kind of struck a nerve and I analysed just how much of what we eat or snack on comes out of a box. I mean, sure, since the inception of the blog, I’ve made a few DIY changes. We never buy jarred caramel, chocolate sauce, pickles, tortillas or pasta sauce anymore. But I’m sure this is only the tip of the churning-your-own-butter iceberg.

These Graham Crackers were made stemming from a severe need to have something good to snack on (that didn’t come out of box). They’ve been on my list to try anyway. The search for a good recipe held me up, though. Every recipe I seemed to read called for cups of honey and I wasn’t comfortable making them achingly sweet. I wanted a good balance between the honey and natural flavors. I can’t be alone in thinking that even a little more than the required amount of honey has a distinctive flavor, right? Anyway, Hummingbird High had the answer. It used 2 tablespoons which was perfect. The stars aligned and someone gifted us organic honey (which I think is less sweeter)! I also skipped out on the cinnamon in the dough – I wanted to have an option. I’d recommend that if you don’t have cinnamon haters around you, add it to the dough. Or else, wait till you’re just about to put them into the oven and sprinkle some granulated sugar coated with a teaspoon of cinnamon on some!

Graham Crackers

Yields: Depends on the size of your cookie cutter

Source: Hummingbird High

1 1/2 cups (180 g) flour

1/3 cup (40 g) whole wheat flour

2/3 cup (133 g) butter

1/2 cup (100 g) brown sugar

2 tbs honey

1/4 tsp cinnamon, optional

Granulated sugar, for decoration, optional

1. In a small bowl, mix together the flours and cinnamon powder if using. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add butter, sugar and honey and beat with a paddle attachment till light and fluffy – about 2 minutes. Then, add the dry ingredients in 3 additions and combine just until the dough comes together. Dump the contents onto a sheet of cling wrap and seal tightly. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, upto 2 days or until firm.

3. When you’re ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 175 deg C. Line a cookie tray with parchment paper or a silicon mat and set aside. Cut out 2 even sheets of parchment paper and place one onto the countertop. Add half the dough and refrigerate the remaining dough. Add the second sheet of parchment over the dough and press down with your palm till its slightly flattened.

4. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin till its even and about 2cm thick. Cut out even shapes with preferred cookie cutter and place onto tray. They don’t spread at all so you can place them close together. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Wait for 5 – 7 minutes before removing from the tray. They harden upon cooling. Repeat with remaining dough.

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