Saturday, February 9, 2013

Reinhart's Graham Crackers

Every now and then, I find myself in a whole grain baking kick. I have no idea where this inspiration hits from, but when it strikes, it strikes hard. This week, the book of choice was Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads. Flipping through the pages in the cracker chapter, I contemplated the Graham crackers. Years ago, almost at the start of this blog, I made Graham crackers and about a year and a half ago I made chocolate Graham crackers. Both of those were more cookie like crackers than cracker-crackers (know what I mean?!) so I thought that license enough to repeat myself. These Graham's are made entirely of whole wheat flour and without fat. The original calls for honey but I ran out in the middle and made up the difference in date syrup. A bit of cinnamon adds that comforting, homey, redolent of childhood flavor. So how'd they pan out? These crackers were definitely crackers. Because of the lack of fat here, they are very, very crunchy. I think I would add a tablespoon of oil or margarine next time to ensure that I don't break any teeth. That said, the flavor was definitely there and I enjoyed them spread with peanut butter. Add some fresh apple slices and you have the perfect afternoon snack. They didn't last that long though because between my munching and using them as a pie crust for a wonderful pie I made, they disappeared super fast. Try them, you'll see why.

Graham Crackers
From Whole Grain Breads

1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup soy milk
6 tbsp honey
1 1/2 tbsp molasses or date syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Extra flour for adjustments

Combine all of the ingredients together in a bowl and mix until they come together to form a ball of dough. Add extra milk or flour as needed to make a firm dough. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead for three minutes. The dough should be satiny, but not soft, sticky or crumbly. If you're baking right away, allow the dough to rest before rolling out. (You can also hold the dough overnight at room temperature, which is what I did. Reinhart claims this improves flavor. Jury's out on that one.)
Preheat your oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with a silicone liner or baking paper. Roll the dough out on a sheet of parchment (for easier handling) about a quarter of an inch thick. Get it as even as you can all around so that the final crackers are a consistent texture all around.

Using a bench scraper, score the dough into as many even squares as you can. I rerolled the scraps. Dock the crackers thoroughly with the tines of a fork.
Place the cracker on the prepare baking sheet and bake for around fifteen minutes, rotating them halfway through the bake, until they are an even brown all around.

Cool completely on the sheet pan or on a wire rack.

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