I recently celebrated a birthday this summer, and instead of the usual all-night boozing, we took the party to the woods for an all-out camping trip. Boating during the day, tenting at night, and telling ghost stories until we all got too scared to hear any more. We washed down all that starry fun with some drink, some grilled foods, and of course, s’mores. Luckily for ol’ birthday girl, I had recently come across a few recipes for homemade graham crackers, and we tried them out before camping night. The result: A dense, vanilla-rich, molasses-like graham cracker with incredible flavor and lotsa personality. They take time to make, but boy do they make that summer camp out memorable.
Homemade Graham Crackers
(Makes about 40 to 50 small crackers)
1 ½ cups graham flour
1 cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached pastry flour
½ cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
½ cup raw sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup unsalted butter, diced, chilled
1/3 cup mild-flavored honey, such as clover
5 tablespoons whole milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1) Combine flour, sugars, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a food processor; pulse until mixed. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Set aside.
2) Whisk together honey, milk and vanilla in a small bowl; add to flour mixture. Pulse until mixture just holds.
3) Roll dough onto a lightly floured surface; shape into a large, flat disc. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill 1 hour.
4) Cut dough in half; roll each half onto a lightly floured surface into a thin rectangle, about ¼-inch thick or less. Cut each dough half into about 5 long strips, making about 10 long crackers in total. Transfer cut crackers to a wax-lined baking sheet; chill 30 minutes.
5) Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove crackers from refrigerator; use a knife to score the dough, without cutting through, into 2 ½-inch squares. Gently prick each square with a fork a few times for that “graham cracker” look.
6) Bake about 20 minutes, turning once, until just golden (they won’t be hard when you remove them, but will harden once cooled).