Graham crackers usually make me think of a room full of preschool kids having a snack and are not a food that I eat often so I’ve never considered making them at home. Â However, as I was recently doing a post about homemade marshmallows it got me thinking about other components of S’mores. Â Since the homemade marshmallows turned out so well, I began to wonder if homemade graham crackers would also be noticeably better than store bought. Â My daughter doesn’t really eat graham crackers at home, but I might give them to her more often if I could make homemade ones that we would all enjoy and had less sugar than the boxed variety.
As I looked at recipes for graham crackers, I was surprised to find that many recipes did not actually contain graham flour but used whole wheat instead. Â This was a pleasant surprise since I didn’t really want to buy a whole bag of graham flour for one recipe that I wasn’t sure I would even be repeating. Â The first recipe I tried (from marthastewart.com) did not turn out well. Â The dough was much too dry and crumbly so that I couldn’t even get it to roll out correctly. Â I ended up using a modified version of the same recipe that worked much better for me and is actually quite easy to make.
Homemade Graham Crackers
(adapted from marthastewart.com)
I used all white whole-wheat flour in this recipe in an attempt to make them more nutritious. Â If you do not have white whole-wheat flour, I suggest using half whole-wheat flour and half all-purpose.
Makes about 2 dozen small crackers (each is about half Â the size of a store bought graham cracker)
1 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1. Â In a medium bowl, stir the dry ingredients together and set aside.
2. Â In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Â Add the eggs and vanilla and beat on medium speed until well combined.
3. Â With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients and beat just until everything is moistened. Â Divide the dough in half and form each portion into a ball; Â wrap each ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Â While dough is chilling, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
4. Â On a lightly floured surface using a floured rolling pin, roll out one ball of dough to form a rectangle roughly measuring 8 X 12 inches. Â Trim the rough edges of dough off with a sharp knife and then cut the dough into 12 rectangular pieces. Â Pierce each cracker with a fork a few times and then transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Â Repeat this process with the second ball of dough.
5. Â Bake crackers, one sheet at a time, in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes, or until the crackers are slightly puffy and just beginning to brown on the edges. Â Immediately transfer the crackers to a wire rack to cool.
We compared these homemade graham crackers to a box of Honey Maid crackers and there were definitely noticeable differences. Â The homemade crackers had a softer, crumbly texture and were much less sweet than the boxed graham crackers. Â I much preferred the milder, softer taste and texture of the homemade crackers, but these same traits may not appeal to children who are used to the boxed kind. Â Also, it is difficult (at least for me) to cut the homemade crackers perfectly evenly so that they may not be ideal for making S’mores, which require two crackers of the same size. Â The homemade crackers obviously require a lot more effort and time than store bought ones, but they are also noticeably cheaper. Â While 2 dozen homemade graham crackers cost about 80 cents, the same number of Honey Maid crackers comes in around $2.00.
Bottom Line: If you mainly keep graham crackers around as a toddler snack, store bought crackers are probably the best as they are convenient and have a kid-friendly taste. Â However, the homemade variety are a cheap, lower-sugar alternative and I think they’d be great paired with homemade marshmallows for fancy s’mores.
|Homemade Graham Crackers||Honey Maid Graham Crackers|
|Cost: 80 cents||Cost: $2.00|
|Time: 1 hour||Time: None|