Saturday, August 13, 2011

Graham Crackers

School is starting soon and my little ones love these graham crackers dunked in milk for an after school snack.

Graham Crackers

2 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt or coarse sea salt
7 tablespoons butter, cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen
1/3 cup mild flavored honey, such as clover
5 tablespoons milk, full-fat is best
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Make the Dough:  Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade or in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Pulse or mix on low to incorporate.  Add the butter and pulse on and off, or mix on low, until the mixture is the consistency of coarse meal.

In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, milk, and vanilla extract.  Add to the flour mixture and pulse on and off a few times or mix on low until the dough barely comes together.  It will be very soft and stick.  Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap and dust it lightly with flour, then turn the dough out onto it and pat it into a rectangle about 1-inch thick.  Wrap it, the chill it until firm, about 2 hours or overnight.  Meanwhile, prepare the topping, if using, by combining the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and setting aside.

Roll out the crackers:  Divide the dough in half and return one half to the refrigerator.  Sift and even layer of flour onto the work surface and roll the dough into a long rectangle about 1/8 inch thick.  The dough will be sticky, so flour as necessary.  Trim the edges of the rectangle to 4 inches wide.  Working with the shorter side of the rectangle parallel to the work surface, cut the strip every 4 1/2 inches to make 4 crackers. (This makes a traditional graham crackers shape, I made mine smaller.)

Place the crackers on one or two parchment-lined baking sheets and sprinkle with the topping.  Chill until firm, about 30-45 minutes in the fridge or 15 to 20 minutes in the freezer.  Repeat with the second batch of dough.  Finally, gather any scraps together into a ball, chill until firm, and re-roll.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Decorate the crackers:  Mark a vertical line down the middle of each cracker, being careful not to cut through the dough (again, this is for the traditional cracker shape). Using a toothpick or skewer (I like to use the blunt end of a wooden skewer for more dramatic dots), prick the dough to form tow dotted rows about 1/2 inch for each side of the dividing line.

Bake for 15-25 minutes, until browned and slightly firm to the touch.  Let cool and eat with milk.

Recipe is from Smitten Kitchen 

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