This is probably not shocking to anyone who’s perused this blog, but I can be really ambitious with my cooking projects sometimes. Which is how I found myself in a bind with these graham crackers. I’d committed to making s’mores on an early Saturday afternoon to be the grand finale for the first grill session of the year; I had already invited a couple friends to join and made homemade marshmallows, and I was absolutely determined to make homemade graham crackers for the perfect s’mores. Somehow I easily envisioned myself making the dough on Friday night and baking the crackers on Saturday morning. Of course, I chose not to take into account my full day of work that Friday as well as a party happening at my house that night. The inevitable outcome of which was me frantically making the dough as party guests arrived. But the dough came together surprisingly easily and was soon chilling safely in the fridge for the night while I stayed up, engrossed in conversations. The next thing I knew, I was forcing myself out of bed the next morning with less than eight hours of sleep, because I was absolutely determined to finish these graham crackers. After rolling, cutting, sprinkling on some cinnamon, sugar, and smoked salt (I can’t help myself when it comes to salt and baked goods, and the smokiness seemed like it would be perfect paired with toasted marshmallows), and, inevitably, dropping a few crackers onto the floor (I’ve given up on pretending I’m not a clumsy person), I watched eagerly as they baked and filled the house with an irresistible aroma. The graham crackers were an undisputed success, well worth the frantic stress and lack of sleep (there’s always time to relax and sleep after my stomach is full). And the s’mores? You’ll have to come back on Friday to hear how those turned out.
Homemade Graham Crackers (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
Yield: about 30 2-inch x 3-inch crackers
- 2 1/2 cups + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour*
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp + 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 7 Tbsp butter, cut into cubes and frozen
- 1/3 cup honey**
- 5 Tbsp milk***
- 2 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 3 Tbsp turbinado sugar
- 1/2 tsp smoked salt
*You can substitute up to a cup with whole wheat flour, if desired.
**You want a mild-flavored honey, like clover.
***Whole milk works best.
- In the bowl of a food processor or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine 2 1/2 cups + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour, 1 cup dark brown sugar, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp kosher salt. Pulse or mix on low to incorporate.
- Add 7 Tbsp butter, cut into cubes and frozen, and pulse on and off or mix on low until the dough is the consistency of coarse meal.
- In a small bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup honey, 5 Tbsp milk, and 2 Tbsp vanilla extract.
- Add the honey-milk mixture to the dough, and pulse on and off or mix on low until the dough just comes together (it will be soft and sticky).
- Dust a large piece of plastic wrap with flour, then move the dough onto it, pat out a 1-inch thick rectangle. Wrap up the dough, and move to the refrigerator to chill until firm, at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
- In a small bowl, combine 3 Tbsp turbinado sugar, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp smoked salt for the topping, then set aside.
- When ready to roll out the crackers, divide the chilled dough in half, and return one half to the refrigerator.
- Dust your work surface with flour, then roll the dough into a 1/8-inch thick rectangle. Trim the edges, and cut the crackers as desired (I opted for approximately 2-inch x 3-inch crackers, but to make a traditional graham cracker shape, cut 4-inch x 4 1/2-inch crackers).
- Move the crackers to a baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper, then sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar topping.
- Transfer to the refrigerator or freezer, and chill until firm (about 30 minutes in the refrigerator or 15 minutes in the freezer).
- Meanwhile, roll out the second half of the dough using the same method as the first. Gather any scraps, chill, and re-roll.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Once the crackers are chilled, if using a traditional graham cracker shape, mark a vertical line down the middle of each cracker without cutting through the dough. Using a skewer (I found the blunt end worked better), prick the dough to form dotted rows, spacing the dots about 1/4 to 1/2-inch apart.
- Bake until the bottoms and edges darken, about 10 – 20 minutes, rotating halfway through.
- Remove, and let cool on sheets for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.