Homemade Graham Crackers

Continuing on yesterday’s track, I’ve got another great recipe that comes from a teacher at the Waldorf school that my son will attend next fall.

Over the last couple of years we’ve done a few sessions of their parent/toddler program on Fridays. It’s been a really great thing for us—not only is it something fun to do, but it gives you a chance to check out the school. I think most Waldorf schools do it, so if you are curious about the teaching style at all, this is a good way to learn first hand.

Anyway, at these Friday programs, we always made snack together. And this was by far my son’s favorite. It was embarrassing how much he ate! I had to get the recipe so we could make them at home. I figured if we made them at home, he wouldn’t hog them all when we were there!

While thinking about this post it occurred to me to ask myself, “what is graham?” and why don’t we use graham flour in graham crackers?? So, I turned (as I often do) to wikipedia.com for help. Here is what I learned:

Graham flour is a type of whole wheat flour named after the American Presbyterian minister Rev. Sylvester Graham, an early advocate for dietary reform. According to the Larousse Gastronomique, Graham despised processed white flour and believed that bran was the cure-all for the bad eating habits of his compatriots.

Rather than simply grinding the whole grain wheat kernel (bran, germ, and endosperm), in graham flour the components are ground separately. The endosperm is ground finely, initially creating white flour. The bran and germ are ground coarsely. The two parts are then mixed back together, creating a coarse-textured flour that bakes and keeps well. Graham flour is used to make graham crackers and pie crusts, among other things.

So, there you have it—mystery solved! Still it’s funny to me that you can make a graham cracker, have it TASTE like “graham” and not include any graham flour in it. You be the judge:

GRAHAM CRACKERS

2 1/2 — 3 cups whole wheat flower
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup canola or safflower oil
1/3 cup honey
2 tbs. molasses
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 — 1/2 cup milk (soy or cow’s)
oil or butter for greasingp1190072.jpg

1. In a large bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups ww flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt & cinnamon. Set aside.

2. In a small bowl whisk together oil, honey, molasses, vanilla and 1/4 cup milk. Add to flour mixture and mix to combine—adding more milk or more flour if needed.

3. Turn the dough onto a floured surface, roll and cut into cracker-sized squares. Transfer to lightly oiled baking sheet. Prick each cracker a few times with a fork to create the “look” of a graham cracker. (the kids love to do this part—let them roll the dough and use cookie cutters to make fun shapes!)

p1190071.jpgExperiment with how thinly to roll them out—some folks like them chewy, some like them really thin and crispy. It’s your world—make em how you like em.

We munch on ours with cream cheese, jam of any kind and almond butter. They are also a great take-along snack for toddlers on the go! And really, is there any other kind?

Oh, and be sure to check out cupcakeblog.com for this crazy-amazing sounding recipe for S’mores  Cupcakes! Mmmmmmmm!