Graham crackers revisited

Not the type to let a kitchen mishap get me down, I had to try my hand again at graham crackers. I scoured the web for tips and info but settled with two of the highest ranking of recipes, one vegan and one not. There were elements of each that I liked but neither seemed to be exactly what I was looking for. What I came up with was a strange amalgamation of the two, with a hint of my own laziness thrown in there.

Surprisingly, they came out really well. They’re a little more cookie-like than store bought grahams but in the best of ways. The molasses in the sugar gives them a rich flavor that pairs perfectly with the cinnamon. They have a great crispy crunch but aren’t hard. Though the whole thing was a bit intimidating, it was well worth it.

Vegan Graham Crackers

2 1/2 cup graham flour

2 Tbsp all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp sea salt

1 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

3 1/2 Tbsp Earth Balance chopped into small cubes and frozen

1/4 cup soy milk

1/4 cup agave or simple syrup

2 Tbsp vanilla extract

1. Chop your Earth Balance and put it in the freezer. It is easiest to use the Earth Balance sticks.

2. I did not have dark brown sugar so I just took 1 cup of regular sugar and added 2 Tbsp of molasses and combined thoroughly with a fork.

3. Mix the sugar, flours, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon in a mixer on low. You could also do this by hand. Mix until just combined.

4. Next add the frozen Earth Balance. Mix the ingredients until it starts to resemble a coarse meal. It is ok if the Earth Balance is not 100% incorporated. It is more important to not over-mix.

5. Mix the soy milk, agave and vanilla in a separate bowl. I used a mixture of agave maple syrup and simple syrup (sugar water) because that’s what I had in the fridge. Mix into the flour mixture until you have a rough dough.

6. Shape the dough roughly into a rectangle and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

7. Preheat the oven to 325°

8. Remove the chilled dough and cut in half. Put the remaining portion back into the fridge. The dough will be very sticky so flour generously. I recommend rolling it out between two pieces of parchment paper. You will still have to flour it though. Roll out to approximately 1/4″ thickness. Using a pizza cutter or similar tool, cut into even(ish) squares. Poke holes in the tops with a fork or skewer and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Repeat with the second batch of dough.

9. Here is where you should chill your dough for an additional 20-30 minutes. I didn’t. I got impatient. I’m sure it would be better if you did, but it didn’t make a huge difference. My graham crackers spread out a bit more and had to be recut after baking.

10. Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating the tray about 15 minutes in.

11. Remove and let cool. Eat till your hearts content.

One week of VeganMoFo and graham crackers

Dear Alton Brown,

You have let me down. I hate to say it but it’s true. I have always loved your clever mix of science and culinary adventures. I love learning the history of carrots and the chemistry of preserves. I guess graham crackers just aren’t your thing though. I followed your recipe with as much accuracy as possible. Do you know how difficult it is to measure 3/8 oz of graham flour? It’s not easy. I diligently followed your instructions but things just weren’t adding up. When my dough should have been forming a ball, it was still a slushy paste. I gave in and added a bit more flour. Instead of getting closer to this ball of dough you promised, my food processor started to smoke. Moving on. Soon enough my apartment smelled of baking cinnamon and I thought all was not lost. Right as the timer went off I opened the oven to discover…

…my graham crackers burnt to a crisp. How could you lead me so astray? I put my faith in your exactness and I expect simple perfection in return.  Is that too much to ask? Apparently it is. Next time, I’ll trust my graham recipe needs to the vegan bloggers.