Friday, October 10, 2014

Easier Homemade Graham Crackers

My husband took Baby G downstairs to play while he works out. This means I get bonus time with my computer and a cup of coffee. Glorious!!

At first, I thought I'd just write updates and then realized I have a really awesome recipe and baking hack to share with you that I just prepared for a potential work project.

First, a few quick updates:
-Baby G is obsessed with my computer. She knows the office is Mommy's room so most tantrums are about her not getting to go into mommy's room.
-I'm thinking of getting one of those learned tower things so she can watch me cook. I have been putting her on a chair and she loves it. It's hilarious because I'm usually taking notes on a recipe and she will often grab my pen and take her own notes. This also means that I have trouble deciphering said notes because they are covered in scribbles.

Alright, so onto the recipe. This baking hack was derived because I was hungover. Yes, mom of the year right here folks. Too much wine plus Baby G up in the middle night because of teething, and I had to bake some graham crackers in the morning to get my timing down and all I wanted to do was curl up on the couch.

I love baking crackers, but the whole rolling out dough on a floured surface and then getting the crackers from the floured surface onto the cookie sheet, it's a pain in the butt. I decided to try rolling them out on parchment paper (no mess!) and then was trying to move the crackers on to the cookie sheet. They kept breaking. I was frustrated. I knew my time was limited so I thought, screw it. I'm not dealing with this. Instead of throwing the dough out, I took my rolled out, cut dough on the parchment, threw it on the cookie sheet and put it in the oven. After 15 minutes, I took the dough out and separated the crackers (so much easier!) and baked for a few minutes. Voila! They came out crispy and yummy and frustration free.

You're welcome.

Easier Homemade Graham Crackers

These crackers are a diaper bag staple. Unlike commercially made graham crackers, these don’t crumble and make a mess when you are out in public. All of the nutty taste of graham crackers (thanks to the spelt flour) without the chemicals. Extra bonus? If your little one is not yet a year old, then simply swap in maple syrup for the honey. The dough can sit in the fridge for up to 4 days, so make the dough during naptime one day, and don’t sweat it if you can’t get to it until later in the week.

Prep Time: 10 minutes to make the dough, 4 hours to 4 days to let dough sit in fridge, 5 minutes to prep the dough for baking

Bake Time: 20-25 minutes

Yield: 30 crackers

Freezer friendly

1 [1/2] cups whole-wheat pastry flour or white whole-wheat flour
1 cup spelt flour
[1/2] cup dark brown sugar, packed
[3/4] tsp salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
[1/2] cup unsalted butter, cold
[1/4] cup honey
[1/2] cup milk or non-dairy milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. In a food processor with a chopping blade, pulse together whole-wheat pastry flour, spelt flour, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Add unsalted butter, and pulse until a coarse meal forms. Add honey, milk, and vanilla extract, and pulse until dough is formed.

2. Separate dough into halves. Spread out a piece of parchment paper. Place dough on parchment paper and use your hand to flatten the dough into a disc, approximately [1/2]-inch thick. Cover dough with twice the amount of plastic wrap. Invert dough onto plastic wrap and cover the disc. Repeat with second half of dough. Refrigerate wrapped discs for at least 4 hours and up to 4 days.

3. Preheat the oven to 350 dg(F).  Place a piece of parchment paper on the counter. Unwrap dough and place the plastic wrap over the dough. Roll out to [1/4]-inch to [1/8]-inch thickness (the thicker the dough, the more cookie-like the cracker). Use a pizza cutter to cut into two by three inch rectangles. Do not separate. Transfer the parchment paper to a cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.

4. Remove from oven and separate crackers. You may need to re-cut using a metal spatula or a pizza cutter. Bake for an additional 5 minutes. Transfer parchment paper to a metal cooling rack. Cool completely. Store in a covered container for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Variations: To make Cinnamon Graham Crackers: replace 2 teaspoons cinnamon with 2 tablespoons cinnamon.
Substitutions: If your little one is under a year old, she should not have honey as it can cause infant botulism. Substitute maple syrup for honey. Do not use artificial maple syrup.

What are some of your favorite baking hacks?
Am I using this trendy term correctly? Sometimes I wonder if I have turned into the out of date aunt....