How to Make Your Own Graham Crackers

Every week on FOOD52, a DIY expert spares us a trip to the grocery store and shows us how to make small batches of great foods at home.

Today, Alana Chernila of Eating From the Ground Up shows us how to make our own graham crackers.

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Few foods provide comfort like the magical graham cracker. To eat one makes us feel loved and cared for, and to feed one to our children makes us feel like we've gotten something real into their little bellies.

>>RELATED: Check out how to make your own homemade ice cream sandwiches.

The combination of honey and brown sugar gives these homemade graham crackers a gentle sweetness. I predict they'll go over well with your children, and the flour combination creates a depth of flavor adults seem to feel pretty excited about too.

>>RELATED: See a step-by-step guide to making Maple Meringue Filled Doughnuts.

This is a simple dough that comes together in just a few minutes. Serve your graham crackers with nut butter, or (need I even say it?) stack with chocolate and charred homemade marshmallows for your very own s'mores.

>>RELATED: See our recipes for homemade nut butters!

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Homemade Graham Crackers

Makes 45 to 50 2-by-3-inch crackers

1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (4 1/2 ounces) whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup (1 3/4 ounces) rye flour, plus additional for the counter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 cup (2 ounces) packed dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 tablespoons non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening (I use Earth Balance), cut into 1-inch cubes
4 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer or electric mixer, combine the all-purpose, whole-wheat, and rye flours with the salt, baking soda, baking powder, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and brown sugar. Mix for 10 seconds using the paddle attachment, then add the butter and shortening. Mix on medium speed for 30 seconds.

2. Combine the honey and vanilla with 1/4 cup cold water in a liquid measuring cup and stir to combine until the honey is mostly dissolved. With the mixer running on medium- low speed, slowly pour the honey mixture into the bowl, giving the mixture time to absorb the liquid. Continue to mix for another 20 seconds, or until the dough comes together. It will still be slightly crumbly. Push the dough into a ball, wrap it in wax paper, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, and up to 3 days. The dough can be wrapped and frozen at this point.

3. Take the dough out of the refrigerator about 20 minutes before you are ready to bake. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the dough in half, and lay one half between two sheets of wax or parchment paper dusted with rye flour. Roll the dough as thin as you can get it, ideally 1/8 inch. It will still be slightly crumbly, but just press it back together and keep rolling. Use a pizza wheel, jagger, or knife to cut 2-by-3-inch rectangles. Use a spatula to separate the rectangles from the wax paper and set them on a lightly greased baking sheet. The crackers won't spread, so they can be quite close. Reroll any scraps and repeat-then repeat again with the second half of the dough.

4. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon with the granulated sugar. Sprinkle the crackers with the cinnamon mixture and prick the dough several times with a fork. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until just starting to brown at the edges. Cool on a wire rack. The crackers are great out of the oven, but their flavor and texture improves the next day.

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