The night before we left for Nashville, just as I was throwing clothes into my suitcase and packing up a bag of snacks that already included carrot sticks, fresh berries, and granola (I know, right? I’m a party animal…), I got a hankering for graham crackers. And then, when I clicked over to Twitter just to check in for a second, there was a link to a new post at Roost for, what else, exactly what I was craving.
I enjoy that kind of serendipity in life. It’s like when my friend Becky and I went to Margot on a Saturday night after being told on the phone there were no openings and then, wouldn’t you know it, someone canceled and we got seated in 10 minutes.
Or like a year ago, when my car kept putting out smoke and smelling like burnt metal, but finally the mechanic realized it was the catalytic converter all along, just weeks before my warranty expired, which paid for the entire replacement.
You have to embrace these things, these providences, so that’s what I did last Thursday. I pulled out all the ingredients, plugged in my food processor, and set to work.
Who knew the method for making these is so crazy simple: mix ingredients together, roll out the dough and cut out crackers, freeze for a quick 15 minutes, and then bake. That’s it.
I pulled these together while I was also baking bread (to add to my bag of snacks) and playing online and reminding myself of toiletries to pack, so there’s no way you can’t make these, too.
As far as taste is concerned, these graham crackers are definitely distinct from the store-bought kind, with hints of molasses and honey lending a richer flavor throughout, and a slightly crisper texture that crunches when you bite in and is almost chewy inside.
This version calls for more whole wheat than unbleached all-purpose flour, which I liked, but I’ve also seen those proportions swapped, if you’d like to go that route.
The only real caution I’d add is to make sure you roll out the dough to at least a quarter-inch thickness. Anything thinner, say if you’re thinking you’ll get more crackers that way, you’ll end up with some that are burned and some that are simply too crispy to enjoy. Not good.
Oh and also, if you want your graham crackers to be prettier, follow CoCo’s lead from Roost, and use a pastry cutter with fluted edges, adding a dusting of sugar to the top so everything sparkles. If, like me, you’re leaving town tomorrow morning and just want something fast and tasty to hold in your lap while you drive through fog and across state lines, this version is simply perfect.
Ideally, you’re going to want to use a food processor to mix the dough up (it’s SO easy that way), but according to the original recipe, you could also use a mixing bowl, stand mixer, hand mixer, a big spoon… and I’d imagine a blender is another possibility.Print
Who knew homemade graham crackers could be this easy to make? Simply mix, roll out, and bake, and your favorite snack is ready to go, perfect for enjoying with your favorite spread, or making into s’mores.
- In your food processor, pulse the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, salt, and baking powder together until combined. Add the butter and pulse until the dough is the consistency of coarse crumbs.
- Add the honey, molasses, and sugar, and process until combined. Add the milk and vanilla, and process until the mixture comes together to form a stiff dough. If it’s crumbly, add a splash of milk; if it’s too wet, add a little flour.
- Lightly grease or line two baking sheets with Silpat mats. On a floured work surface, cut the dough in half, and shape both halves into rectangles.
- Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a bigger rectangle about 1/4-inch thick. If the dough sticks to the counter, sprinkle it with some more flour.
- Using a knife or a fluted pastry cutter, trim the edges of the dough rectangle to yield neat crackers, and cut into approximately 3-inch squares. Lightly prick the dough with the tines of a fork.
- Using a spatula, carefully transfer the crackers to the prepared baking sheets. Repeat the process with the remaining dough and any leftover scraps.
- Place baking sheets in the freezer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Bake the chilled dough for 18 to 20 minutes, until the crackers are just a little bit browned at the edges. Remove from the baking sheets and cool completely on wire racks.
Recipe adapted from Roost.
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Cube Butter and Measure Ingredients
Cube the chilled butter and keep it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.
Measure the remaining ingredients and set them out in the order in which they are listed. This will make it easy to put together the recipe quickly.
Step 2 – Make Dough
Add both flours, salt, and baking powder to a food processor and pulse until well-combined.
Remove the butter from the refrigerator and add to the food processor. Pulse again until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.
Add the honey, molasses, and sugar. Process until combined. Add the milk and vanilla, processing again until everything comes together to form a uniform dough. The dough should be stiff, and not too wet or dry.
If it’s too wet, add a little all-purpose flour. If it’s too dry, add a little more milk. It’s best to add either of these approximately 1 teaspoon at a time, so you won’t accidentally add too much. We’re going for incremental adjustments as needed.
If you don’t have a food processor, you could mix the ingredients by hand, and cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or two knives. But using this beloved kitchen appliance is definitely preferred, since you’ll be forming a stiff dough.
Step 3 – Roll Out Dough
Cut the dough in half, and shape each half into a rectangle. Set one piece aside.
Roll out the other piece of dough to 1/4-inch thick with a floured rolling pin on a well-floured surface. If the dough starts to stick to the flat surface or to the rolling pin, be sure to add more flour. The size of the dough when it’s rolled should be about 12 by 13 inches.
Don’t worry if there’s a little flour on the dough as you roll it out; it will bake off once it’s in the oven.
Step 4 – Cut Crackers
Using a sharp knife or a pastry cutter wheel, cut the rolled dough into 3-inch squares. I like to use the straight edge and then also the wavy edge of the pastry cutter to make different shapes.
Prick the graham crackers with a fork to create the classic graham cracker look. This also helps to release any trapped air from the dough, so you’ll get a uniform baked cracker with a smooth surface rather than one with craters and pockmarks.
Repeat steps 3 and 4 with the other rectangle of dough, or save it in the freezer to make another batch later.
Step 5 – Bake
Place the baking sheets in the freezer for 15 minutes. Preheat your oven to 350°F while the dough chills.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. The edges of the crackers will be slightly browned. Remove from the oven and transfer the crackers carefully to wire racks to cool completely.
Homemade Is Always Better
Have you ever noticed that homemade snacks made from scratch are always better than anything you can buy in the store?
It’s not just about the fact that you can use your own preferred ingredients, and avoid the processed things that commercial brands often sneak into their products. There’s something special about creating a baked item that you can easily buy at the store at home instead, because of the joy that the process brings you.
These homemade graham crackers are infinitely better than anything store bought. They are slightly sweet and rich in flavor thanks to the molasses, plus they are so easy to make. Even if you aren’t someone who feels particularly confident in your baking skill, you can make these graham crackers. And they’re fun to make with the kids as well!
Need a few topping ideas? Try these:
- Peanut butter and mini chocolate chips
- Frosting and rainbow sprinkles
- Chocolate hazelnut spread and marshmallow fluff
- Cream cheese and your favorite jam or preserves
Of course, you can always stay classic and make s’mores out of them. Bonus points if you use homemade marshmallows.
How would you eat these delightful graham crackers? Tell us in the comments below. And please rate the recipe if you try it!
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Photos by Meghan Bassett, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on January 21st, 2010. Last updated: May 22, 2018 at 20:21 pm. With additional writing and editing by Meghan Bassett and Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her mantra? Restoring order and celebrating beauty through creative content, photography, and food. Shanna's work has been featured in Bon Appetit, The Kitchn, MSN.com, Everyday Health, Better Homes & Gardens, Houzz.com, Food News Journal, Food52, Zeit Magazine, Chew the World, Mom.me, Babble, Delish.com, Parade, Foodista, Entrepreneur and Ragan PR.