Sunday, February 5, 2012

"Graham's" Cracker

The graham cracker we have almost all eaten was developed in 1829 in a New Jersey town by Dr. Sylvester Graham, a Presbyterian minister.  The original cracker was named "Dr. Graham's Honey Biscuits".

Graham crackers were made with graham flour -- made with complete wheat kernels (bran, germ and endosperm) by first grinding the endosperm finely into white flour and then reincorporating the coarsely ground bran and germ.

Dr. Graham believed that eating a whole grain diet would lead people from carnal urges -- a position that was followed by John and Will Kellogg who would later create the cornflake cereal.

On today's grocery store shelves, less expensive "graham crackers" contain no graham.

To get real graham flour, purchase a higher quality graham cracker or make your own.  I found this recipe in the newer cookbook, "Farmstead Chef" by John Ivanko & Lisa Kivirist:

  • 2 Cups Graham Flour (I purchased Bob's Red Mill at my health food store)
  • 1/2 Cup of flour
  • 1/4 Cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 Cup butter (1/2 a stick)
  • 1/3 Cup honey
  • 1/4 Cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

First Step:

  • Mix flours in a food processor.
  • Add butter and mix until crumbled.
  • Add honey, milk and vanilla and process until dough becomes a ball.
  • Cover dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.

Second Step:

  • Place unwrapped dough on floured surface and roll dough to 1/4" thickness.  Cut into desired shapes.

Final Step:

  • Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes (I baked mine on parchment paper for easy removal) or until edges start to darken.  Cool on wire rack.  Enjoy!

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