Graham crackers

September 2, 2010 § 1 Comment

It’s hard to think about anything but the fact that I’m moving to Paris. I’m still trying to wrap my head around it: I’m moving to Paris. It is at once terrifying and terribly exciting. Every time I start to think, my mind drifts to what I imagine my life to be like there and then I have to catch myself before the daydreaming goes too far and I start planning out the future too much. But really, it’s hard to flip that switch in my brain for long enough to write about my last few days in San Francisco.

But they were definitely good ones. On Friday night, I headed up to the Sonoma Wine Valley with my family for a night of camping. The vineyards stretched out before us on the ride up in pretty green rows, red fruit hanging off the vines almost ready for picking. Everywhere we looked, wooden signs offered daily wine and olive oil tastings, and we stopped by a local bakery, which sells its crusty bread to several stores in San Francisco, for a cinnamon twist and a latté. We got to the campsite pretty late in the evening, in time to set up our tents as it got dark and roast marshmallows by the campfire. We only have one camping chair, so the roasting required a bit of coordination but in the end there were some toasty golden brown marshmallows with chocolate and my homemade graham crackers.

These graham crackers are rich and buttery, with a fairly strong taste of honey. Slightly thicker and more crunchy than your standard store-bought graham cracker, these are also great on their own as a snack. In fact, my family was of the opinion that they were better on their own than in s’mores. I made them with half wheat flour and half white.

Graham Cracker Recipe
Adapted from Nancy Silverton’s Pastries from the La Brea Bakery (Villard, 2000), via 101 Cookbooks

1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached pastry flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole wheat four
1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen
1/3 cup mild-flavored honey, such as clover
5 tablespoons whole milk
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

Ina bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt until the mixture is uniform and crumbly.

In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, milk, and vanilla extract. Add the wet mixture to the flour mixture and mix with your hands until the dough barely comes together. It will be very soft and sticky.

Lightly flour a work surface and shape the dough into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

After two hours has elapsed, remove the dough from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. Cut crackers into squares, using a square cookie cutter (or I found the edges of a tupperware container worked nicely). Place cut crackers on baking sheets lined with parchment paper and chill until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 25 minutes, until browned and slightly firm to the touch.

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