Friday, November 02, 2007

Home Made...

Last month, for various reasons, I started baking all of our bread rather than purchasing it. Originally I was baking it all from scratch without the aid of a bread machine...then I came to my senses. Breadmaking is a simple yet time consuming process, friends. So, I am now leaving the grunt work to my faithful kitchen helper...My bread maker. I generally don't like kitchen gizmo's and tend to prefer to do things by hand...But, the bread machine is genius.

Step 1: Dump in yummy bread ingredients
Step 2: Come back in 3 hours and 40 minutes for insanely good warm bread
Step 3: Enjoy the fact that your house smells like fresh baked bread for hours

In addition to not being rocket science, it's much less expensive than an equivalent quality bread from a store. I highly recommend!

So with all of my recent bread success I decided to take on Graham Crackers. Yes, those standard toddler treats from a little cardboard box. Well, just as with bread, it is much simpler that I thought it would be and they taste infinitely better than their retail counterparts.

Here's the recipe for the Graham Crackers...

Homemade Graham Crackers
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoon molasses
1/4 cup cold water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a food processor, mix together the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add the cold butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 30 seconds or so. Add the honey, molasses, water, and vanilla. Mix until the dough starts to come together in a ball, another 30 seconds. Scrape dough out of the mixer. Place it in the fridge for at least an hour, until firm.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Retrieve dough and roll until it's 1/8-inch thick. With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut into 2-inch squares, or with cookie cutters for fun shapes.
Arrange the crackers on greased or parchment lined baking sheets.

Bake for 15 minutes, until lightly browned at the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool on the pan.

Yield: 48 crackers

Note: If you cut the dough through but leave the squares together, you can break them up after they're baked, just like a store-bought graham!


Lilysmom said...

Yummy! Im gonna have to try the graham cracker recipe. Happy Halloween!

Nancy Bergenske said...

Wow! The bread looks great!

helena said...

Comment reciprocity!

I started baking bread fanatically the year after I graduated college. I didn't own a breadmaker, and did it 100% by hand. I baked 3 and 4 loaves per week, it was crazy. I had so much bread I was giving it away. I stopped after moving back to San Diego, but in conjunction with the no-shopping-pact, making one's own bread is a brilliant idea. [I will confess to having bought a bread maker about a year ago, though I seldom use it, it may be time to bring it out!]