Thursday, October 13, 2011

Homemade Graham Crackers

When I was growing up my dad would grill on a charcoal grill. It was always an event. Getting the coals just right takes time and patience. We would cook meat and fish for several meals over those glorious embers. The taste of a good grilled steak in the middle of winter is divine!

As much as I loved the meals from the grill, my favorite part was always dessert. After supper while Mom was cleaning up the kitchen and packing meals for the freezer, Dad, Adam, and I would go outside along the edge of our woods and find sticks.

These weren't just any sticks. These were smores sticks.They had to be thin, and green. Flexible, yet sturdy enough to keep the marshmallow out of the fire.

We'd sit on the bench on the patio and toast marshmallows over the glowing embers. Once my 'mallow was perfectly toasted, I'd peel off the golden layer, and repeat. And every once in while, we'd grab some chocolate and graham crackers to make the actual smores.

Once I gave up gluten, I feared I wouldn't ever get a good smore again. I have attempted a few graham cracker recipes, but they just weren't right. They were too grainy, not sweet enough, too thick, and the list goes on.

I got brave a few weeks ago, threw caution to the wind, and made my own recipe. And you know what kids? (Ya, I'm grinning ear to ear right now) They turned out great. I made them again today to make sure it wasn't a fluke. 

Brown Rice "Graham" Crackers

Jon said it was no fluke :) They make phenomenal smores. I love that I can cut them into squares and not worry about them breaking into rectangles as I eat them.

I added some xanthan gum to these on a whim when I first came up with the recipe. It seemed to help the texture out quite a bit. And I also used store bought brown rice flour as it is less grainy than home-milled. 

Here's to you and your culinary adventures, friends. Cheers!

Brown Rice "Graham" Crackers
Makes 20-24 crackers

3/4 cup brown rice flour 
1/4 cup cornstarch 
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp xanthan gum 
3 TBS dark brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 TBS butter, diced, cold 
3-4 TBS milk 
2 TBS honey

Cinnamon Sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Sift together the flour, corn starch, baking soda, salt, and xanthan gum. Stir in brown sugar. 
Using a pastry blender or two knives- cut the butter into the flour mixture. You want an even distribution of the butter. Make sure there are no large pieces of butter, but DO NOT CREAM.(Think pastry dough with much smaller butter pieces)

Add the honey and 3 TBS of milk. Using a fork, blend until a coarse dough forms. Add the remaining 1 TBS of milk if needed to get the dough to just pull together. 

Lay a piece of aluminum foil or parchment paper on the counter. Lightly dust with rice flour. Pat dough into a rectangle. Lightly dust dough with additional flour. Place another sheet of foil or paper over the top. 

Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out between the two sheets. You want this to be very thin. About 1/8 inch thick.
Remove the top sheet of foil or paper. Transfer the dough, with the bottom foil or paper, to a baking sheet. Score the dough into desired size and shapes. "Dock" the dough by picking each cracker with a fork. (Docking allows steam to escape so you don't end up with soggy crackers). If desired, sprinkle liberally with cinnamon sugar.

Bake the crackers for 15-17 minutes until golden brown. 

Remove from oven and slide the entire sheet of crackers with the foil onto a cooling rack. Once completely cool, break crackers apart.

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