Monday, January 14, 2008


A few months ago I started baking all of our bread rather than purchasing it. I really wanted to eliminate the constant stream of plastic bags, to increase the quality of the bread we were eating and, of course, to cut down on cost. A loaf of bread that I feel comfortable feeding my family... meaning one without high fructose corn syrup and preservatives but with assorted whole grains...costs around $5.00 a loaf. We eat at least 3 loaves per week, usually more. A homemade loaf made with fresh, mostly organic ingredients comes to about $2.50 per loaf. Yeah...big difference.

Originally I was baking it all from scratch without the aid of a bread machine...then I came to my senses. Bread making is a very simple yet time consuming process, friends. I am now leaving the grunt work to my faithful kitchen helper...the 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 delish bread ingredients
Step 2: Come back in 3 hours 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 one of those small things that makes a big difference. I highly recommend!

So with all of my bread success I decided to take on Graham Crackers. Yes, those standard childhood 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

*This is a cross post from ,y other blog that some of you may have seen before.


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