I was never one of those tots easily mollified by graham crackers and apple juice. I don't even think I liked graham crackers. There were more enticing choices. There were always more enticing choices. Except when in combination with chocolate and marshmallow. I've always had a soft spot for the s'more.
Sometime in my 20s I began to appreciate the simplicity of a graham cracker. They were slightly sweet and crunchy and versatile. When paired with coffee or tea, they were a pleasant - and dunkable! - counterpoint. I bought a box of organic graham crackers from time to time but almost never finished them.
When I started making my own I developed a genuine love for the graham cracker. I didn't have cravings, but when a still-soft graham worked its way into a s'more, I became aware of its subtle pleasures.
During the summer I lived on a goat dairy, I'd make goat cheese cheesecakes and sell them at the local farmers market for a couple dollars a slice. The crusts were always made with graham crackers. Nothing beats a graham cracker crust for cheesecake. I've had nut crusts before but they never met my expectations for texture and sweetness.
Now that I'm gluten-free, I decided to convert a graham cracker recipe I developed about 11 years ago. I removed the butter from the original recipe as well as the honey. It is now completely vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, corn-free and potato-free. It is also packed with good ingredients (organic extra virgin coconut oil, whole grains, brown rice bran, rapadura - evaporated cane juice). I wanted the recipe to be delicious, made in the spirit of the original graham cracker, and crunchy enough to be easily ground down into crumbs that I could use in a crust. I think I've accomplished that.
Graham crackers may be one of the easier recipes to convert - an ideal graham cracker has little to no gluten development and is made with whole grains. There's virtually no need for starches and almost any flour combination will work.
A few notes about this recipe:
- You'll need a scale to make this properly.
- Although I recommend specific flours (which tasted great), if you have a favorite blend you like, feel free to use it UNLESS it has a leavener in it. You'll need 12 ounces total.
- If you like a slightly less leavened cracker, omit 1/4 t Baking Powder and 1/4 t Baking Soda
Cake & Commerce's Gluten-free Graham Crackers...and they're vegan, too!
2 oz Teff Flour
2 oz Sweet Brown Rice Flour
2 oz Rice Bran Flour
2 oz Rapadura Sugar (or Brown Sugar)
1/2 t Baking Powder
1 t Baking Soda
1 t Salt, fine
3 oz Virgin Coconut Oil, melted and slightly cooled
1/3 C Amber Agave Syrup (Honey or Maple Syrup will also work)
1/3 C Water, slightly warm
1 T Vanilla
Preheat oven to 325 (if convection, preheat to 300)
Combine Dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor or mixer. Combine wet ingredients together and mix until blended. Pour wet ingredients in food processor over dry ingredients. Pulse until well combined. The dough will be a slightly sticky mass.
Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes for the flour to absorb some of the liquid.
If the dough is still wet, knead in a little more teff or buckwheat flour. It should NOT be wet to the touch.
Roll out to about 1/8th of an inch on a sheet of parchment. With a knife, score dough into a graham-cracker-sized grid (or cut with round cutters if looking for another look). Dock dough (make holes in dough) with a fork or docker (if you happen to have one). Transfer to a sheet pan.
Brush surface with water and sprinkle with rapadura or sugar. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.
Bake in a 325 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until dry. Do not burn - it gets VERY bitter if overcooked.
If you suddenly realize you want to cut it into shapes, when it is still hot, cut with a shaped cutter or with a knife.
Cool. And turn off oven. For drier grahams (you'll use them to make crumbs), place back in oven when it is cool and allow to dry out.
Eat, use for s'mores, grind and use for graham cracker crusts etc.
Store in an airtight container in a cool place. They will keep for a long time, several weeks, but if stored in a warm place the fat may oxidize over time and make it taste slightly 'off'.
If they get stale, place in 250 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes.
If you want to see how I do it, watch this video made by my friends at How2Heroes.com: