DIY Gluten-Free Mix™– Graham Crackers
I never liked graham crackers as a kid. They always tasted stale to me. As an adult, I keep running into recipes using graham crackers for icebox cakes, for layers in fruit desserts or for pie crusts. So I sought out a recipe and tried it with Freedom Delivered gluten-free all purpose flour. They turned out wonderfully! The cinnamon and molasses flavors were so good and rich! Now, I make them often and truly enjoy them.
The recipe was quite instructive. It is egg-free. It requires only ingredients I usually have on hand, and it is very quick to pull together, especially from the DIY mix, even with the hour of refrigeration. I now know that when I want to bake graham crackers, I do the mixing in the afternoon or evening so it can chill overnight. Chilling dough makes the shortening (butter) colder when it is put into the oven. The contrast in temps allows the edges to firm up and the cracker will not spread so much. Also, the time spent chilling the dough allows the flavors to intensify. This is very beneficial in honey, molasses graham crackers. I believe that is why I like my own graham crackers so much. Crispy and so flavorful. Plus, now we can enjoy s’mores with everyone else!
In writing this blog I realized that making my recipe costs just a little more than buying the gluten-free graham crackers at the market. A box there cost $4.99. Making the mix cost me $3.84. Again, I didn’t search for sales. I just purchased my ingredients as needed. The cost is calculated as follows: Flour $2.14, Oats $.76, Sugar $.40, Cinnamon $.30, Baking powder ).12. Xanthan gum $0.04, Baking soda $0.06 and Salt $0.02. For the add in ingredients I calculated that it costs $1.93 as follows: Butter $.70, Honey $.75, Molasses $.27 and Vanilla $.21. This totals to $5.77, so $.78 more than store bought. I think it is worth every penny as the flavor is so much better!
I also think it is worth the extra because of the control I have in using ingredients that no one in my family has problems with. This control of what is in our gluten-free diet is so important to me. Since we eat most meals at home, I can be sure less cross-contamination will cause problems for my family. So I gladly prepare 3 or 4 more mixes when I need to so I can make graham crackers for snacking, for recipes and to make graham cracker crumbs for pies. Did I mention drizzling melted chocolate on some? Yum! Seems like a delicious winning situation to me.
- 2 cups Freedom Delivered gluten-free All Purpose Flour (248 g)
- ¼ cup gluten-free oats
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon Xanthan gum
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 7 tablespoons butter, dairy or non-dairy margarine or shortening (cut into small chips and chilled or frozen)
- 3 tablespoons iced water (more if necessary)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Gater the dry mix ingredients and mark the zip bags. Set up the bags by rolling the tops of the zip bags about 2-inches down so they stay open. Set each one in a container to hold them upright.
- Carefully weigh the flour for each bag. Measure the oats, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, Xanthan gum, baking soda and salt and add to each bag. Zip each bag closed and put into a gallon zip bag with a copy of the recipe for future baking.
- Place the dry mix in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low to blend.
- Add the chips of butter to the dry ingredients and mix on low.
- In a small glass measuring bowl, mix the honey, molasses and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients as the mixer is running on low. Finally add the ice water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together. If necessary, add more ice water 1 tablespoon at at time until the dough forms a nice ball.
- Form the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. I usually make the disk more like a rectangle because I will be rolling it our into a rectangle eventually. Place well wrapped dough into the refrigerator fro at least 1 hour or overnight.
- When ready to bake, set the wrapped dough on the counter for about 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and line several cookie sheets with parchment paper or baking mats.
- Roll out the dough on floured plastic wrap into a rectangle about 12-inches x 10-inches. Cut into squares about 3x3-inches. Transfer to the prepared cookie sheets. Leave just a little space between each square. With a fork prick each cracker several times. Gather the remains of the dough and roll to cut out more squares.
- Bake for 15 minutes, rotating pans half way through the baking time (many ovens are hotter in the back-this allows crackers to bake evenly). After they have baked for 15 minutes, turn off the oven and open the door for 2-3 minutes to let the oven cool slightly. Then close the oven door (oven off but still warm) and let crackers remain in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until cool. This will ensure crispy graham crackers. Depending on the thickness, makes about 24 crackers.