Friday, June 26, 2009
Frugal Flop: Making Graham Crackers
We love Annie’s organic graham cracker bunnies, but I just couldn’t stand paying $4 a box. “I can do that for less!” I boldly declared, as Husband rolled his eyes (he hears that a lot).
A bit of online searching, and I found a recipe. An Alton Brown recipe, no less—he’s my favorite Food Network chef. Huzzah!
I found it quite humorous that the same store that carries the $4 crackers also has graham flour right across the aisle for $3.59. Feeling extra-triumphant, I deduced that the bag of flour would make at least three batches of graham crackers.
Back home, I unpacked the groceries and was ready to get crackerin. I got all the ingredients out and started taking pictures, so you could bask with me in the joys of graham cracker frugality.
Looks easy enough, right? It was all OK until I started reading the recipe. If you watch Alton, you know that he’s a precise and accomplished chef. This means that (for baking especially), he weighs all of his ingredients.
I don’t have a kitchen scale, but that’s not stopping me. There must be some kind of online calculator that will convert ounces to cups, right? Remember, I’m an English major—the thought of Actually Doing Math makes me break out in a cold sweat.
Well, the ounces converted to cups…sort of. (C’mon Alton, 8 3/8 ounces graham flour? Could ya make it any harder?) Yet I was unfazed. I decided to substitute half of the molasses with honey, so I converted 2 1/2 ounces to teaspoons and then split that in half.
This is where things really started going to heck. I converted ounces to teaspoons but didn’t write down the amounts. When I mixed the dry and wet ingredients in the food processor, they most decidedly did not form a ball, as they were supposed to.
Desperate to complete the recipe and not waste the ingredients, I added a bit more graham flour. And a bit more regular flour. And so on.
Then it was time to roll it to cracker thickness between a couple of sheets of parchment. I rolled and rolled until it was falling off the parchment. Figuring that must be the right thickness, I grabbed a cookie sheet to slide the parchment onto.
Lesson #23: Parchment (and dough thereupon) is wider than standard cookie sheets.
It baked for the prescribed amount of time, and smelled absolutely heavenly. I was soooo excited to try it! And then I took it out of the oven.
That doesn't look like any graham cracker I've ever seen.
This article was shared on Eat, Make, Grow.