For eons, I’ve had a recipe for Graham Crackers bookmarked. Or, rather, I thought I had bookmarked a recipe for Graham Crackers. In the dim recesses of what’s left of my mind, I seem to remember seeing the recipe on someone’s blog posted near the end of the last century and thinking, “we’ve GOT to make those!” but now I can’t find the recipe anywhere….
Because, j’adore Graham Crackers! They’re wonderful with butter and/or thin thin thin slices of old cheddar cheese. But time being the way it is, Graham Cracker making went on hold and I completely forgot about Graham Crackers.
Then, the other day we read the following:
I was so pleased to find a recipe for oatcakes among my mother’s papers. It was carefully written out in my grandmother’s clear, round hand. She and my mother and my aunt Wendy all made them: thin, mildly sweet cookies that my English-born grandmother called oatmeal biscuits. They mixed the dough by hand, rolled it out in to thin sheets, then cut the sheets with a sharp knife like crackers into squares or diamonds.
-Naomi Duguid, Oatcakes, HomeBaking, p.395
We thought it would be fun to make oatcakes. And it was!
Tasting them was even more fun. Because, voila!
They’re just like Graham Crackers! But better….
Duguid and Alford used round cutters for their crackers. But we liked the grandmother’s the idea of making diamond shapes. Here’s what I did to their recipe:
based on the recipe for oat cakes in Home Baking by Naomi Duguid and Jeffery Alford
- 1/2 c rolled oats ***PLUS 1/2 c**** ¹
- 1/4 c 100% whole wheat flour
- 1/4 c unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/4 c packed light brown sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt (OR to taste)
- 1/4 c cold butter, chopped coarsely
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 c hot water ³
- Put rolled oats into the food processor for 30 seconds or so and process to a fine texture.
- Add flour, salt, sugar and butter and pulse to a fine meal.
- In a separate small bowl, stir baking soda ² into the hot water. Please do not use water from the hot water tap (who knows how long it’s been festering there?) Instead, heat the water in a kettle or microwave.
- Pour into flour mixture and process, stopping as soon as it comes together. Notice that the mixture is way too soupy to ever be anything but look like cake batter. Add 1/2 c more oatmeal and decide that next time you’ll put the baking soda in with the dry ingredients and add only the amount of hot water that is necessary.
- Put the dough onto a lightly floured board and press and/or roll with a rolling pin into a rectangle 18″x12″. Use a pizza cutter to cut into squares or diamonds. Put them 1/8 apart on two parchment lined cookie sheets.
- Bake on the top shelf of the oven (to prevent burning the biscuits on the bottom) at 325F for 10-15 minutes until they are tinged with light gold on the edges.
Allow the biscuits to cool completely on a wire rack before storing them in a cookie jar.
1.) rolled oats The HomeBaking recipe calls for just 1/2 cup rolled oats. The resulting “dough” was too soupy, so we added another 1/2 cup.
2.) baking soda Duguid and Alford say to mix the baking soda into the water. We think it would be smarter to mix it into the dry ingredients and then just add enough water to make the dough come together.
3.) water Please note that the HomeBaking recipe suggests refrigerating the dough before rolling it out. We were too impatient to wait so simply added more oatmeal to firm up the dough. We weren’t sorry.
And, of course, we have to make Duguid’s oatmeal biscuits again too. We need to find out if they would work as cracker crumb crust for cheesecake….
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