Homemade gluten-free graham crackers cost less than store-bought versions and feature a satisfying depth of flavor. Take the traditional graham cracker recipe, created in the 1800s by Sylvester Graham, and swap out the traditional flours for a blend of gluten-free alternatives. Make them vegan by substituting soy or almond milk for regular milk, and vegan margarine for the butter. Dunk these subtly sweet crackers in coffee or milk, pile them with chocolate and marshmallows, or crush them to make a crust.
To increase the likelihood of success when you make gluten-free baked goods, invest in a kitchen scale. Because every gluten-free flour has a different weight, you get more accurate results using a scale instead of a measuring cup. Mix ingredients by hand with a whisk and spoon or in a food processor. Gather additional equipment, including a non-stick rolling pin, measuring spoons, a baking sheet, parchment paper and a pizza cutter or sharp knife for scoring the dough.
Traditional graham crackers contain graham flour, a blend of finely ground white flour and coarsely ground wheat germ and bran. To replicate the heartiness of graham flour, use a commercial all-purpose gluten-free blend, or combine alternative flours for balanced structure and texture. Each type of gluten-free flour has its own characteristics; many result in an unpleasant texture or flavor when used alone. Bean flours add texture and heartiness, but they shouldn't make up more than 30 percent of the blend because they can be heavy and add a bitter flavor. Experiment with flours to find a combination that tastes good to you. For example, Shauna Ahern, founder of the website Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef, likes a recipe that combines equal weights of sweet rice, tapioca, brown rice and sorghum flours.
Other key ingredients in traditional graham crackers are brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, honey, milk and unsalted butter. Start by combining the dry ingredients. Cut small pieces of very cold butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture has a sandy texture. Finish the dough by adding milk and honey, and mixing it until it becomes soft and pliable. Refrigerate the dough for approximately 15 minutes before you prepare the graham crackers for the oven.
Baking the Crackers
Roll the chilled dough on a piece of parchment paper dusted with gluten-free flour. Form a rectangle that's approximately 1/8 inch thick. Move the parchment paper and rolled-out dough to a baking sheet. Score the dough in rectangles and prick the surface with a fork. Bake the graham cracker dough for approximately 15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or 15 to 20 minutes in an oven set at 325 F. Cool the graham crackers completely before you break them along the scored lines.
Caryn Anderson combines extensive behind-the-scenes writing experience with her passion for all things food, fashion, garden and travel. Bitten by the travel bug at the age of 15 after a trip to Europe, Anderson fostered her love of style and fashion while living in New York City and earning her degree at New York University.
Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media