Serious Eats: Recipes

Bread Baking: Peanut Butter Graham Crackers


[Photograph: Donna Currie]

Ah, crisp flatbreads! That's pretty much what crackers are. And while some store-bought graham crackers can be oversweetened to the point where they begin to wander into the cookie aisle, the original graham crackers were developed as health food by the early 19th century diet reformer Sylvester Graham.

While today's graham crackers aren't the same as ones promoted by Graham, they're still a relatively healthy option, with lots of fiber from the whole wheat. But that's not why I eat them. As far as I'm concerned, graham crackers are given space in my pantry because they're the perfect vehicle for peanut butter. I'll admit to eating them plain or using them in the occasional pie crust once in a while, but the majority of graham crackers around here disappear under a smear of peanut butter. To me, that's the perfect quick and satisfying snack.

Tips on Making this Recipe...
by hand-kneading »
in a stand mixer »
with a food processor »

But why stop at putting peanut butter onto the graham crackers? Why not put some in the crackers as well?

Not too long ago, I decided to make some graham crackers, but I couldn't find a recipe that looked good. They all seemed to be too sweet or too austere, or the ingredients just didn't sound appealing. So I created my own recipe. While those were good, I knew that I'd be be back fiddling with the recipe to see what else I could do to make them different.

For this version I added smooth peanut butter, and the flour was a coarsely ground whole wheat flour that came from my local farmers' market. It's similar in texture to graham flour that I've bought before, but depending on the seller, graham flour can mean a number of different things. For the purposes of this recipe, any whole wheat flour should be fine, but white whole wheat would probably be a bit pale.

There's not a massive amount of peanut butter in these, so the effect is subtle in terms of peanut flavor. However, the peanut butter adds a nice richness to the crackers.

I've given instructions using a stand mixer, but this could be done with a sturdy hand mixer, although it's prettty dense at the end. Or mix by hand. It doesn't have to be kneaded, just mixed really well.

For those who've requested it, I'm making an effort at both measuring and weighing the flour.

Peanut Butter Graham Crackers

About the author: Donna Currie has been cooking for fun and writing for pay since the days when typewritten articles traveled by snail mail. When she combined those talents in a food column for a newspaper in her area, she realized that writing about food is almost as much fun as eating. She most recently launched the blog Cookistry and has now joined the Serious Eats team with a weekly column about baking.

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