These are what I remember graham crackers to be, only better. Imagine your favorite crisp, honey-golden graham cracker with the deep, buttery goodness of a shortbread cookie. There you have the MSBH graham cracker.
I think the key is using graham flour in the dry ingredients. I’ve looked for this recipe on Martha’s website and while there is a recipe for graham crackers, it is not the one featured in the MSBH. Major difference: the MSBH version uses graham flour. Awesome. Also, cinnnamon. Hooray.
A while back a reader named Patrick left a comment that when he made this recipe, the dough turned out quite dry – it was as if a wet ingredient was left out of the recipe. Knowing this going in, I was very precise in measuring both my dry and wet ingredients, to ensure my ratios were exactly right according to the recipe. An lo and behold, my dough still turned out very, very dry. As if, indeed, there was not enough wet to compensate for dry.
I opted to soldier on with the dry, crumbly dough rather than add some additional wet ingredient. This made working with the dough very difficult, however. Forming and quartering a mound wasn’t too troublesome…
But then rolling out each quarter of dough into a flat sheet was a nightmare. The dough was just too dry and really difficult to work with because of that.
I had to keep doing patchwork triage, which honestly just made things worse.
So, a lot of the dough went to waste. In fact, most of the dough went to waste because I only rolled out two of the quarters from the whole mound of dough! It just took so long to get one good sheet of dough rolled out, the dough kept falling apart and was drying out so quickly, that I scrapped the last two quarters and just made two small sheets.
These are lightly scored with a pastry wheel into the individual cracker shapes and then frozen before being baked. The MSBH instructs you to flute the crackers prior to baking, but because the dough was so dry, pressing a fork into the cold dough would cause the sheets to crack horribly. So, I opted to do this step right after they came out of the oven. I also cut them apart at this time too, rather than snapping them apart along the scored line after they’d cooled, because I had a hunch they wouldn’t snap evenly but would instead just break apart where the dough was dry and cracked before baking.
Dry dough issues and all, I honestly think all the trouble is worth it in the end. The crackers are so good! Exactly what you’d expect from Martha Stewart: a delicious homemade version of an otherwise ho-hum commercial standard. The crackers are rich and crisp, with subtle hints of cinnamon and honey, and a deep golden-graham flavor. The butter makes them so flakey and somehow even a week later, they tasted fresh.
I don’t know how to fix the dry dough issue and I wish I did because I want to make these again, but do not want to go through the hassle and waste of battling the dry dough. Perhaps cutting back on the flour by a couple tablespoons would make a difference? I wouldn’t want to do anything to mess with the flavor and texture of the final product, however, because truly it’s just perfect once baked.