Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Alton Brown Inspired Graham Crackers: No Gluten, No Dairy, No Eggs, No Soy

My family LOVES Alton Brown, host of the Food Network shows Good Eats, Iron Chef America, Feasting on Waves, and Feasting on Asphalt.
 "My kids have been fascinated with him and his show, "Good Eats", since they were very small. They are a little bigger now and still love him and his show. He's all about cooking and the science behind it. He makes cooking and science interesting and fun with his yeast sock puppets and his interesting camera angles. He's what "Bill Nye The Science Guy" would be if he has a cooking show. Watching his show makes you feel like you can make anything. Even though he hasn't done a lot on gluten or dairy free, his show has really inspired me to get to the point where I'm at now, feeling like I can transform anything into something that my entire family can eat.

October 2009 Lake Forest Park, WA Good Eats: The Early Years book signing tour. My kids get to meet and have a decent chat with Alton Brown.

My son shares with him his idea for a show on dyeing Easter Eggs. Alton thinks it's a good idea, pulls out his wallet, writes the idea on a sticky note and sticks his wallet back in his pocket.

My daughter says that it was her "life long dream" to meet Alton Brown. Look at how she's looking up at him in this picture, priceless!
This week the kids and I decided to try to make graham crackers from scratch that are gluten, dairy, egg, and soy free. We started out with Alton Brown's recipe for homemade graham crackers.
Mr. Brown advocates using a kitchen scale to weigh your flour so you'll notice that the flour is listed in ounces by weight. I also try to estimate if you are using cups. I'll try it using cups next time and will fine tune this if needed.

Here is my take on Mr. Brown's Graham Cracker recipe to make it gluten and dairy free.

Graham Crackers: No Gluten, No Dairy, No Eggs, No Soy
(Inspired by Alton Brown)
8.4 ounces sorghum flour (try 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 cup) 
1.8 ounces Bob's Redmill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour (try 1/2 cup)
3 ounces dark brown sugar (you can use raw sugar, turbinado sugar, organic pure cane sugar, honey or whatever your favorite non-chemical sweetener is.)
3/4 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
3 ounces  Earth Balance Soy Free
2 1/4 ounces molasses
1 1/2 ounces rice milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract


Add your flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon into the bowl of your food processor, Kitchenaid or Vitamix, which is what I used. You could probably do this by hand in a regular bowl too, if you need. :-)
Add the Earth Balance and pulse or blend until the mixture is combined.
Add molasses, rice milk, and vanilla extract and mix until dough forms, about 1-2 minutes.
Mold the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or more.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Take the chilled dough out of the refrigerator and place it on a big piece of parchment paper and then put a second sheet of equal size on top. You can put all this on top of a sheet pan for easy transport to the oven later.

Roll the dough out until it's about 1/8 inch thick.
Remove the top sheet of the parchment paper and cut the dough, using a knife or pizza cutter into 2 inch or so square pieces by using vertical and horizontal cuts. You can trim off any excess and roll any extra dough out on another sheet, if desired.

Using a fork, poke holes all over the top of the dough. Leave the crackers on the pan and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 15 - 20 minutes or until the edges start to darken. I baked them for 20 minutes and they were a little more crispy than I wanted on the edges.

Remove from the oven and slide the parchment with the crackers on them onto a cooking rack. You can later remove them off the parchment to test coolness. You can store them in an airtight container for a few weeks. My kids backed these for their snack at school the next day and then finished them off for snack after school. They said that they reminded them of gingerbread cookies. I'm sure they would be amazing used as smores, with marshmallow and chocolate! Alton Brown even has a recipe for homemade marshmallow!


1 comment:

  1. Note: these crackers cook super fast and are easy to burn. You can see from my picture, so keep an eye on them while they are in the oven.