Persian Lime and Sage Sorbet

19 Mar

20130320-010240.jpgMy wife and I attend a monthly meeting with other couples. During this past meeting, one of the couple had brought up how one of their relatives made a dessert out of basil. That inspired me to think of the classic lemon/basil combination. However, these days, that combination is so overused, that it has become rather boring to me. It is like the molten chocolate cake…you see it everywhere. So I thought, how can I create something similar? Then it came to me one night at the grocery store – limes and sage.20130319-161115.jpgI used Persian Limes for this sorbet. They remind me of key limes, but without that bitter pucker. Persian Limes are aromatically spicy and fragrant. I like the combination of the slightly peppery, flavorful profile of sage – it’s medicinal properties only make it more interesting.

20130319-161243.jpg20130319-161959.jpgI started by juicing two pounds of fresh Persian Limes, that I then passed through a fine mesh sieve, to rid the pulp. Meanwhile, I boiled water and sugar to make the simple syrup. After a minute of boiling, I removed the simple syrup from the heat, and allowed the fresh Sage leaves steep and infuse in the hot syrup for 30 minutes.

20130319-161402.jpgThe syrup was then cooled in the freezer for one hour. Once cooled, I mixed in the Persian Lime juice along with two ounces of Cointreau. The Cointreau tones down the intensity of the sage, and compliments the Persian Limes ever so lovely.20130320-010251.jpg

Persian Lime and Sage Sorbet

Ingredients:

12 oz Persian Lime juice, passed through a fine mesh sieve, about 2 lbs of fruit

2 cups sugar

3 cups water

1/2 oz fresh sage, with stems

2 oz Cointreau

Directions:

1. Wash the limes well and lightly roll and press the limes against your counter surface with the palm of your hand to loosen the juice.

2. Cut the limes in half. Using gloves to protect your hands, juice the limes with a manual citrus juicer, an electric citrus juicer or by simply squeezing the juice out by hand.

3. Meanwhile, bring the water and sugar to a boil for one minute. Remove from heat, and add the sage. Allow the sage to steep for 30 minutes.

4. Remove the sage, and discard. Place the syrup in the freezer for one hour. Place the pulp-free lime juice in the refrigerator.

5. Once cooled, add the lime juice and Cointreau to the syrup.

6. Freeze in an ice cream maker, according to the manufacturers instructions.

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Palmiers

26 Oct

The Puff pastry we made a few weeks ago is truly a versatile dough. The delectable, buttery, lightly sweet cookie we can make with the sinfully delicious pastry dough is heaven. Palmiers, also known as Elephant Ears or Orejones (in spanish), are so simple and easy yet amazingly delicious.

The ingredient list is short: puff pastry, and vanilla sugar. The puff pastry is rolled out with the vanilla sugar instead of flour. It is then given a double book fold (like the one we used to make the puff pastry), and re-rolled again with the vanilla sugar. It is then folded in a fashion to create the signature shape of a Palmier cookie.

The combination of butter, caramelized sugar and warm vanilla creates a flavor that is so harmonious and delicate. The layers of the puff pastry also receive the caramelized treatment and are crispy and soft altogether.

Palmiers
Yields: 32 cookies

Ingredients:

1 recipe Puff Pastry
3 cups Vanilla Sugar (Scroll to bottom)

Directions:

  1. If you froze the puff pastry, allow it to defrost for 24 hours in the refrigerator before using.
  2. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  3. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the vanilla sugar on the surface, and place the puff pastry on top.
  4. Sprinkle the top part of the puff pastry with 1/4 cup of the vanilla sugar.
  5. Roll the dough out making 1/4 turns after each roll, making sure to keep on adding the sugar in between turns, until you have used half of it (1 1/2 cups). The final measurement of the rolled out dough should be 20″ X 15″.
  6. Do a double book fold; like the one done for the puff pastry.
  7. Cover the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  8. Repeat steps 2 to 4.
  9. Roll the dough out until it is 25″ X 17″.
  10. To fold the dough, grab one lengthwise side of it, and fold it towards the center. Repeat for the other lengthwise side.
  11. Fold the folded lengthwise side towards the center, creating a slimmer lengthwise side, repeat for the other side.
  12. Fold the edges over themselves. To understand the folding part easier, look at the images in the post as your guide.
  13. Cut out the cookies with a knife pressing down, do not saw.
  14. The cookies can then be baked or frozen for up to 3 months.
  15. To freeze, place the raw cut cookies on a parchment lined sheet pan, making sure they are not touching each other. Place the sheet pan in the freezer for 2 hours. Transfer the frozen raw cookies to a freezer bag. To bake, take the desired amount out of the freezer bag and place on a parchment lined sheet pan, making sure they are not touching each other. Allow them to defrost for 1 hour before baking.
  16. Place on a parchment lined sheet pan and bake for 7 minutes, then with a spatula flip the cookies over, and bake for an additional 3 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown.

Individual Fig and Cardamom Tartlet

22 Oct

A few weeks ago we made a delicious jam out of Figs to celebrate the bounty of Autumn. Today, we will combine the jam we made with pistachio and cardamom.

I love to make tarts or tartlets in Autumn. They are like pies, but the fruit is either fresh, or in a jam. The garnish to a tart is always more celebratory of the fruit that has gone into the making of it. Figs are such a versatile fruit, and go so well with pistachio. The pistachio shortbread we make for this tart is buttery, tender, and tastes like the nut. Unlike many shortbread doughs, this particular shortbread is made with cooked egg yolks instead of raw. The logic behind that madness is rather simple: we want the richness that the egg yolks add to a shortbread, but we do not want the moisture.

I cooked my egg yolks by hard boiling. I used what many refer to as the “Julia Child” method. Where the eggs are placed in the pot with cold water. The water is then allowed to come to a full boil, then the pot is removed from the heat source, covered and allowed to sit. This slowly cooks the eggs, and the egg yolks do not obtain that nasty grey color. Instead, they remain a bright appetizing yellow.

For the pistachio, I used shelled unsalted pistachios. They were crushed, and added to the dough just before all the ingredients were combined well. It is important to crush them well, other wise you will end up with a crust that is too thick.

I love cardamom, I like to use it in my sweet potato, and pumpkin pies. I specially use it when I make speculoos spice for speculoos cookies and Kruidnootjes. The versatile spice goes well in tea and coffee too. I infused the pastry cream in cardamom, but a I allowed the ground spice to remain in the cream; it creates an illusion that is just so lovely.

After blind baking the crust, I piped enough jam to fill 2/3 of the tart, I then filled the remaining 1/3 with the pastry cream. I used a small off-set spatula to smooth out the top surface, and then I decorated the tartlet with fresh figs, supreme orange segments, a single pistachio nut, and some pistachio brittle which I had made.

Individual Fig and Cardamom Tartlett

Ingredients:

1 recipe Fig-Orange Jam
1 recipe Cardamom Pastry Cream (recipe follows)
1 recipe Pistachio Shortbread (recipe follows)
Fresh Black Mission or Kadota Figs for decor
15 Shelled unsalted pistachio nuts for decor
15 Supreme Orange Segments for decor
Pistachio Brittle for decor (recipe follows)

Directions:

1. Roll out the shortbread to 1/4″ thickness.

2. Fit over the tartlet pan, and cut off the excess shortbread.

3. Using a fork, prick shortbread in the tartlet pan. Blind bake the shortbread at 350 F for 7 to 9 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, fill one pastry bag with the pastry cream, and another with the jam.

5. Once baked, allow the crust to cool down for 30 minutes.

6. Carefully, remove the baked shortbread crusts from the tartlet pans.

7. Fill the tartlet crust 2/3 of the way up with the jam.

8. Fill the remaining 1/3 of the crusts with the pastry cream.

9. Using a small offset spatula, even out the top surface.

10. Decorate the top of the tartlet with the fresh fig, the pistachio nut, pistachio brittle and the supreme orange segment in a contemporary fashion.

Cardamom Pastry Cream

Ingredients:

24 fluid ounces Milk
8 fluid ounces Heavy cream
7 1/2 ounces Granulated sugar
10 Egg yolks
2 1/4 ounces Cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoon ground Cardamom
2 oz Butter, unsalted
1 teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract

Directions:

1. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, heavy cream, half of the sugar, and cardamom.

2. In a small bowl, combine the egg yolks, the remaining half of the sugar and cornstarch.

3. Bring the mixture in the saucepan to a boil.

4. Pour 1/4 of the hot saucepan mixture into the small bowl to temper the eggs.

5. Pour the tempered egg mixture into the saucepan.

6. Bring the mixture to a boil, while continuously whisking it vigorously.

7. Once the mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat and immediately transfer to a bowl.

8. Allow the mixture to cool down to 100 F.

9. Add the butter, and vanilla extract.

10. Allow the pastry cream to cool down to room temperature before using.

Pistachio Shortbread

Ingredients:

12 oz Butter, unsalted & softened
5 1/2 oz Powdered Sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
3/4 teaspoon Salt
5 oz Pistachio Meal/Flour*
5 Egg Yolks, hard boiled that have been pushed through a fine mesh sieve
13 oz All-Purpose Flour

Directions:

1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and powdered sugar.

2. Add the vanilla extract and salt, combine well.

3. Add the all of the egg yolks at once and combine well.

4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and mix to combine well.

5. Add the flour, and mix until just combined.

6. Add the pistachio meal/flour and mix until just combined.

7. Transfer the shortbread dough to a sheet of plastic wrap, cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

*If you can not find the pistachio meal/flour, simply weigh out whole unsalted, shelled pistachios to the amount required. Place the pistachios in a food processor with the entire flour amount. Turn the food processor on for 30 seconds. This will pulverize the nuts and will be just like the commercial product. Just add this entire mixture at once instead. Do not add additional flour.

Pistachio Brittle

Ingredients:

1 oz butter
10 oz sugar
8 oz pistachio nuts

Directions:

1. In a cast iron or heavy pan, melt the butter over medium heat.

2. Add the sugar in an even layer on the pan; allow it to melt.

3. Add the pistachio nuts in an even layer.

4. Continue cooking until the sugar caramelizes. DO NOT STIR! However, you may move the pan to swirl the mixture.

5. Pour the hot mixture on a large sheet of parchment paper. Place another equally large sheet of parchment paper on top to cover the entire mixture.

6. Using a rolling pin, roll the mixture that is sandwiched between the two sheets of parchment paper until it no longer stretches out.

7. Allow the brittle to cool down for 15 minutes before handling.

Pâte Feuilletée Fine – Fine Puff Pastry

8 Oct

Butter, butter and more butter make this scrumptious pastry dough incredible irresistible and the thin layers of pastry just top it off. Let it not bother you that the puff pastry has a whole pound of butter! Moderation is key when it comes to indulging in life’s palatable mischiefs.
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There are two general different kinds of puff pastry. There is good old regular puff pastry and then there is fine puff pastry. The difference is simple: the amount of nearly microscopic layers of dough and fat created. Simple puff pastry has at least 73 layers, while fine puff pastry has at least 730 layers. First, lets look at a formula:

L=(f+1)^t

L=layers
f=folds
t=turns

This formula will tell us how many layers exist in the puff pastry. We will return to this later.

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First, we need to create what is called a détrempe or water dough. It contains,as the name implies: flour, water, salt and in this case a small amount of butter. The ingredients have to be very cold here! I’d like to emphasize that the secret to making puff pastry, is to always maintain the ingredients, and dough cold. Right, so the butter is cubed and frozen before it is used. We mix all of the dry ingredients and butter on low speed with the paddle attachment, until we have pea size butter, just like the Graham Crackers.

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The dough is then wrapped and refrigerated at least 6 hours. Meanwhile, we make a block of butter. This butter will become the “fold-in” butter.

Six hours later, we roll the dough out, place the block of butter in the center, enclose it like an envelope, roll it out and do a double book fold. A double book fold has three folds. We do this five more times, allowing the covered dough to rest in the refrigerator for at least thirty minutes between each turn, for a total of six turns (as a rule of thumb, puff pastry always has at least 6 turns). Right, so back to the formula! We do a total of 3 turns per fold, for a total of 6 turns, lets take a look:

L=(f+1)^t

L=layers
f = folds = 3
t = turns = 6

L=(3+1)^6

L = 4,096

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So, this puff pastry has a total of 4,096 layers! So, it is right to assume that the fewer turns you make, the less layers you’ll have. If you’d like to have less layers, just have fewer turns.

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I like to use puff pastry for a lot of different applications, it is truly versatile. It can be both sweet or savory. Try making breadsticks out of it, truly phenomenal! Works great as a pie or tart crust, and of course for Palmiers.

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Fine Puff Pastry

Ingredients

13 oz Bread Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Salt
3 oz Butter, Unsalted (mix-in)
7 oz Water
13 oz Butter, Unsalted (fold-in)

Directions

1. In the stand mixer’s mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt.

2. Small dice the mix-in butter, and place on top of the flour mixture.

3. Place the bowl in the freezer for 15 minutes.

4. Using the paddle attachment, mix the flour mixture on speed 1 until the butter is the size of peas, about 15 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, place the fold in butter in a large gallon size freezer bag. Seal the bag, ensuring all the air has escaped.

6. Using a rolling pin, roll out the butter to create one big block.

7. Using a serrated knife cut down the side seams of the freezer bag.

8. Using one of the now flaps, create a 4 in X 4 in block of butter, cover tightly and set in the refrigerator.

9. Once the butter in the flour is the size of peas, remove from the mixer, set paddle attachment aside, and mix in the water using a spatula, until the dough just comes together.

10. Tightly wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and store the refrigerator for six hours or over-night.

11. Roll the dough out to a 6 in X 6 in square.

12. Place the block of butter in the center.

13. Fold over all four corners of the squared dough onto the center of the butter block.

14. Making sure all air is out, tuck in the corners of the dough.

15. Pinch the touching sides of the dough together to create a seam.

16. Turn the dough over, and create two ridges with the rolling pin along the top of the dough.

17. Using the ridges as your guide, start rolling out the dough to a 20 in X 15 in rectangle.

18. Perform a double-book fold.*

19. Cover the dough well in plastic wrap, and allow the dough to refrigerate for thirty minutes.

20. Repeat steps 17 to 19 five more times, just omit the creation of the ridges.

21. Once done, allow the dough to refrigerate for thirty more minutes before using, or cover well in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and freeze for up to three months.

Double-Book Fold:

Fold “A” onto “B” and “D” onto “C”. Now fold “AB” onto “CD”.

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Fig-Orange Jam

26 Sep

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A few days ago we made a delicious Autumn bread. Today, we will make an Autumn jam that will go great with the bread, and that will go great with many different things.

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Figs are a delicately sweet, very mild and ever so delicate. It is very popular in the Middle East as a filling, a preserved fruit, or fresh. The large shrub produces the fruit in early to late Spring and again late Summer through Autumn. The taste of the flesh varies by variety, but they all tend to have a delicately sweet, fruity taste to them.

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For the jam I used two varieties: Black Mission and Kadota. The former is light sweet and earthy. It has a meaty texture, and is great as a snack, filing or to be used in jams. Kadota figs are sweet and fruity, their flesh is light, not as meaty as the Black Mission. The jam is also made with Oranges, Navel Oranges in this case. I used both the flesh and juice. For the flesh, I used the supreme segments. A supreme is a type of preparation that is done for citrus fruits. The top and bottom ends of the orange are cut off. The peel is then cut off along the side using a knife, while simultaneously removing the pith (the white fleshy stuff between the peel and fruit). The segments of the fruit are then cut off, using a knife, the segments are cut just inside the membrane that separates each segment. When done correctly, you are left with the fruit segments and no membrane at all.

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I also used the juice off of one orange and I added some orange oil. Orange oil can be found online, or can be made at home. If you opt out to make it yourself, as I have, you will first need a Steam Distiller. Make sure to use Organic orange peeks only. The orange oil is optional, but it dies add depth to the jam. To sweeten the jam, I used both Orange Blossom Honey and sugar.

This jam is perfect for your morning toast, try it on a pork loin. It also goes great with the Parmigiano-Reggiano and Black Pepper bread that we made earlier this week.

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Fig-Orange Jam

Ingredients

1 lb Black Mission Figs, fresh
1 lb Kadota Figs, fresh
2 large Navel Orange Supremes
2 oz Orange Juice, fresh
1 oz Lemon Juice, fresh
1/4 cup Orange Flower Honey
6 tablespoons Sugar
2 tablespoons Sugar, for the Pectin
1 tablespoon Pectin*
3 drops Orange Oil (Optional)

Directions

1. In a large bowl mash the figs and supremes well. In a small bowl, combine the Pectin and sugar for the pectin well; set aside.
2. Transfer to a medium sauce pan a d add the orange juice, lemon juice, honey, first sugar, and orange oil.
3. Bring to a boil over medium heat stirring occasionally.
4. Add the pectin mixture.
5. Stir vigorously for 2 minutes.
6. Transfer to a container of your choice, allow to cool down, and refrigerate in a well covered container. The jam will keep for 2 months.

*I recommend you follow the pectin directions that come with the box. I used the brand Pomona’s Universal Pectin, which gels with the addition of calcium, instead of sugar. This allows me to use less sugar.*

Parmigiano-Reggiano and Black Pepper Bread

24 Sep

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With Autumn arriving this past weekend, I started craving the bounty of what reminds me of Autumn. From earthy flavors to the delicate sweet flesh of an apple or pear, what is not to like? With that in mind, I decided to start this magical time of the year with a bread.

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We start out with a poolish, which is a pre-fermented dough that is famous for giving Baguettes their signature taste. We apply it in this bread for both texture and taste. The yeasty, slightly sour taste will tone down the saltiness of the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, while pronouncing its earthy notes.

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The Parmigiano-Reggiano has to be authentic. Do not settle for Kraft. Go to a Whole Foods or a store that offers fine cheeses. The complexity of true Parmigiano-Reggiano is astronomical. True Parmigiano-Reggiano comes from multiple regions in Italy. It starts out with raw cows milk from cows that are only grass or hay fed. The raw milk is mixed with naturally separated skim milk. Calf rennet, an enzyme that separates the curds from the whey, is added. Once the separation occurs, the curds are broken into rice size pieces. The curds are passed though a muslin, and then placed in round molds. The molded cheese is then put into stainless steel rounds that are spring loaded to provide pressure to weigh down the curds. After a couple of days, the spring load is released, and the outer rind is imprinted with Parmigiano-Reggiano, the plant’s number, and the month and year of production. After a day, the cheese is put into a brine for 24 days. After 24 days, the cheese is removed from the brine, and placed in aging rooms for 12 months. After 12 months, a person dedicated to test the cheese, taps the cheese and listens to the sound it makes when lightly tapped with a hammer, and decides if it passes. It is then packaged, shipped and off to the consumer.

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Pepper, black pepper in particular, gives the earthy cheese a nice contrast. The piquant berry balances the earthy notes. It gives it a very special dimension that takes the cheese to a whole new level. Freshly cracked pepper works best here. Don’t be afraid to grind it to a coarse size, in fact, I encourage it.

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This bread takes two days to complete. The Poolish is made the day before and allowed to ferment for 6 hours at room temperature and is then refrigerated for 18 more hours. Once the final dough is formed it is allowed to ferment for one hour, it is then shaped, allowed to proof for 20 minutes, and then it is baked off.

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I love it when some of the Parmigiano-Reggiano oozes out during baking and crisps up! It is incredibly divine.

This bread is a great way to start out the beginning of Autumn. With its lightly sour crumb, to it’s earthy cheese and the pleasant berry that is pepper, it just begs to be brought to life!

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Parmigiano-Reggiano and Black Pepper Bread

Ingredients

1 recipe Poolish
14 oz Bread Flour
1 tablespoon instant yeast
9 oz water
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly coarsely cracked Black Pepper
6 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, diced small

Ingredients for the Poolish

10 oz Bread Flour
10 oz Water
1.5 teaspoons Instant Yeast

Directions for Poolish

1. In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients well.
2. Loosely cover and allow to sit at room temperature for six hours.
3. Transfer the covered bowl to the refrigerator and allow to ferment for eighteen more hours.
4. Allow the Poolish to warm to room temperature for twi hours before using.

Directions

1. In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine all of the ingredients, except the cheese.
2. Mix on speed three for six minutes, the dough will be very sticky and soft.
3. Add the cheese and allow the cheese to mix in well, about one minute on speed one.
4. Remove the paddle attachment.
5. Lightly cover with a greased piece of plastic wrap, and cover the dough. Allow the dough to rise for one hour.
6. Once risen, transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface.
7. Scale the dough into two pieces, each piece should weigh 1 lb 10 oz.
8. On a lightly floured surface flatten each piece of dough, by pressing down on it with floured hands.
9. Using your fingers, tightly roll the dough towards you, as if you we’re making a jelly roll.
10. Place the rolled dough on a large enough piece of parchment paper, making sure the seam is facing down.
11. Lightly press down on the rolled dough, to slightly flatten it out.
12. Using a serrated knife, score the loaf three times.
13. Repeat with the second dough.
14. Cover the formed loaves with a lightly greased piece of plastic wrap.
15. Allow the loaves to rise for twenty minutes.
16. Remove the plastic wrap off of the loaves, and generously mist the loaves with water using a spray bottle.
17. Bake the loaves in a 400 F oven for twenty to thirty minutes.
18. Transfer the baked loaves to a cooling rack and allow them to cool for one hour.

Graham Crackers

18 Sep

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The irresistible crunch of the honey infused, lightly sweetened graham cracker is irresistible. They are a key ingredient in Key Lime Pie, Cheesecakes and many other crumb type crusts. I simply love to dip them in a cold glass of apple juice to slightly soften their texture as the natural sweetness and flavor of apples infuses the cracker.
Whilst graham crackers are traditionally made with graham flour, which is a coarser more whole version of whole wheat flour, these were made differently. I used a combination of all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour. The resulting texture is much more refined, without sacrificing the flavor.

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Much like a pie crust, crackers use the same mixing method. The flour is “rubbed” with semi-frozen even sized chunks of fat. Once the fat has broken down to the size of peas, the wet ingredients are mixed in just enough to bring everything together. The resulting crumb is tender, or in this case, short and crispy.

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Once the dough has been mixed, it is wrapped in plastic wrap, flattened to a disk, and refrigerated overnight. I personally like to refrigerate it for 24 hours.
I like to divide the refrigerated dough in half; I leave one half in the refrigerator, and I roll the second half. I like to create ridges I the one to be rolled out.

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By creating these edges, it facilitates the rolling out of the dough, whilst reducing the possibility of it cracking up on me. The outer edges are trimmed off with a pizza cutter, and you end up with a rectangle.

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I then cut the crackers to shape (3″X2.5″ inch this case), using a cookie cutter, I place them on a parchment lined sheet pan, cover then loosely in plastic wrap and refrigerate then for 20 minutes while the oven preheats. I repeat the same process with the second half of the dough, but before placing the sheet pan in the refrigerator, I sprinkle the top with cinnamon sugar.

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These scrumptious crackers bake to a darker color, and the flavor is richer yet not overpowering. I guarantee you that you’ll never go back the the dull, cardboard like store bought stuff. I’ve posted the recipe by weight in Metric, for a converted version, feel free to email me.

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Graham Crackers

Ingredients

275 grams unbleached all-purpose flour
100 grams whole wheat flour
176 grams dark brown sugar
6 grams baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
100 grams unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen
114 grams honey
77 grams whole milk
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

Cinnamon Sugar Topping

Ingredients

1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons sugar

Directions

1. In your mixing bowl, place the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, brown sugar, baking soda, salt and frozen butter.

2.Fix the stand mixer with the paddle attachment, and mix on speed 1 until the mixture resembles coarse flour, or the butter chunks are the size of peas.

3. If you do not have a stand mixer, use a pastry cutter.

4. Meanwhile, combine the honey, milk, and vanilla extract well.

5. Add the entire wet mixture to the dry mixture.

6. Continue to mix on speed 1, just until the dough comes together. The dough will be sticky. Do Not Over Mix.

7. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and flatten to a disk. Refrigerate overnight or for best results 24 hours.

8. Divide the dough in half. Place one half in the refrigerator wrapped in plastic wrap. Place the second half on a lightly floured surface.

9. Gently round the dough, and flatten to a disk. Place the rolling pin 1/4 of the way down from the top edge, and gently rock it back and forth to create a ridge. Repeat for the bottom edge too.

10. Using the ridge as your guide, start rolling out the dough on both ends until the top is level. Continue to roll until it is 1/4 inch thick, making sure to rotate the dough a 1/4 turn after each roll.

11. Using a pizza cuter, cut the outer edges to form a rectangle.

12. Use a square or rectangular cookie cutter to cut out the crackers.

13. Place the cut out crackers on a paper lined sheet pan, sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture if desired, and loosely lay a sheet of plastic wrap on top.

14. Refrigerate the crackers 20 minutes before baking.

16. Bake at 350 F for 10 to 11 minutes or until lightly browned. Do Not Over-bake. The crackers will be slightly soft when they are fresh out of the oven, but will crisp as they cool.