Adapted from "Good to the Grain" by Kim Boyce with Amy Scattergood
1 hr 45 mins
Makes:2 1/2 cups
We’ve kicked around the idea of making our own cereal for a while, so when we saw this easy recipe for a knockoff version of Grape-Nuts, we had to give it a try. It’s basically just a cracker made from graham flour that’s crushed into chunks, and it really does have the crunchy, malty flavor of the original. Read more about the cookbook it comes from, Good to the Grain, which is all about baking with whole-grain flours.
What to buy: Graham flour is a coarsely textured flour made of whole wheat. You can find it in bulk at most co-ops and health-food stores or in packages from Bob’s Red Mill online.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick), melted
1 cup graham flour
1/3 cup whole-wheat flour
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cold milk, for serving (optional)
Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Brush all of the butter evenly over a baking sheet; set aside.
Sift the flours, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl, pouring any bits remaining in the sifter back into the bowl; set aside.
Place buttermilk, honey, and vanilla in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Using a rubber spatula, stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until combined.
Scrape batter onto the prepared baking sheet and, using a rubber spatula or metal offset cake spatula, spread evenly across the entire surface of the sheet. (The more evenly the batter is spread, the more evenly the cracker will bake.)
Bake for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Using kitchen shears, cut off any dark or dry areas of the cracker and set them on a rack to cool.
Lower the oven to 250°F and return the baking sheet to the oven. Every 15 to 20 minutes, cut off the dark or dry areas of the cracker, placing them on the cooling rack. While you are doing this, cut up the rest of the cracker into smaller pieces to dry them out. Continue baking until the cracker is mahogany brown and entirely dry, about 55 to 60 minutes total. Remove from the oven and transfer remaining pieces to the cooling rack.
Prepare a food processor with a large-holed grater attachment. Once the crackers are cool, break into pieces small enough to pass through the feed tube of the food processor and grind them. (Alternatively, place the pieces in two layers of resealable plastic bags and crush with a meat mallet or rolling pin until they are about the size of peppercorns.) Serve with a pitcher of cold milk. The graham nuts will store in an airtight jar for up to 1 month.