While it was not too long ago that I considered buying crackers a luxury, I never thought about making homemade saltine crackers until recently when I wanted to give my kids a “snack” lunch and had no crackers to stack with their meat and cheese.
I did a search of the internet and came across the recipe at Make It from Scratch but read the comments about how salty the crackers were. That scared me so I reduced the salt significantly.
While I am not an expert, I think the key to making a flaky homemade cracker is in the folding of the dough. The more you fold the dough over, pat it out slightly, turn, and fold again, the flakier the cracker seems to be when done. My theory is that like biscuits, folding adds air between the layers.
I used a doughnut hole cutter for our crackers (cough… to make them prettier for pictures) but in the future, I will save myself a ton of time by using a pizza cutter to make quick rectangles.
When they were not crisping as quickly as I thought homemade saltine crackers should, I bumped up the heat on the oven to 425 degrees. Those crackers were perfect!
Homemade Saltine Crackers
- 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons shortening
- 3 ounces milk I used almond milk
- Additional kosher or sea salt for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Mix dry ingredients together with the shortening using a pastry blender (or food processor) until crumbly like sand.
- Stir in the milk until the dough comes together. It will be somewhat crumbly but can be pressed together.
- Turn out on a well-floured surface and knead until the dough comes together. Then, fold the dough over, press it together slightly, turn 1/4 round, and fold again. Repeat several times to create a lighter, flaky cracker.
- Roll out until the dough is thin, about 2 centimeters. (Leaving the cracker thicker will impact the baking time but would still be delicious.) Cut into the shape you desire and prick with a fork.
- Place on a nonstick baking sheet or parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with kosher or sea salt.
- Bake for about ten minutes but keep a careful eye as the thickness will impact the bake time. The crackers are ready when they are lightly colored and flaky. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet.
- Once cooled, store in an airtight container.