filling the empty nest with food
I was talking with a friend the other day about our nostalgia over saltines. What with all the gluten-free craziness these days, I don’t eat them much anymore. Even though I love their light, crunchy saltiness. We reminisced about how we ate saltines when we were kids–my family ate them more or less traditionally, floating them in tomato soup or slathered with peanut butter, while her family spread them with butter and competed to see who could make the tallest stack of buttered crackers.
I figured it must be possible to make them at home. I would like to be able to tell you that I scoured the internet for possible recipes, that I tried them all and have presented you with the best one. Well, I did scour the internet and read a lot of reviews, but I’m a bit too lazy to test multiple recipes. Sorry, friends. I made the recipe that looked like it might taste delicious and be a pretty good stand-in for a saltine. And it is.
In a loop around to my childhood, the recipe is actually pretty close to baking powder biscuit dough (which my mother whipped up whenever we ran out of bread)–just rolled very, very thin. They don’t actually taste quite like saltines–but they are a good, solid cracker you can make at home, serve with soup, with a knife-ful of peanut butter or build into a tall stack of cracker layers. Enjoy!
Homemade Saltines (adapted from Food.com)
2 cups flour
1/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup milk
1 tsp baking powder
Mix flour and baking powder; cut in shortening with a pastry blender. Stir in milk just until combined. Form a ball with the dough and divide into 4 sections. Roll 1 section out very thin (about 1/8 to 3/16-inches) — making sure it is rolled out EVENLY — and cut with a cookie cutter (you can use all shapes!) or a pastry wheel with the crinkled edges, and repeat with other sections. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet & prick the dough with a fork several times and sprinkle with salt. Bake at 375 for 12-20 minutes until golden brown, but be careful not to burn!