It’s amazing how many foods we buy in the grocery store that could just as easily be made at home. Don’t get me wrong. I totally understand the convenience of buying ready-made food. When you have a full-time job and a million responsibilities, it can seem impossible to fit in the time it takes to make meals from scratch. Here in Japan, they sell boxes of saltines wrapped in stacks of about 6. So not only am I buying pre-made food with lots of junk in it, I’m also buying lots of waste-making-packaging. Not cool.
I was pleasantly surprised when I found out how easy homemade saltines were to make. We had some friends over the other night for some wine and cheese. I didn’t have any crackers in the house, so I started browsing online and found a plethora of recipes. From cheese crackers to graham crackers, the web is full of great recipes to try! I decided to make saltine crackers that were a little more fancy with the addition of rosemary.
The texture was light and crisp; similar to a flaky pie crust but a little more firm. There is no salt in the dough, only sprinkled over the top, which makes it easy to control the quantity. I used dried rosemary as opposed to fresh and I think it created a more flavorful cracker. You could use your favorite dried or fresh herb, just mix it in with the dry ingredients for the dough.
Alongside a cheese tray or next to a bowl of homemade soup, these crackers are the perfect weekend baking project. They only take about 20 minutes from start to finish. Can’t ask for more than that!
Homemade Rosemary Saltine Crackers
Adapted from Food, Wine, Art, Design
3 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons dried rosemary or other herb (or chopped fresh)
3/4 cup shortening
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup ice water
kosher or sea salt for sprinkling
Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
Whisk the flour and the baking powder together in a medium bowl. Stir in the dried rosemary. Add the shortening and use your hands to cut it into the dry ingredients until crumbly.
Mix the ice water and heavy cream together. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir until the dough is just mixed. It will be similar to biscuit dough- sticky.
Work with about 1/4 of the dough at a time. Dust a piece of parchment paper with flour. Knead 1/4 of the dough until it is soft and workable. Use a rolling pin dusted with flour, roll the dough into a large rectangle (still on the parchment) about 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle salt over the top of the dough. Use a knife to cut the dough into squares or rectangles, but do not pull the pieces apart.
Carefully slide the parchment with the dough onto your baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake for about 8-10 minutes or until the tops begin to brown.
Continue with the remaining dough. Allow to cool fully before putting in an air-tight container.
Or eat right away.