Monday, February 06, 2006

Plain Soda Crackers

These crackers are delicious and crisp - goes well with dip or cheese on top. Makes about 100 crackers.

plain soda cracker
1½ cups bread or all-purpose flour, approximately
1 package dry yeast (I use 1 tsp yeast)
¼ teaspoon salt, plus extra for sprinkling
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
2/3 cup hot water
½ teaspoon malt syrup
2 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening
2 tablespoons butter, melted

1.Combine all the dry ingredients.

2.In a small bowl combine the hot water, malt syrup, shortening and butter. Stir to blend and pour the liquid into the dry ingredients

3.Stir vigorously to blend with a wooden spoon or with the mixer flat beater to a rough mass that can be worked under your hands or with the dough hook. If the dough is sticky, add liberal sprinkles of flour.

4. (At this stage, the dough will be too sticky to knead - I left it in the fridge for an hour). Knead until smooth, about 4 minutes.

5. Drop the dough into a buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in fridge to relax for 1 hour or overnight.

The longer the better, up to 18 hours.

6. Roll the dough no thicker than 1/16". Fold the dough from the short ends, brushing off excess flour, to make 3 layers. Roll again - with the rolling pin or put through a pasta machine.

7. Prick the dough evenly with a fork. This keeps the crackers from excess blistering during baking. The closer the marks, the flatter the crackers. (In the bottom pic, I forgot until I saw the blisters when it was in the oven. Some say they preferred the blistered cracker )

8. Cut into desired shape with a knife or cookie cutter.

9. Place crackers close together on a baking sheet and sprinkle salt about 12" above the crackers.

10. Bake 10-20 minutes in 180C until lightly brown (watch carefully - it can get brown very quickly)

11. Brush the crackers with melted butter before removing them from the tray to cool on metal rack ( I did not do this)

Variations :
For sesame-onion crackers - add 4 tsp each sesame seed and grated onion
For herb crackers - add 4 tsp each fresh parsley and chives and 1/2tsp dried dillweed
or 4 tsp caraway seed or 2 tsp poppy seed

I have tried adding bacon stock - it was good.

Recipe : Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads (adapted)

This basket is weaved entirely from the plain soda cracker.

basket made from homemade soda crackers

Redneck says……
Great with homemade dip.


lady lavender said...

WOW - this looks like a lot of work - but amazing!!

Sinner said...

Lady L,
Thanks. If you mean the basket - yes, it was a bit of a 'challenge'.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sinner,

Really great work with the basket. Would make a stunning centerpiece for a dinner party. How do you do it? What do you use to 'glue' the pieces together? Is it done after you bake the crackers or do up the shape before baking?

Btw, what is malt syrup? Can I substitute with golden syrup or honey?

Thanks & regards,

Sinner said...

Hi Alannia,

Thanks. What you do is cut strips of dough and lay it over a bowl or whatever shape you want your basket to be in, in an overlap criss cross pattern and then bake. Malt syrup is something you can buy from the supermarket. I guess you should be able to substitute it with either.

Allania said...

Thanks for the info, Sinner.

How did you do the handle? I assume that you don't have anything under the layers of crackers in the handle. You would need quite a lot of the crackers to form the handle. As it's thicker than the basket, do you bake it longer?

Sorry for the many questions. I can't seem to figure how it's done.


Sinner said...

Hi Alannia,

The handle is just plaited, then baked. After baking, I secured the handle to the basket with some wires, strings and some sugar icing. The dough for the handle is the same thickness as that for the basket.

It might be easier to visualise the whole thing if you cut strips of paper and practise with that.

It is very fiddly.

Alannia said...

Thanks for the explanation.

Hope to give it a try soon.

elis said...

hi Sinner,
i'm Elis.newly to ur blog.really2 thanks 4 all the useful recipe n tips.just curious all the yeast u use in ur recipe is it dry yeast or wet yeast(yeast 'basah').thanks 4 ur futher info..

Sinner said...

Hi Elis,
In my recipes that specify yeast, it is usually dry yeast.
I have managed to get wet yeast only very recently.
If you want to try one of my recipes and you are not too sure, give me a yell and I will only be too happy to clarify.
Thanks for dropping by.

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