Gourmet Soda Crackers

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Yield: about 45 crackers

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Wondering what to do with that fancy salt in your pantry? Showcase it on these light-and-crunchy crackers.

Gourmet Soda Crackers

star rating (10) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: about 45 crackers
Published: 03/29/2010

Ingredients

Crackers

  • 1 1/2 cups Italian-Style Flour
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 tablespoon King Arthur Easy-Roll Dough Improver, optional but helpful
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Topping

  • gourmet salt, your choice of flavor; we like Sarah's Tuscan Sea Salt or smoked salt

Tips from our bakers

  • Want to make soda crackers with King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, instead of with Italian-Style Flour? Increase the water to 1/2 cup. Understand the dough will be more difficult to roll thin, due to the higher gluten. But give it a rest when it fights back, and gradually you'll get to the thin-ness you want.

Directions

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1) Whisk together the flour, yeast, salt, baking soda, cream of tartar, dough improver, and sugar. Set it aside.

2) Put the water, butter, and oil in a microwave-safe cup, or in a saucepan. Heat gently just to melt the butter. Remove from the heat, and cool to 120°F-130°F. If you don't have a thermometer, this will feel hotter than lukewarm, but not at all uncomfortably hot; it'll be cooler than your hottest tap water.

3) Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients. Beat at medium, then high speed for a total of about 90 seconds, to make a soft dough.

4) Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover it, and refrigerate overnight, or for up to 18 hours. It won't rise much; the bowl can be small.

5) Remove the dough from the refrigerator, and allow it to rest for about 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

6) Lightly flour a work surface (a silicone rolling mat works well here), and remove the dough from its rising bowl. It won't feel like normal yeast dough; it'll be more clay-like. Shape the dough into a 3" x 5" rectangular block; pre-shaping it like this will help you roll it out evenly. Roll it into a rough 13" x 15" rectangle; it'll be quite thin. Be sure to keep the rolling surface well-floured, to avoid sticking.

7) Starting with a shorter side, fold the dough in three like a business letter.

8) Roll it out again, this time to an 11" x 19" rectangle, or thereabouts. The dough will shrink when you stop rolling it; your goal is to end up with a rectangle that's about 10" x 18".

7) Sprinkle the dough with your choice of salt — we like an herbed or smoked salt — and gently press it in with the rolling pin.

8) Using a rolling pizza wheel (easiest) or a baker's bench knife, cut the dough into 2" squares. Note: If you're using a silicone mat, cut very carefully - you don't want to damage the mat. We like to use an acrylic-blade pizza wheel.

9) Transfer the crackers to two lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheets; you can put them fairly close together, as they'll shrink as they bake, rather than spread. Prick each cracker once or twice with the tines of a fork.

10) Bake the crackers for about 10 minutes, till they're a very light golden brown. Watch them carefully towards the end of the baking time; they can darken very quickly.

11) Turn off the oven, and open the door completely. Leave the crackers on the oven rack; they're going to cool down right in the cooling oven, in order to preserve their crispness. Keep your eye on them for the first couple of minutes; if for some reason your oven isn't cooling off quickly, and the crackers are continuing to brown, pull the rack out partway.

12) When the crackers are completely cool, remove them from the oven, and wrap airtight, to preserve their crispness.

Yield: about 45 crackers.

Reviews

1
  • star rating 04/27/2015
  • from
  • star rating 10/27/2014
  • Amy from Washington
  • These make a phenomenal starting point for adding extra flavor for bakers looking to replace purchased snack crackers (say, for a junk food loving family member...) I sprinkle the dough with dried herbs and red pepper flakes before the "fold like a letter" step to good effect, and the dough itself can take a tablespoon or two of cheese powder for background flavor, too. Just plan on making a double batch if you don't want all of them to disappear in one sitting!
  • star rating 01/22/2014
  • RedHatGirl from Utah
  • I have made this s-o-o-o easy recipe several times now and love the results. My son said he would never be happy with a box of crackers again. High praise! I put coarse salt and a salt-free all-purpose seasoning in my mortar and pestle and crush it all together for the cracker tops. It's great
  • star rating 04/06/2011
  • biobaker from KAF Community
  • I'm rating this based on the first time that I tried this recipe, when I actually followed the recipe and obtained beautifully soda cracker-y results. Too salty for my taste, but that's easily fixed. This more recent time, I tried substituting 2 tbsp buttermilk for the 2 tbsp oil. Great flavor! Soggy texture! I might try the substitution again with a longer baking time and lower temperature, but I imagine that it may simply be a "Oh well."
  • star rating 04/20/2010
  • Samruddhi from Stuttgart,Germany
  • Last week I made this and were hit and over with in just two hours...So this week I made them again with whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour in 50-50 ratio..also to mention I increased the water to 1/2 cup..and sprinkled crackers with a mixture of pizza mixed spice and salt...and they are just out from the oven crispy and yummy...:-)
  • star rating 04/19/2010
  • from Food &Whine
  • Homemade Soda Crackers Yes, I am fully aware that a big box of Saltinesâ„¢ can be bought for only a couple of dollars. So why would I make my own, you ask? Well ...why not? :) I saw this recipe on the King Arthur flour site recently and since Ham and Bean soup is on the menu for tonight (recipe later), it seemed like a perfect time to try them out. I mixed the dough together quickly last night before going to bed and left it in the fridge over-night. This morning, it took only 10 - 15 minutes to roll and cut the dough, 10 minutes to bake and voila .... homemade soda crackers! I was very pleased with the results. Lessons learned: I probably could have baked them a teeny bit longer (I was nervous of burning them!) and I probably could have used a more liberal sprinkling of salt. Also, since they shrink as they bake (instead of expanding), I`m not sure there is really any need to transfer them individually from the rolling mat to the baking pan. Next time, I will probably try rolling and cutting them out on parchment and then just transferring the entire parchment sheet with the crackers to a baking sheet. But all in all, a wonderful cracker. These taste very much like you’d expect a soda cracker to taste ... only better. Sometimes, after I bake things "from scratch", I end up wondering if the the time and effort was really worth it. That definitely wasn't the case with these crackers. The process was easy and quick. The dough handled beautifully, so it was painless to roll and cut and the results were lovely. I will definitely be making these again!
  • 04/05/2010
  • Marliss from Lubbock, TX
  • Is it possible to substitute regular flour for the Italian style? I have lots of flours (bread, rye, whole wheat, semolina), but not this kind, and I would like to try the recipe without waiting to order.
    We have not make this using All-Purpose Flour but they should still turn out. they will be a bit chewy and keep an eye on the dough consistency as you may need to add more liquid. All-Purpose flour has a higher protein level and will most likely need more. JMD @KAF
  • star rating 04/03/2010
  • Yi Yi Wu from NJ
  • I tried this recipe yesterday. My crackers taste nice same as the one buy from supermarkets. But I have one question, how to keep soda crackers more crispy. Thank you very much for sharing this wonderful and easy recipe.
    Vacuum pavk containers really help to keep crackers crisp. Mary@ KAF
  • star rating 04/02/2010
  • The Bubbly Baker from Midwest
  • Well, Bob, of course this is going to be more complicated than opening a box! Unless you look at the ingredients on the side of the box and realize you can't pronounce half of them... A suggestion for KAF: It would be nice to be able to post a comment or question on a recipe without having to rate it. Then discussions about the merits of homemade vs. prepackaged wouldn't mess with the recipe's rating. =)
    Thanks for the suggestion Bubbly, I'll pass it along. MJR @ KAF
  • star rating 03/31/2010
  • bob collard from green bay wi.
  • all this to make a cracker?surely your kidding
    Some of us like making our food from scratch even crackers. The very best cracker I have ever eaten were home made. JMD @KAF
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