5 Ingredients or Fewer

Erin French’s From-Scratch Saltines

July 24, 2017
5 Stars
Photo by Bobbi Lin
Author Notes

Few homes in New England are without a box of saltines in the pantry. Whether you crumble them over chowder, dip them into shrimp salad, or mound them under scoops of just-melting vanilla ice cream—à la my grandmother—the effort to make these from scratch will pay big dividends.

Note: A pasta roller can double as an amazing device for consistently thin crackers. Consider the investment!

Reprinted with permission from The Lost Kitchen by Erin French (2017, Clarkson Potter).

  • Makes 36 crackers
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling the dough
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • Maldon salt
In This Recipe
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Work in the coconut oil with a pastry blender until well incorporated. Stir in the milk and form the dough into a ball.
  2. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to ¹⁄8 inch thick. Brush the dough with the butter, then cut it into 1½-inch squares. Transfer to the baking sheet, spacing the squares at least ½ inch apart. Sprinkle with Maldon salt. Bake until the edges begin to brown slightly, 12 to 15 minutes. Use a spatula to transfer the crackers to a wire rack and let cool. The crackers will keep in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Joelle Bradley
    Joelle Bradley
  • JJ

2 Reviews

Joelle B. November 3, 2019
What type of substitution might I do to make this vegan?
JJ November 5, 2017
I made these as directed. The only modification i couldn't resist was to add some salt into the dough itself as well. They came out as pictured. Didn't love the taste - too rich from the coconut oil but still blander than even a saltine should be. And not quite the lean flaky texture I want from a saltine - I am wondering if my measurements were a bit off on the coconut oil since i measured it solid. I am going to age the dough overnight and see if that helps.

If I were to make these again, I would probably use clarified butter or virgin coconut oil and add a lil sugar or something to see if that wouldn't add some flavor. But then of course they wouldn't have as versatile a flavor as storebought saltines.

That being said, these were baked up fast, easy and good lookin. I will probably be trying them again soon with modifications.