How to make Homemade Buttermilk Saltines

December 7, 2007 in baking, bread, How-2

The slideshow above will take you through the process of making homemade Buttermilk Saltines.

You might ask WHY one would want to make saltines when they are so cheap at the store. I guess I am the sort that can not leave well enough alone. I also can’t help being a scientist, even though I am not at the bench. I tend to want to dig into a food and deconstruct it, make it myself, know it from the beginning.

I also ran out of them and didn’t have a way to get to the store!

Making proper old fashioned saltines is not hard, per se, but it requires one to use a bit of planning.

Why? Well, this is because it takes TWO DAYS to make! Its nothing near as tedious as making puff pastry. No, its just that yeast needs time to do it’s magic.

Homemade Saltines: How To

I searched the web for a recipe and decided on the following recipe, which I sourced at this link.

These came out very flavorful and the major advantage to making your own saltines is that you can use your favorite salt (Celtic, black Hawaiian, fluorescent Martian, iridescent jade salt from Atlantis, your choice).

It also means you can put other things on like black pepper, white pepper, cayenne, rosemary, sage, just about anything.

If you try this, let me know!

Homemade Saltines: Cayenne Saltines

Cayenne dusted Buttermilk Saltines

Traditional Buttermilk Saltines


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dry active yeast (1 package contains 2-1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 C warm water
  • 4 1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon water for dissolving the baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 C butter (softened)


In a small bowl, combine the yeast with the sugar and warm water. Set aside until the yeast is fully dissolved, 5 to 10 minutes.

Measure 3-1/2 cups of the flour into a large bowl. Stir in the yeast mixture and mix well.

Place plastic wrap over the bowl and let the dough rest in a warm place for 20 to 30 hours.

The plastic wrap keeps the dough from drying out during this long period.

In a small bowl, dissolve the baking soda in the tablespoon water. Place the baking soda mixture, buttermilk, salt, and shortening in the bowl with the dough and mix well.

Mix in as much of the remaining 1/2 to 1 cup flour as necessary to form a stiff, nonsticky dough.

Knead for a minute or two and then let the dough rest, covered with the plastic wrap, for 15 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for another few minutes, until it is smooth and springy to the touch.

Place it in a large, clean, lightly oiled bowl and let it rest for another 3 or 4 hours, covered with plastic wrap.

At last you are ready to roll.

Preheat the oven to 450~ F.

Punch the dough down and knead a few strokes. Divide the dough into 3 equal portions for rolling.

Rolling may be difficult at first due to the elasticity of the dough. Give yourself a head start on the rolling by flattening the dough with your hands.

Place your rolling pin in the center of the dough and begin. Soon the dough will relax and begin to roll easily.

On a floured surface or pastry cloth, roll out to a rectangle approximately 1/4 inch thick and position so the long edge runs horizontally in front of you.

Fold the left third of the dough over the center third. Likewise, fold the right third over the center.

The dough is now in 3 layers with the seam running vertically.

Give the dough a quarter turn so the seam now runs horizontally.

Roll out again to a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick.

Fold and turn the dough again as in the first step.

You are now ready for the final rolling.

Roll the dough out thinner this time, about 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick. If desired, sprinkle the top lightly and evenly with salt and roll over it lightly with the rolling pin.

With a sharp knife (we used a pizza cutter!), cut into 2-inch squares and place each one on an ungreased baking sheet.

Prick each square 2 or 3 times with the tines of a fork.

Bake for 8 minutes.

Turn and bake an additional 1 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Cool on a rack.

Yield: 95-100.