One of America’s Favorites – Crackers

April 13, 2015 at 5:29 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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Water biscuit crackers

Water biscuit crackers

A cracker is a baked good typically made from a grain and flour, dough and usually manufactured in large quantities. Crackers are basically a smaller version of bread. Crackers are usually flat, crisp, small in size (usually 3 inches or less in diameter) and made in various shapes, commonly round or square. Flavorings or seasonings, such as salt, herbs, seeds, and/or cheese, may be added to the dough or sprinkled on top before baking. Crackers are often branded as a nutritious and convenient way to consume a staple food or cereal grain.

Crackers are eaten on their own or can accompany other food items, such as cheese or meat slices; dips; or soft spreads such as jam, butter, or peanut butter. Bland or mild crackers are sometimes used as a palate cleanser in food product testing or flavor testing, between samples. A precedent for the modern cracker can be found in nautical ship biscuits, military hardtack, and sacramental bread.

Ancestors of the cracker can be found in ancient flatbreads, such as lavash, pita, matzo, flatbrød, and crisp bread. Asian analogues include papadum and senbei.

 

 

Saltine Crackers

Saltine Crackers

 

The holes in crackers are called “docking” holes. The holes are placed in the dough to stop overly large air pockets from forming in the cracker while baking. Crackers come in many shapes and sizes – round, square, triangular, etc.

In American English, the name “cracker” is most often applied to flat biscuits with a savory, salty flavor, in distinction from a “cookie”, which may be similar to a “cracker” in appearance and texture, but has a sweet flavor. Crackers may be further distinguished from cookies by the manner in which they are made. Crackers are made merely by layering dough and cookies may be made in many of the same manners a cake would be prepared. Crackers sometimes have cheese or spices as ingredients, or even chicken stock. Crackers are typically salted flour products.

Brands including Bremner Wafers, Captain’s Wafers, Club Crackers, Town House crackers, Graham crackers, Ritz Crackers, Cream crackers and water biscuits are sometimes spread with cheese, pâté, or mousse.

Saltine and oyster crackers are often used in or served with soup.

Mock apple pie is made from Ritz (or similar) crackers.

Graham crackers and digestive biscuits are also eaten as cookies, although they were both invented for their supposed health benefits.

 

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