AskDefine | Define saltine

Dictionary Definition

saltine n : a cracker sprinkled with salt before baking

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A thin, crisp, salted, white-colored cracker, a soda cracker; the most common of all US crackers; soda biscuit.

Extensive Definition

A saltine or soda cracker is a thin, usually square cracker made from white flour, shortening, yeast, and baking soda, with some varieties lightly sprinkled with coarse salt. It has perforations throughout its surface, to allow steam to escape for uniform rising, and along the edges, as individual crackers are broken from larger sheets during manufacture. It has a very dry and crisp texture, as it is made with less shortening than other varieties such as Ritz crackers.
Saltines are often eaten as a light snack, with cheese or peanut butter. They may also be dipped in stews, chilis, soups or dips, or crumbled into salads. Typically they are sold in boxes containing two to four stacks of crackers wrapped in a sleeve of waxed paper or plastic. In restaurants, they are found in small wrapped packets of two crackers, which generally accompany soup or salad.
Some familiar brand names of saltine crackers in the United States are Nabisco's "Premium" and Keebler's Zesta. In addition, low sodium saltines as well as "unsalted top" versions are commonly available. Also available in stores are wheat saltines.
In the United States, the word "Saltine" was originally registered as a trademark by Nabisco, but it lost trademark protection after the term began to be used generically to refer to similar crackers. In Australia, Arnott's Biscuits Holdings still holds a trademark on the name "Saltine".

Baking process

Saltines have been compared to hardtack, a simple unleavened cracker or biscuit made from flour, water, and salt. However, unlike hardtack, saltines actually do include yeast as one of their ingredients. Soda crackers are a leavened bread that is allowed to rise for twenty to thirty hours. After the rise, alkaline soda is added to neutralize the excessive acidity produced by the action of the yeast. The dough is allowed to rest for three to four more hours, to relax the gluten, before being rolled in layers and baked.

See also

saltine in Contenese: 梳打餅
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