Quick soda crackers

Yield: 80 servings

Measure Ingredient
4 cups All-purpose flour
4 teaspoons Salt
1 tablespoon Baking powder
¼ cup Plus 2 Tablespoons
\N \N Shortening
1½ cup Water
\N \N Salt for the tops (opt.)

"These crackers cannot truly duplicate the lightness of traditional soda crackers, but they take a fraction of the time to make, and they are delicious in their own right. Plain, slightly biscuity crackers, they go well with soups or stews.

350~ F 25 to 30 minutes

Preheat the oven to 350~ F.

In the food processor or a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Cut the shortening into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the water, little by little, and blend to form a dough that will hold together in a cohesive ball.

Divid the dough into 3 equal portions for rolling. On a floured surface or pastry cloth, roll out to a rectangle approximately ¼ 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 ¼ 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 somewhat thinner this time, about ⅛ 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, cut into 2-inch squares and place them on an ungreased baking sheet. Prick each square 2 or 3 times with the tines of a fork.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool on a rack.

Yield: 80-85.

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