Thursday, March 20, 2014

Maska Chaska Saltine Crackers | Baking Partners # 21

When I was a kid, somehow I hated salt biscuits. I was not a big biscuit kid, but still I would prefer the sweet ones than the crisp ,round salt biscuits. I still remember the ads for these topped with cheese, tomatoes etc.  I liked the ads and the concept of topping but never got to make it. Later on, somehow I started liking it and now enjoy the spiced version of these. 

When this months Baking Partners challenge came, we were given two options. One was the graham crackers and the other was the saltine or soda crackers. I had already made pumpkiny graham crackers and decided on the soda/saltine crackers with a little Indian style spice twist to get my own version of popular Maska Chaska biscuits.

The recipes were chosen by Arthy Sharma and the saltine crackers are adapted from Kingarthurflour site.


All Purpose Flour: 3/4 cup
Instant Yeast: 1 tsp 
Baking Soda : 1/8 tsp
Cream of Tartar: 1/8 tsp (can be replaced by 2-3 drops of vinegar)
Salt: 1/8 tsp
Sugar: 1/4 tsp

Water: 4 tbsp 
Olive oil: 1 tbsp
Unsalted Butter: 1 tbsp

black salt + dry mint: around 1 tbsp or as per taste
Sea/ Table salt : for sprinkling


Mix together the dry ingredients of flour, yeast,salt, soda, sugar and cream of tartar.

In a small bowl, heat butter, oil and 3 tbsp of water till butter melts. Remove and keep aside and let it come to room temperature.

Add the liquid to the dry mix and optionally adding remaining 1 tbsp of water knead to get a soft,sticky dough.I added barely 2 tsp of additional water apart from the 3 tbsp and got a slightly sticky dough only.

Transfer the dough to a greased vessel, cover with a cling wrap and refrigerate it overnight. The dough will rise but not double in volume. 

Once you are ready to bake, take the dough out of fridge and let it thaw till it reaches room temperature or atleast 15-20 mnts.

Heavily flour the counter or work surface and pat the dough rough roughly into a 3" x 5" rectangle. This will make rolling out easier.Roll out the dough into a 9"x10 " rectangle. 

Now fold the dough like a letter. Starting from the shorter side, fold it in three. Turn the folded rectangle to 90 degrees and start rolling out to get an approximate 10" x 18" rectangle or a very thin sheet. The sheet will shrink a bit once you stop rolling it out.

Psst.. My rolled out sheet would definitely pass the window pane test. It was so thin and transparent.

Anyways, the folds were made so that the biscuit looks flaky with layers inside. This is exactly how the commercial crackers or salty biscuits look like. 

Spread the topping of your choice uniformly across the sheet. Press this in gently with the rolling pin and using a pizza cutter cut the dough into 2" squares. transfer these gently to a lined/greased baking sheet and prick the pieces once or twice with the tines of a fork. Bake for 8-10 minutes in a preheated oven at 200C.

Keep and eye once the edges start browning as they brown very fast. Once done then switch off the oven and leave the oven door completely open with the baking sheet inside so that they crisp up while cooling.

Once completely cool transfer and store in airtight containers.

Yummy crackers. They were similar in taste with maska chaska and are easy to make except for the overnight rising time. My daughter definitely enjoyed it. Lets see who made what this challenge at Swathi's.


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