Citrus Saltines

citrus-saltinesI get a lot of questions from people asking how I use my citrus salt. I’ve got to admit, they sort of baffle me because, well, how do you use regular salt? That’s how you can use citrus salt.

Use it in soups or stews, season meat, add it to bread, muffins or scones, garnish a salad or a baked potato or chocolate chip cookies. The uses for citrus salt are nearly as endless as for salt itself. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind: one, that if you’re replacing salt in a recipe with citrus salt, you need to take into account that there is less actual salt in 1 teaspoon of citrus salt, given that some of that volume is taken up with citrus zest. And the amount of salt in 1 teaspoon of citrus zest varies depending on the citrus salt itself: my versions tend to be nearly half zest, but I’ve seen many versions that are more like 95% salt. For this reason, I don’t tend to use citrus salt in place of regular salt for baking recipes where the salt needs to be accurately measured. Secondly, and relevant to this recipe, is that for applications where you are sprinkling salt on top of something to be baked or roasted, citrus zest will brown at higher oven temperatures (while regular salt, of course, does not), so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on this and lower the oven temp by 25 degrees if necessary.

With those tips in mind, I give you: homemade citrus saltines. Regular Kosher salt is included in the dough, for accuracy in measuring, but then citrus salt (I used Meyer lemon, red grapefruit and orange zests) is liberally sprinkled across the top. The dough is a dream to work with: smooth, silky, easy to roll, and comes together in the food processor in about 2 minutes flat. After that it’s just a matter of cutting them into shapes and watching them like a hawk while they bake: they’ll brown quickly and so will the citrus zest.

So, next time you’re wondering what to do with all of that citrus salt you put up this winter, don’t despair: citrus saltines. Crispedy, crunchedly, zesty goodness.

Adapted from Homemade Saltine Crackers by Kathy at Stresscake.

citrus-saltinesCitrus Saltines

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup (4 ½ oz) whole wheat pastry flour (or AP flour)
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp (1 oz) melted butter
  • ¼ cup water
  • citrus salt, for topping

METHODS

  1. Combine flour and Kosher salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to mix. With the motor running, add melted butter and process until a coarse meal forms, about 1 minute. Scrape down sides. With the motor running, add water and process just until a dough ball forms. Remove to a lightly floured board, knead once or twice until dough holds its shape, then rest dough under a damp tea towel for about 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (350 degrees F convection).
  3. Cut dough ball into quarters. On a lightly floured board, roll each quarter out very thinly – as thin as you can get it. Brush lightly with water and sprinkle generously with citrus salt. Cut into cracker shapes (for a traditional scalloped edge use a fluted pastry wheel), transfer to parchment- or Silpat-lined baking sheets, and bake in the preheated oven until lightly golden, about 8 – 10 minutes, rotating pans halfway through the baking time. Cool on the pan; crackers will crisp as they cool.

Yields about 60 2″ X 2″ crackers.

citrus-saltinesOPTIONS

  1.  I like the whole wheat pastry flour here for ease in rolling, but a little whole wheat bread flour (hard red wheat) would be a nice addition for nutty flavor. I’d start with about ¼ cup.
  2. As the original recipe notes, you can do your rolling with a pasta machine if you like, although I found rolling by hand to be quite easy.

STORE

In an airtight container, at room temperature, for about 3 days. Recrisp in a 350 degree F oven.

SEASON

Year round.

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9 comments

  1. Lola R. Hodges

    I have been using orange/citrus salt in Orange Scones….a no-brainer since both orange citrus and salt are part of the ingredients. Thank you so much for posting this method of using citrus zest. Also, sprinkled it on asparagus, Delightful!

  2. I love your citrus salts and have no problem finding uses for them where they just add that extra touch, but this is an idea I hadn’t thought of. I plan to make them today. Thanks.

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  4. Wow, what a creative use of citrus salt! I love all things citrus, but I’ve never made my own citrus salt, since I’d also probably be pretty baffled about how to use it all up. (Which is silly, now that I think about it, since I do separately add citrus AND salt to probably most of my savory cooking!)

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