Let's face facts. Nabisco, Kraft, Ritz and all divisions of the parent company are never going to bring back our beloved Royal Lunch Milk Crackers. No matter how much begging or pleading. And empty threats of boycotts are just that. No way can you avoid buying every product produced by Nabisco, Kraft, Ritz and all divisions of the parent company. They are too pervasive. The evils of the large, soul-less corporations responsible for providing Americans' demand for cheap everything manifests itself. Since Royal Lunch Milk Cracker sales around the holidays (used largely for stuffing ingredients) could not support the sales slump of the remainder of the year, they discontinued them. And there you have it. Not enough profit. Never mind all of the OTHER seasonal products you can only get in November and December, like spiced apple rings, Kraft roka blue spread and flaky dinner rolls. They don't seem to have a problem only selling two months of the year. (But I do wish Royal would bring back key lime pie filling. And I miss Hershey's Tastetations in Chocolate.)
Thus begins the search for a substitute for Royal Lunch Milk Crackers. Mrs. Allison's Milk Lunch New England Biscuit thingies are no longer in stock at the Vermont Store. Don't even bother. I've also read the reviews and they ain't Royal Lunch either. Although you may be able to make stuffing with them. There are a few other similar products out. One called Vermont Common Cracker.
So we are reduced to trying to clone the beloved milk cracker by modifying an existing cracker recipe using ingredients listed on the Royal Lunch box.
Curiously enough, it is really hard to find a recipe for ANY cracker. I don't have any in my recipe books, nor was searching the web very fruitful. I found one public recipe for common crackers. I do have a box of Royal Lunch Milk Crackers, unopened in my cupboard. (No, you may not have them. They're several years old and may be inedible. But you still can't have them.) But I can give you the ingredients listed on the box. I think between the cracker recipe and the Royal Lunch ingredients a recipe may be uncovered after much experimentation and failure. I wish you luck. Let me know how you do. I'll be posting my experiments as I go.
Royal Lunch Cracker ingredients:
Enriched Wheat Flour (contains niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), Riboflavin (vitaming B2)
Vegetable Shortening (partially hydrogenated canola oil)
Malted milk (adds a trivial amount of cholestrol) I have no idea whether this is a liquid or a powder.
Leavening (calcium phosphate, baking soda)
Egg yolks (adds a trivial amount of cholesterol)
There you have it. Good luck. Here's the recipe for Common Crackers:
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 TBSP sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
1 cup milk, plus extra milk to brush on crackers. (If you use cream, you'll need to add more liquid until the mixture is sticky)
I'll be trying this out as soon as I buy some malted milk powder
and adjusting as I go along to get the correct consistency for cutting out biscuits:
4 cups bread flour
1 TBSP Sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup Crisco shortening
1 egg yolk
1 tsp malt powder*
Enough milk to make dough. Okay, so the RLMC box doesn't list milk or water. But some liquid is needed as egg yolks aren't enough.
Sift together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Cut in shortening until mixture has the consistency of corn meal. Beat in egg yolk. Stir in enough malted milk to make a stiff dough. Roll 1/4 inch think on a lightly floured board. Cut into 3 inch rounds. Prick surface with a fork. Brush surface with milk. Place on an ungreased backing sheet and bake in a 425 degree oven for 15-18 min. or until light golden brown. Store in an airtight container.
*A little research on the internet has discovered two forms of malted milk powder. Non-diastatic malt is for flavoring. Like for malted milk balls and malted milk shakes. The other, diastatic malt, has enzymes that turn starch to sugar. They give bread a finer texture and longer shelf life and some sweetness. Bakers use diastatic malt for bread to help with leavening. It also gives bread a crustier crust. Guess which one I think is in this recipe? That's right, the diastatic stuff I.E. with the enzymes. But I'm not sure. So I'll have to try it both ways. BTW you can get diastatic malt all sorts of places. Even eBay. But try your health food store first. Who needs a pound of the stuff. 1 tsp per loaf. So about 1 tsp for this recipe *if* this is the stuff. Another reason I think it's the diastatic stuff? The non-diastatic makes the crust shiny. If you've seen a milk cracker, it's quite dull. Very matte finish.
You can make your own diastatic malt: sprout a cup of wheat berries by covering them with water in a jar for 12 or so hours, dump out the water & rinse with clean water, and place the jar in a darkish, warmish, place. Rinse the berries every day with clean water and return to their place.
In 2-3 days they will begin to sprout. When the sprout is as long as the berries themselves, dump them out on paper towels, dry them off, and set on a cookie sheet in the sun for a day or so to dry out. Then put the cookiesheet in a 100F oven for an hour or three. Do not let the temp get above 130F or the enzymes will be destroyed.
Then grind the dried malted berries into flour, and use it in your favorite recipe at a rate of approx. 1tsp. per loaf.
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