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Substitute saltine crumbs for matzo meal?

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Anyone have success with this in making matzo balls? Because of the terrible weather we're having, I refuse to make a stop at the store -- but I'm really craving matzo balls, and I will be coming home to a slow cooker full of sure-to-be-delicious stock.

I have no matzo, but I recently ended up with two whole boxes of saltines by accident, and that's a food I don't like much and hardly ever use.

I can't see why they wouldn't work, but would anyone warn me away before I waste my time?

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  1. Go for it, there's not much difference in flavor between matzo and saltines, IMO, they're both basically flour and water. I think saltines are the best sub for mazto. Are they salted saltines? You may want to adjust the salt in your recipe.
    I actually like matzo (egg & onion) better than saltines.

    1. Yes, if they're not salty, I'd just zip em up in the food processor and give it a try! In fact, a matzo ball (kneydl) is just a very specific version of a more general version of balls made from soaked bread and egg (German knödel), which can be made with any sort of crumbs or small cut bread. The main difference between a kneydl and the usual German knödel is that there's a premium on fluffiness for kneydl, so they usually have separated eggs with beaten whites, and not much additional liquid. I think the very fine crumbs of matzo meal or a cracker are important in this low-moisture version (my version has only a little bit of seltzer), which wouldn't work as well with bigger bread crumbs, which needs some milk or water to make them "dissolve".

      1 Reply
      1. re: another_adam

        Wow, super informative -- thank you!

      2. Hm, not sure how it would go, IMO. Saltines also contain fat, whereas matzo doesn't. Maybe add less fat to the matzo ball dough? Let us know how it goes!

        1. I am so glad you posted your question as I came here looking for the same information! I was craving Matzo Ball Soup and in our small area couldn't get my hands on any Matzo meal. I am going to use water crackers, seemed like a good substitution. Thank you to the other posters for all the great information!