Here's Why Crackers Have Holes In Them

With so many different kinds of crackers to choose from, it's always convenient to have several different shapes and flavors on hand. They pair perfectly with cheese or spreads as a snack or even with your highly curated charcuterie board. And if you've examined crackers often enough while preparing one of those snacks, chances are you've noticed that the vast majority of crackers feature tiny holes punched through them.

While those holes laced through the crackers might seem like a decorative pattern or design, they're actually very purposeful and an important part of making great crackers. As The Fact Site explains, air pockets can form and bubble up during baking, causing crackers to be puffed up and rounded rather than flat and crispy. But when holes are added, those pockets of air can be avoided. It comes down to creating a heat exit, where the moisture inside the crackers can easily escape.

The holes are not unique to crackers

According to Distractify, the holes you see on store-bought crackers even have an official name, "docking holes," and they occur when the crackers go through the docker prior to baking. The term "dock," though, is one commonly known to bakers, as The Spruce Eats notes; it's basically when holes are added to any kind of dough, from a pie crust to a cracker.

In the case of crackers, by adding these holes to the dough and creating a place for steam to escape as the crackers bake, the resulting crackers end up crispier than if they had lacked the small holes. Distractify even explains that a lack of docking holes is actually what causes some crackers to be rounder and puffier such as goldfish crackers.

So, if you decide to make your own crackers at home and need to troubleshoot a less than perfectly crisp batch of crackers, consider adding docking holes. It just might be the answer to better, crispier homemade crackers.