Sourdough Crackers 2.0

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I have been keeping my sourdough starter out on the kitchen counter and feeding it daily, rather than storing it in the fridge and feeding it only weekly. Here’s why:

bread 11.15.15
My best sourdough loaf ever

I wish I had taken a crumb shot of this. It’s the best loaf I’ve baked thus far. It tasted fairly sweet, which you’d expect when using a starter stored at room temperature. But when you leave starter at room temperature, you need to feed it every day. That means you accumulate tons of discarded starter. If you don’t find something to do with all of that starter, you’ll drown in the stuff. So I use it to make crackers. Lots of crackers. Good thing they’re addictive…and good for sharing…

The way to a man's heart...
The way to a man’s heart…

You can read about tending a sourdough starter herehere and here.

feeding starter
Feeding my starter. I store the discard in the refrigerator in the rectangular container you see in the bottom left. This can pile up quickly.

I bake these crackers every week or so and so have learned a few tricks since I wrote my first post on them. I have wanted to update the recipe for months.

What’s new in version 2.0

  • I make a double or triple batch of the dough and after it has fermented on the counter for several hours, bake some of it and store the rest in the refrigerator. When I want more crackers later in the week, I can just grab a hunk of dough and whip them up. It’s almost like having convenience refrigerator dough on hand without the over-packaging and nasty chemicals.
  • Refrigeration halts the fermentation. I find that when I let the dough ferment at room temperature for too long (let’s say over 8 hours), it starts to break down, making a big mess when I attempt to roll it out. But in the refrigerator, the microbes go dormant. Now I can make a pile of this dough at once—and use up even more starter! No more baking dough bleary-eyed at night and cursing myself for having started it in the morning. If I’m too exhausted to bake, I simply put the dough in the fridge!
chilled dough
Chilled cracker dough
  • I no longer use Silpat silicon mats for baking these. The crackers contain enough oil that they don’t stick to cookie sheets. I hate washing those mats and feel a bit wary of using them. (Are they actually safe to bake on?) Simple is best.
baked crackers
Ungreased cookie sheets work just fine
  • I no longer brush olive oil on top. You can do that if you want to but the salt (or seeds or nutritional yeast or whatever) sticks to them just fine without having to take the extra step of brushing these with oil. I’m not sure which I like washing less—Silpats or pastry brushes. Ditch them both.
ready to eat
Finished crackers

Recipe

Sourdough Crackers

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup unfed starter from the refrigerator
  • 3 heaping tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil (I used coconut for this post)
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • extra coarse salt for topping

Instructions

  1. Combine starter and oil in a non-metallic bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, salt and baking soda.
  2. Add dry ingredients to bowl with wet ingredients. Combine. If necessary, knead the dough a few times to incorporate the last bit of flour. Cover bowl with a plate or towel and let rest for six hours at room temperature. Store in the fridge after this if you won’t bake right away. The dough will keep in the refrigerator for about a week. Let it warm at room temperature for 15 minutes to half an hour to making rolling easier.
  3. When you’re ready to bake, divide the dough into two halves on a generously floured surface.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  5. Roll the dough out about two millimeters thick. If necessary, sprinkle with flour between rollings to prevent dough from sticking to your work surface.
  6. Transfer the dough to ungreased cookie sheets.
  7. Cut into rectangles with a pizza cutter or a knife. Sprinkle with salt.
  8. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, turn trays and bake 6 to 8 minutes longer. Crackers are done when crispy and slightly browned. (My oven is a bit cool, so your crackers may bake faster.)
  9. Transfer crackers to a rack to cool. Store in a glass jar. These also freeze well.
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97 Replies to “Sourdough Crackers 2.0”

  1. Great snack recipe – I have started to include seeds and spices by rolling out then adding whatever you want onto half of the piece then fold over and roll to the required thinness. Keeps all the flavour inside the cracker – I’ve tried – caraway seeds, cracked pepper and smoked paprika, sunflower seeds (hulled), za’atar – all have been absolutely delicious – the possibilities are endless !!!!

  2. Is the non metallic bowl essential? All my mixing bowls are stainless steel.

    1. Hi Chris,
      I think stainless steel is okay. I made sourdough tortillas in a stainless steel bowl last week and they turned out really well.
      ~ Anne Marie

  3. Lauren Stracey says: Reply

    I’ve just made the dough and have left it on the bench. It looks a little like it’s growing mould on it? Small circles of white. I used some starter from the fridge and some (I fed today) that was room temperature. Does that sound ok or should I start again?

    1. Hi Lauren,
      If you think it’s mold, I wouldn’t eat it. If it is mold, it will look like it–raised and furry. I haven’t had my dough turn moldy. I’m surprised that that has happened with dough made with starter that you just fed. I’d have to see it in person to give you a diagnosis though. I guess you’ll have to use your judgement. I’m sorry I don’t have a better answer.
      ~ Anne Marie

  4. This is a great recipe, thank you! Love the version 2.0 improvements – agree simple is better. I like to add roasted sesame seeds and wild rosemary, local to our area.

  5. The top of my dough really dries out when I leave it to rest for the 6 hours. Is that pretty normal? Or is there something I can do to stop that?

    1. Hi Mariko,
      You could try rubbing a small amount of oil on top of the dough. That should help.
      ~ Anne Marie

  6. Great crackers! The 6 hour ferment gives them a cheesy flavor. The dough is so simple and easy to roll. It was such a nice dough that I was able to roll them out using my pasta roller. Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  7. What a great recipe, thanks for sharing! How much starter would you use in gram (instead op cups). I cannot convert that to metric system unfortunately. Thanks in advance for the reply!

  8. Hi! I’m just wondering about the baking soda ingredient. I thought the whole point of sourdough was to replace using chemical leavening agents. It kind of feels like cheating, so could I skip adding the baking soda or somehow alter the recipe? I’m a total newbie at everything sourdough (my starter is only a week old), so I appreciate your expertise 🙂

  9. Why do you add baking soda? Have you ever tried making the crackers without the baking soda?

  10. Would rye flour work instead of WW?

    1. Hi Syd,
      Yes, that will work. I’ve made these with rye or spelt also or a combination of flours.
      ~ Anne Marie

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