I've been making sourdough concoctions for the past year. Most people, when they hear sourdough, think bread. While that is the usual goal for your lovingly cared for starter, there's a matter that can't be ignored. What do you do with all of your discarded starter?
You see, when you maintain a sourdough culture, you have to feed the bacteria on a regular basis. Avid bakers leave it on their counters and feed their sour baby daily. Others will feed it on a weekly basis. The process of feeding involves saving a small portion of your existing starter, feeding that mixture, and then 'discarding' the rest.
I don't know about you, but when I got started on this path, the idea of tossing perfectly good sourdough starter seemed crazy! Thus began my journey of discard recipes. I've made everything from sourdough blackberry scones, biscuits, pancakes, waffles, pizza crust, and crackers.
Today, we're talking crackers. I found this recipe online last week over at King Arthur Flour's website and tweaked it to fit what ingredients I had on hand. The first batch had rosemary and thyme and was enjoyed as part of a cheese spread. Yesterday, I had enough discard to make another batch so I decided to try a cheese inspired version.
Whenever I make bechamel I always add dry mustard and paprika to my sauce to bump up the cheesy flavor. It seemed like a good idea. Well, it worked! The crackers turned out amazing and tasted crazy similar to Cheez-Its. Be warned, they are just as addictive and will disappear quickly.
Have fun baking! I'd love to hear what your favorite flavor combinations are.
1 cup flour *see note*
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup unfed sourdough starter ("discarded")
¼ cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
1-2 tablespoons dried herbs of your choice (see my favorite combos below)
oil (for brushing)
kosher salt to sprinkle on top
1 Tbsp Rosemary & 1/2 Tbsp Thyme
1/4 tsp Dry Mustard & 1 tsp Paprika
- Mix together the flour, salt, sourdough starter, butter, and optional herbs to make a smooth, not sticky, dough.
- Divide the dough, and form two small rectangular slabs. Cover, and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes to firm up the dough.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Flour a piece of parchment add a slab of dough, and flour the top.
- Roll the dough to about 1/16" thick, aiming for a rectangular shape that will fit easily onto your baking sheet.
- Transfer the dough and parchment together onto a baking sheet. Lightly brush with oil and then sprinkle the salt over the top of the crackers.
- Prick each square with the tines of a fork.
- Cut the dough into small squares. I use a pizza wheel.
- Bake the crackers for 20 to 25 minutes, until the squares are starting to brown around the edges. At ten minutes in, rotate and swap the pans to get even browning.
- Turn off the oven and allow the crackers to continue to dry out until they reach your desired crispness. The ones on the edge will crisp up first.
- Remove the crackers from the oven, and transfer them to a cooling rack. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week; freeze for longer storage.
*note on flour* This recipe works well with whole wheat flour, bread flour, and probably a lot of flour combos. I had all-purpose on hand, so I bumped up the potency of the flour by subbing 2 Tablespoons of wheat flour in my one cup quantity.