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Jackie Freeman

If you've started making your own sourdough bread, you might be asking yourself why toss out the discard every time you feed and refresh your sourdough starter? The answer is, don't lose it — use it!

I'll show you how to turn your sourdough discard into amazingly delicious (and amazingly easy to make) homemade crackers with just the right amount of crunch and flavor. Warning: Once you start, you can't stop snacking on them.

I'll also show you how to switch up the ingredients, like flours and herbs, or add new flavors, like cheese and spices, for a snack that is endlessly adaptable.

How to Make Sourdough Rosemary Crackers

Get my recipe for Sourdough Rosemary Crackers

1. Mix it up. Start by combining all of your ingredients in a bowl. I used all-purpose flour in this recipe, but you can swap it out with whole-wheat flour or a combination of spelt or buckwheat flour and all-purpose flour for a healthier twist.

Jackie Freeman

The dough comes together very easily: start by mixing it with a wooden spoon.

Jackie Freeman

2. Turn it out. As soon as it’s too hard to mix, turn it out onto a work surface and knead by hand a few times until a smooth dough forms. It shouldn't be too sticky, so there's no need to flour the countertop if your surface is nice and smooth.

3. Split it. It may look like a small amount of dough, especially compared to a loaf of bread, but this makes a lot of crackers. Divide the dough in half and form it into two evenly shaped rectangles.

Jackie Freeman

4. Let's roll. For the crispiest crackers, you want to roll the dough out as thin as possible. Work on top of a piece of parchment paper, lightly floured, so once the dough is rolled you can easily transfer it to a baking sheet.

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Start to roll out the dough, rotating the parchment paper a quarter turn after every roll, to make sure the dough is even. Roll to 1/16-inch thickness.

Jackie Freeman

Tip: How thick is 1/16-inch? Keep a clean penny nearby. When the dough is about as thick as your penny, it’s ready for cutting!

5. Make the cut. Cut the dough into the desired size and shape of cracker. To keep it easy, we went with 1 ¼-inch squares (the size of your favorite cheesy cracker). You could cut larger squares or rectangles if you plan on serving these topped with cheese, spreads, or other treats.

Jackie Freeman

Tip: The easiest way to cut the crackers is to use a rolling pizza cutter or ravioli cutter.

6. Bake and rotate. Spray lightly with cooking spray (or carefully brush with olive oil) and sprinkle with flaked salt. Because these crackers are so thin and delicate, and because ovens often have hot and cold spots, it’s important to rotate the baking sheets halfway through the bake time. Switch the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back, to help the crackers brown evenly.

Jackie Freeman

7. Cool it. You're going to be tempted to eat these right away, BUT for the best texture, let them cool completely before you start snacking.

If you don’t eat them all in one sitting, you can store the crackers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week. If you have too much of a good thing, you can freeze the crackers for up to 3 months.

Jackie Freeman

Sourdough Cracker Variations

Experiment with some of these flavor options, mixing them in with the initial ingredients when you're making the dough.

  • Instead of fresh rosemary, try a combination of different fresh herbs like parsley, chives, or tarragon. Or, use 2 teaspoons of your favorite dried herbs, like Italian herbs or herbes de Provence.
  • Add a bit of cheesy flavor. Try adding 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese. Or, if you want to keep the crackers vegan, add 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast.
  • Think spices! If you like things hot, add red pepper flakes to your liking. If you like things savory, try a teaspoon or two of curry powder or za’atar.

And yes, these tasty little homemade crackers are everything they're cracked up to be. Enjoy!

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