Thursday, February 11, 2021

Sourdough Discard Crackers

I got into sourdough baking just before Covid hit so I got to practice before flour became a scarce commodity. I made lots of stuff without worrying too much about whether it would be a waste of flour or not. If nothing else, it’d be chicken food. Fortunately most things worked well, but I confess I never really enjoyed the bread. I have other rustic bread recipes that I prefer more so I started looking for ways to use my sourdough starter straight from the fridge rather than worrying about its activity level. This meant I was going for flavor more than rise. 

Basically I now use only “discard” in my recipes. It’s quite freeing.

One of my favorite recipes is sourdough discard crackers (you knew I’d get there eventually). They’re easy, taste great, and store way longer than you’d think possible. I’ve adapted this recipe from several I’ve found online, so if this doesn’t appeal to you there are many out there to try.

  • 248g discard (I use mine straight from the fridge; don’t even bother to let it warm up)
  • 113g flour (wheat flour gives a stronger sour flavor, white is more neutral)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt 
  • 57g soft butter (I use a combo of butter and extra virgin olive oil)
  • 2 Tbl of seeds or herbs (I prefer poppy and sesame seeds)
  • Additional EVOO and salt for topping 
Plop everything in a mixing bowl. Use your hand to thoroughly combine ingredients.

Form dough into a ball. It’ll be soft and tacky.

Divide the dough in half, shape into discs, and wrap in plastic. Chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350F. 

Roll one dough ball very thin to fit a half-sheet pan. I do this on a floured parchment sheet with the plastic wrap on top to help prevent sticking.

Dock with a fork, brush with EVOO, sprinkle with crunchy salt, and cut into strips using a knife, pizza wheel, or ravioli wheel to get those cool wavy edges. Transfer to pan then repeat with other dough ball.

Place pans in oven, bake for 10 minutes then rotate pans (top to bottom and front to back) and bake for 10 minutes more. Turn off oven and crack door to let crackers cool naturally; this helps them dry out more.

Transfer to a cracker jar and enjoy. They keep very well though I’m sure household conditions will impact that. It’s February in upstate NY and we heat with wood so our house is very dry right now. My last batch of crackers was still crisp 4 weeks later. This summer? Probably not going to last that long.

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