The Fresh Loaf

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Sourdough Whole Wheat Crackers

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GermanFoodie's picture
GermanFoodie

Sourdough Whole Wheat Crackers

I have a personal relationship with my sourdough starter. “Hermann” and I have been a couple for many months now, and having witnessed his fickleness first-hand, I have a thorough understanding of his needs. I almost wrote “feelings”, that is how close Hermann and I have become.

I feed Hermann regularly and lucky for me he is still a happy camper. Unbeknownst to him, a couple of his predecessors have simply died on me, mostly because I neglected the basics of sourdough starter care 101. Divide, feed, love.

I bake sourdough bread a lot, but not all the time. One of the consequences to this is that every once in a while I have a cup or so of Hermann Junior left over after a feeding that I have no use for. I do not share this with Hermann Senior – he would be heartbroken – but most of the time this has gotten discarded. Until I decided to turn it into snacks. Sourdough whole wheat crackers, to be exact. (The original recipe I'm using can be found here.)

If you, too, are hesitant to simply dump your “discarded” sourdough, here is something else you can do with it:

Sourdough Whole Wheat Crackers

1 cup “discarded” sourdough starter

1/4 cup room temperature butter

1 cup whole wheat or as much as you need to make a stiff dough

1/2 tsp sea salt

Olive oil for brushing

Coarse salt (such as kosher salt) for sprinkling on top

You can vary what goes on top as I have (I used herbs and coarse salt). Make a stiff dough, leave on the counter for at least three hours (I found seven, as the recipe I had originally found called for, too long). It is easiest to take a piece of baking parchment (1/2 sheet size) and roll the dough out on that (1/4" is the thickest I would go; use a rolling pin with spacer rings if you can), then transfer to a baking sheet and cut it into small squares/rectancles directly on there. Brush with oil and sprinkle with coarse sea salt, herbs etc. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes or until the crackers are golden brown and crisp. If using a gas-fired oven, simply switch if off and leave the crackers in there for a little while longer.

I had to literally fight my family to be able to take photographs of the finished product, so ENJOY WHILE THEY LAST. :)

Ford's picture
Ford

They look GREAT.  I have been wanting a good recipe for crackers -- I'll try this one.

Ford

GermanFoodie's picture
GermanFoodie

how they turn out! :)

scottsourdough's picture
scottsourdough

I assume you keep Hermann around 100% hydration?

GermanFoodie's picture
GermanFoodie

... works out to 4 cups of dark rye flour to 3 cups of water.

shansen10's picture
shansen10

I love to make these too; can't bear to throw away any starter!  I use oil instead of butter, but I may try that.  I prick the dough all over with a fork before baking, and like to sprinkle different seeds like sesame or poppy on top.  Having a gas oven, I have learned that leaving them in the oven to cool after baking is finished does make them crisper. 

Sue 

GermanFoodie's picture
GermanFoodie

yummy! I have tried to work the sesame in with the dough, but I only had roasted sesame and with the sourdough the taste became overbearing.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I see you left out the lard from the original recipe. I would think the lard would help prevent them from becoming shrapnel. Ops, you replaced it with butter.

Eric

GermanFoodie's picture
GermanFoodie

no lard. I mainly bake w/ butter. :)

EvaB's picture
EvaB

and probably a lot cheaper than the 3 bucks for 280 grams a box that the supermarket charges, and that is for the non fancy whole grain products, those are more like 4 or more a box.

They would taste wonderful with cheese and sausage which is one of my favourite noshes.

loydb's picture
loydb

I picked up a box of 'artisan' crackers the other day, saw they wanted $8 for a small box, and put it back down. They looked great, but were more expensive per ounce than the (truly) artisan cheese I'd be eating them with, which is ridiculous. I'm going to be trying this recipe out with some extra starter tomorrow or Wednesday!

 

GermanFoodie's picture
GermanFoodie

are a rip-off. I started baking these when my son was nagging me for a store-bought version of them, and then himself realized how easy it would be to make these yourself. And it was. Let me know how yours turned out!

loydb's picture
loydb

Thanks so much for the recipe, mine came out great!

Maverick's picture
Maverick

Do you think this would work with white flour? I don't see why not, but thought I would ask. I guess it is easy enough to try

GermanFoodie's picture
GermanFoodie

The beauty w/ a recipe like this is you can tweak it to your taste, there are endless possibilities. Just look at this thread, which I was completely blown away by. I myself just made the same crackers just adding flaxseed... :) I would love to see how yours turn out, so have at it!

linder's picture
linder

I made these last night with some of the discard from a 5 day old starter, they were great.  My husband and I ate them all. Only thing was I had trouble with the seeds sticking to the crackers even with the olive oil. So today, I rolled over them with the rolling pin and worked them into the thinly rolled cracker dough, then made the cracker scoring cuts.  They're in the oven now.  Many thanks for a great way to use up the discard sour dough.

loydb's picture
loydb

I was having similar issues with seeds sticking and have adopted the method of rolling the seeds and kosher salt into the dough *before* I spray on olive oil. I can also get away with less oil it seems.

I also discovered (by forgetting to score them) that it makes a great 'flatbread' that people can just break chunks off of at the table. It's a very communal feeling...

 

shansen10's picture
shansen10

are one of my favorite things to bake too.  I solve the seed problem by incorporating them into the dough toward the end of mixing.  I have learned that the secrets to success, for me, are to roll the dough really, really thin and to leave them in the oven after baking while the oven cools down - this makes them really crispy.  Also, don't forget to prick with a fork before baking; I did last time, and they were a little tough as a result.

Sue