The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough Crackers

RonRay's picture
RonRay

Sourdough Crackers

Sourdough Crackers

Previous blog: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/22542/noknead-multigrain-seed-and-nut-loaf

I know that most of us, that culture wild yeast, seldom actually "discard" the discards of our sourdough. Of course, it is not unusual to hear someone new to keeping a sourdough culture remarking that they hate to have to through out the discards. And again, of course, a dozen replies of "No! Make pancakes..." or "Oh, no! Make waffles... ". Well, from now on, I will be crying "No! Make sourdough crackers.. The older the discards, the better the crackers!"

Naturally, that does assume you like sour sourdough, but the crackers are great even with "un-sour" sourdough discards, Rye Sour, etc. or even non-discarded levain as the leavening ingredient.

I came across a year old post by Sarah Wood on using your discard for whole wheat crackers. The link is:
http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2010/03/08/sourdough-recipes-galore-whole-wheat-crackers/
It certainly looked simple enough, so I tried it. I am certainly glad I did, although, a batch never last very long and another few hundred calories have been ingested.

So, here is a step by step, complete with photos, Baker's percentages, some suggestions, and pointers on the ingredients and process. Even if you are not of an experimental curiosity by nature, I suspect you will have some ideas for variations you would like to try.

A small amount Sesame Oil, or Olive Oil to brush the top of the crackers and Kosher salt to sprinkle over the oiled surface will also be needed.

Substitutions of butter or lard can be made for the coconut oil, but I prefer the coconut oil, either the Extra Virgin, or the Expeller types.

Notice that I chose the ingredient amounts to exactly match the Baker's percentages. This batch size works very well for one sheet of crackers per Silpat baking sheet and a 100 grams of discards is an equally reasonable size. If you wish, make multiples of this amount and store in the fridge until you want more crackers.

I do want to mention some considerations to keep in mind when using coconut oil. Using the Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is my first choice, Expeller Coconut Oil is my second and neither one requires special consideration in a warmer kitchen, but if the kitchen temperature, or the dough temperature, is below about 78ºF ( 25.5º C) then you should either use methods to maintain the temperature of all ingredients about 78ºF ( 25.5º C) during the mixing phase, or use softened butter. Coconut oil is liquid from about the 75ºF ( 23.9º C) and above. Adding it in a mix of cold, fresh out of the fridge, levain may very well cause lumpy, difficult dough conditions. Once the full mixing is complete, this is no longer of any potential problem.

Let your finished crackers cool before placing (if any are uneaten) in an airtight container to preserve their crispness.

============= 110328-1330

   Next Blog:http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/22910/ingredient-list-and-calcultor-tfl-bakers

 

 


Comments

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Ron,

These looks yummy! I'm going to try that :-). In fact I think I could probably do it with my regular stiff levain, which is on the bench all the time.

Thanks for posting in so much detail - that makes the process so much easier to follow. Loved the witty tags also!

Best wishes, Daisy_A

RonRay's picture
RonRay

Daisy, those described here come close to a "Wheat Thin" to my taste senses. It is such an easy process that all kinds of fun experiments come to mind. It even might make a reasonable first sample method for testing new flour, or seed types.

I baked those in the photos yesterday morning, and I was too intent on the photos to pay the attention I should have to the rolling out of the dough. But, I think that worked out better, as I was able to show what the lack of uniformity results in.

Even so, this morning, I ate the last of them. So, perhaps I'll bake a batch tomorrow, again. I have another 171g jar of dough in the fridge.

Let me know how your try works out, too, if you would.

Ron

 

 

wassisname's picture
wassisname

... for making me want to make crackers again.  You pulled me in wth the step by step.  I used to make crackers regularly, but I would invest loads of time and effort only to see them devoured by the end of the day (mostly by me, I'll admit).  This looks pretty simple and has sourdough, perfect! 

A pasta machine works great for getting uniform thickness, if you happen to have one, but also becomes part of the hassle.  I think I'll go back to working on my roller skills when I try these.

Thanks again!

Marcus

RonRay's picture
RonRay

and Thank you, Marcus, for the feedback, I certainly know what you mean by them being gone by the end of the day, and I am the only one here to eat them LOL

(º¿º)... Ron

 

wassisname's picture
wassisname

OK, so I didn't have the actual formula in front of me, but I followed the spirit of it.  A lump of very ripe WW sourdough, enough extra flour to make it not sticky, a little olive oil and salt, and bingo!  Crackers.  Or rather, one big cracker, because I forgot to cut it up before it went into the oven.  I already had something in the oven so I slid these in with it and kept a sharp eye on them.  Worked like a charm!  Light, crispy, and surprisingly flavorful considering how little went into them.  Thanks again for the inspiration.

Marcus

RonRay's picture
RonRay

Marcus,

I am very glad you had such a pleasing result. I made a batch, and as I let go of the tray on the oven stones I realized I had forgotten the salt. I made a fast recovery - fast enough that the tray hadn't even got burning hot yet, so all ended well here, also... LOL

(º¿º) ... Ron

 

teketeke's picture
teketeke

Ron,

Nice write up and a great way to use the dicard sour dough starter!  I will try it with my raisin yeast water levain :)   I have all the ingredients here  :)  

Best wishes,

Akiko

RonRay's picture
RonRay

Akiko, I am pleased to hear you plan to try them. I think you will enjoy them, too  ;-)

Ron

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Ron,

Made the crackers with my normal starter - half plain white and half wholewheat at about 67% hydration plus rye flour with japanese Togarashi/Seven Spice seasoning on top - were delicious! 

Many thanks for sharing.

Pic below: Apologies if a bit dark - lighting was low in the kitchen and adjusting afterwards takes out detail. Hope it gives an idea!

Best wishes, Daisy_A

RonRay's picture
RonRay

Fun, tasty, quick, and easy

That is great, Daisy. How many thing that we bake can be said to have all four of the said about them - fun, tasty, quick, and easy - LOL

(º¿-) ... Ron

 

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello,
Ron, thanks so much for this detailed post, and Daisy_A, thanks for the idea of a spice topping!
I made crackers recently using a buttermilk dough (Nancy Silverton - Pastries from La Brea Bakery), topped with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, and seeds (chia, golden flax, white poppy, sesame).
Your sourdough and spice crackers sound wonderful. My husband is encouraging me daily to make crackers again :^) - I must try making yours!
Thanks, from breadsong

 

 

RonRay's picture
RonRay

There seems no end of the potential variations that one can come up with for this simple concept, which makes them even more fun.

Ron

 

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello Ron, Had to try making these crackers of yours. The cracker dough mixed up really nicely with your formula!
I topped the crackers with sesame oil as you suggested, a light dusting of spice (salt, pepper, chili, a tiny bit of ginger & the teensiest pinch of sugar), & sesame seeds. Here's a couple of pictures, before and after baking:
 

The crackers are crisp & wheaty & I love the texture, and how they maintained their shape and remained flat during baking.
Thanks so much for this post!
from breadsong

RonRay's picture
RonRay

Breadsong, It is I who should thank you :-) That variation sounds great and the photos look as if you have made your husband a happy man LOL

Ron

 

breadsong's picture
breadsong

He loves these crackers...yes he was a happy camper!
from breadsong

RonRay's picture
RonRay

I love all these variations, that are being generated. With a bit of imagination, it seems one would never need to get tired of them ;-)
breadsong, Tell your husband, he is very welcome...

Ron

 

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi breadsong - crackers look delicious! Daisy_A

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Your crackers do too - those spices, and the rye!
Your rye variation is inspiring my current attempt to make a rye cracker (non-sourdough though).
(If the crackers turn out OK I'll post).
from breadsong

teketeke's picture
teketeke

Daisy,

They look very yummy!  I like the idea of using the Togarashi!! :)

Akiko

RonRay's picture
RonRay

I used Chia in my last batch, as well. I think I'll go with sesame on the next batch... It is terrible how fast they disappear. LOL
... Ron

teketeke's picture
teketeke

Hi, Ron

I made your crackers today :) That was a huge hit!  I don't have to buy crackers anymore.  I used my raisin yeast levain for this crackers, so they are not sour at all but nicely sweet.  Very crispy!! YUM!  However, I better modify my oven  because they are not evenly baked well. My oven is not so reliable.

This is the left over for tomorrow :) My daughter who is a picky eater really likes them. 

Thank you, Ron!

RonRay's picture
RonRay

Akiko, they do look good. One thing you could try, if uneven heat is the problem - and not uneven thickness of the dough - is to preheat to a higher temperature before putting the crackers into the oven, but to drop the heat 275ºF ( 135º C) or 300ºF ( 149º C) as soon as you put the crackers into the oven. That way any unevenness resulting from the heating elements themselves, rather than drafts, is greatly reduced. Of course, you then have to visually determine when the crackers are finished.

Ron

 

teketeke's picture
teketeke

Ron, Thank you for your advice!!  I will try that next  time!!  Thank you for your great cracker recipe, really!!

Akiko

RonRay's picture
RonRay

Akiko,

Please, let me know if that helps :-)

Ron

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Akiko - crackers look lovely - they're so evenly shaped! Daisy_A

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Ron, breadsong, Akiko, Marcus,

There seem to be some really great crackers being made in response to Ron's inspiring formula!

Loving the pictures of golden, tasty crackers!

Best wishes, Daisy_A

RonRay's picture
RonRay

Daisy, if you look at those images too often you may have a "cracker attack"... LOL

Ron

teketeke's picture
teketeke

I made your crackers again. This time, I changed the shape the dough into Sticks, and the rest of them are squares as usual.

I also added some dried cranberries and cherries that are gifts , and also put some white chocolate chips in the dough.

The stick shapes are crispier than the square ones which I like the most.

 

 

 

 I got the stick shape idea from Cookpad.  http://cookpad.com/recipe/254788   写真

Thank you, Ron!!

Akiko

RonRay's picture
RonRay

Akiko,

They look great !

I also made stick crackers the other day - Actually, I got the idea from something you mentioned in an earlier post. I thought mine came out great, too. I rolled out the dough, initially, the same as if for crackers, then added ground pepper, and sesame seeds and folded the top third down to center and followed with the bottom third up to cover the folded-down top half. I then cut the long dimension into thirds and stacked the 3, thirds on each other with some other spices rubbed in between the pieces. I then rolled the pile into the final sheet and sliced into sticks, oiled and salted, then baked. Yum...

Ron

 

 

teketeke's picture
teketeke

Hmmm.. It sounds luscious  I better try your way next time. Thank you sharing the great idea, Ron

Akiko

teketeke's picture
teketeke

Hi Ron

I made your crackers with chedder cheese that Txfarmer posted recently. I made some unique shapes :)

 

 I used a Lattice pie top cutter 12cm ( http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0011X5JT2  ) to cut the dough and again, cut vertically 2cm each.

  Are they unique? :P

 On the left: Twisted stickes were made by my daugher.

 Make a letter U ...

 and twisted like the picture.

I folded the chedder chess like making  croissants.  It was really fun to make those tasty crispy crackers with my daugter.

I am looking forward to seeing your next post!

Best wishes,

Akiko

 

RonRay's picture
RonRay

Akiko, you are a wonder - what a creative mind you have. I love the looks of these - both the twisted sticks and the "genetic strands".  Of course, I know they must have tasted great.

Thank you for the feedback, as well as the Lattice pie top cutter link !!!

Ron

teketeke's picture
teketeke

Your welcome, Ron.  I couldn't stop eating these crackers!!  so did my daughter and son. 

They are really good as you know the taste!! 

Akiko

RonRay's picture
RonRay

Akiko, they just do not last long enough. Last week, I made a 350g batch of them, and used txfarmers cheddar addition. I split the dough into two, 175g batches for the rolling out and made strips from one batch and crackers from the other. Now, I need to make more... LOL

Ron

teketeke's picture
teketeke

Hi Ron,

I made  " POCKY" today, but they gone so quickly ...I could only take a picture of one of them.  I proofed the sticks for 40 minutes because I had to help my husband to take care of our chickens LOL   They are not slim like the real pockies, however, they really stay crispy.   Next time, I will come here to post slim pockies!  I have to make another big portion of levain with raisin yeast water. :)

Cheers,

Akiko

RonRay's picture
RonRay

Akiko, I can understand why they do not last long :-)

Thanks for showing me what they look like. I had never heard of a "pocky" before.

Ron

teketeke's picture
teketeke

Hi Ron,

Japanese pockies are here:

http://www.google.com/search?q=pocky&hl=en&rlz=1T4ADFA_enUS370US371&prmd=ivns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=Jtq9TZ2UEYHBtgfF7LHFBQ&ved=0CDQQsAQ&biw=1259&bih=681

I am too lazy to use rich text editor to hide the long website address...I learned it several years ago when I tried to make own blog. I gave up. LOL

Akiko

RonRay's picture
RonRay

I also found them on Amazon LOL

Ron

jeni_rainbow's picture
jeni_rainbow

...over these!

I just made my first batch, following your recipe to the letter, apart from subbing butter for the coconut oil cos I didn't have any in the house right now, and adding snippets of fresh rosemary to the top, along with the sesame oil and salt. So, so yummy - these will not last any time at all, but hey! there are so many fab ideas for flavours here to try out and they take so little time to whip up! :-)

Thanks for this fab recipe!

Jeni

RonRay's picture
RonRay

The only thing I found wrong with them was they just seem to disapear to fast  ;-)

 

Ron

jyslouey's picture
jyslouey

I will certainly give this a try, I'd like to make more use of my starter discards but just to be sure can I collect the discards from my first feed (in case I don't have enough to make 100 grms while waiting for discards from second feed to make up for the amt required? The discards would only be about 8 or less hrs apart and would of course be kept in the fridge in the interim.  Many thanks.

Judy 

RonRay's picture
RonRay

Just accumulate as you wish. Collection over an extended perion seems to work just fine for me.

 

Ron

jyslouey's picture
jyslouey

I collected enough SD discards to make a batch of your crackers.  I can think of so many options for the topping, sesame, poppy seeds, grated parmesan cheese, dried herbs etc. etc.  It's early afternoon here in hot  (28C+) humid Hong Kong, if everything works out, I should be able to  bake these before bedtime.  Can't wait to taste them.

Thanks for sharing the recipe.  I've not seen you or Akiko's postings for a while. I trust you are keeping well.

Best,

Judy

RonRay's picture
RonRay

Hope you like them, I sure did (^_^)

I have had no sign of Akiko. I only came on to reply.

jyslouey's picture
jyslouey

My SD is made with bread flour and not AP so the dough felt more soft  and  spongy like a stiff levain.  Some were crisp but some bits were soft and  chewy where there were air  bubbles that I had failed to roll out thinly.   I sprinkled it with some sea salt with dried herbs, poppy seeds plus a sprinklying of parmesan cheese.  I forgot to melt my coconut oil so used EV Olive oil but found it too  bitter for my  palette. .  I also forgot to brush the top with oil,  but the dough itself was already quite oily.  

I'll def.  be making another batch again and see if coconut oil would improve the taste next time.

Judy

Best

 

 

   

Paddy_in_Spain's picture
Paddy_in_Spain

Hello Ron,


I just wanted to let you and any future readers know that this recipe also works brilliantly well with dark rye flour. 

I used some active 100% hydration rye starter (followed your recipe) and used rye flour, olive oil and salt. I simply dumped all ingredients into a bowl, mixed it together and left to ferment.

My oven only has a low temperature setting so i cook them for about an hour at 80°C or until crackers start to curl up of the mat.