If you keep a sourdough starter going, you may accumulate a lot of unfed starter in your refrigerator. I am always looking for easy ways to use mine up. These crackers provide one delicious option.
One batch of crackers uses up 2/3 of a cup of unfed starter. The microbes in the starter transform a handful of ordinary ingredients into dough that renders thin, crisp crackers that taste—believe it or not—cheesy. They taste taste so delicious in fact, that you may want to double or triple the recipe.
You need only flour and water to make and nurture a sourdough starter
If you don’t have a sourdough starter, go here to learn how to make one. You need only flour and water and if you take care of your starter, it can last for years. Some starters in the sourdough museum (yes, that’s a thing) are over 100 years old! Mine—I named her Eleanor—turned five this year. She makes fantastic bread.
1. I make a double or triple batch of the dough and after it has fermented on the counter for several hours, bake some of it and store the rest in the refrigerator. When I want more crackers later in the week, I can just grab a hunk of dough and whip them up. It’s like having convenience refrigerator dough on hand without the over-packaging and nasty chemicals.
2. Refrigeration halts the fermentation. I find that when I let the dough ferment at room temperature for too long (let’s say over 6 or 8 hours), it starts to break down, making a big mess when I attempt to roll it out. But in the refrigerator, the microbes go dormant. Now I can make a pile of this dough at once—and use up even more starter! No more baking dough bleary-eyed at night and cursing myself for having started it in the morning. If I’m too exhausted to bake, I simply put the dough in the refrigerator.
3. If desired, top the crackers with sesame seeds, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, flax seeds—the possibilities are endless! I roll out the dough on a floured work surface but as I get a couple of rolls away from finishing, I sprinkle the surface with toppings and roll them into the dough. If you sprinkle them on the finished dough, they tend to fall off.
4. To speed up the process, transfer the intact piece of rolled dough to the cookie sheet and use a pastry cutter or knife to cut the dough into squares. Cutting the crackers out and then transferring them to your cookie sheet will take a lot longer. The crackers shrink in the oven and so will not stick to each other while baking.
Sourdough crackers and bean dip
- 2/3 cup unfed starter from the refrigerator
- 3 heaping tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt plus extra for topping
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1. Combine starter and oil in a non-metallic bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, salt and baking soda.
2. Add dry ingredients to bowl with wet ingredients. Combine. If necessary, knead the dough a few times to incorporate the last bit of flour. Cover bowl with a plate or towel and let rest for six hours at room temperature. Store in the fridge after this if you won’t bake right away. The dough will keep in the refrigerator for about a week. Let it warm at room temperature for 15 minutes to half an hour to making rolling easier.
3. When you’re ready to bake, divide the dough into two halves on a generously floured surface.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
5. Roll the dough out about two millimeters thick. If necessary, sprinkle with flour between rollings to prevent dough from sticking to your work surface.
6. Transfer the dough to ungreased cookie sheets.
7. Cut into rectangles with a pizza cutter, pastry cutter or a knife. Sprinkle with salt.
8. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, turn trays and bake 6 to 8 minutes longer. Crackers are done when crispy and slightly browned.
9. Transfer crackers to a rack to cool. Store in a glass jar. These also freeze well.