Sunday, March 3, 2013

Recipe: Simple Sourdough Crackers (including a blue cheese sourdough cracker recipe)

Once you have a sourdough starter, it's very easy to have too much sourdough starter.  It is for that reason that I hunted high and low for a simple, affordable, and healthy sourdough cracker recipe.

If you don't have a sourdough starter already, you could get some from a friend, or start your own.  I keep a rye starter going in my kitchen but you can use whatever type you like.

To me, these crackers have a distinctly sour taste, which is quite pleasant  but rather different than anything you would buy in a store.

The basic cracker recipe is Vegan Friendly when made with olive oil, however the blue cheese version of this cracker is not.  If you are cooking for your vegan friend you need to leave off the butter (both steps) and reach for the olive oil instead.

Not necessary, but it really does go great with wine.

Simple Soudough Crackers

1/2 cup sourdough starter or sponge
about 1/2 cup flour plus more for dusting
2Tbs olive oil (for the vegan version) or better still melted butter (not-vegan)
pinch salt
more olive oil or butter for brushing
a bit more salt for sprinkling on top

Please note if you keep an excessively stiff starter like I do (I'm talking can stand a spoon in it one evening and it will still be exactly where you left it the next morning - kind of stiff), you may need to add 1/8th cup water to the mix.

You can start with the sourdough starter at room temp (best) or even at fridge temp (takes longer to 'age')

  • Combine starter, (optional water, see note above), salt, flour and oil (or butter), to make a very stiff dough.  Kneed till smooth and elastic.
  • Cover and set aside at least 1/2 an hour at room temp, although the longer the better.  I usually leave it for 2 hours at room temp before moving on to the next step.  Although over night in the fridge will also work.  I've had times when I was interrupted half way through making these, banged the remaining dough in the fridge for 3 days, then made the crackers - the result was a bit more sour than usual, but still quite yummy.
    • This ageing the dough is an important step for melding the sourdough flavour and it also helps to break down elements in the wheat that can be hard to digest.
  • Roll out the dough very thin on a lightly floured surface.  The thinner the more crisp the crackers will be.  Use cookie cutters or a sharp knife to cut the dough into desired shapes.  In my case I like long strips, about 1/2 an inch wide.  Be creative but not fussy.  Rustic is the name of the game.
  • Place on a baking tray and brush the oil or butter on top.  Sprinkle VERY lightly with salt.
  • In the oven at 350F for about 10 min.  But keep an eye on them, they could be ready in as little as 5 min if you made small thin crackers, and as long as 20 min if you made thick, large crackers.
  • When done, take off the rack and cool before eating.

Sourdough Cracker Verriations on the Basic Recipe

Blue cheese

about 2 Tbs blue cheese crumbled and at room temperature

  • When you get to the part where you roll out the dough, roll it out fairly thin.  Sprinkle the crumbled blue cheese on one half of the dough, and fold over the dough to make something like a sandwich - dough, blue cheese, more dough.
  • Roll out the dough again until it's very thin.  Then cut into shapes, place it on the cooking tray, brush with melted butter.  Sprinkling salt is option as the cheese is quite salty.  Cook as above

cheese sprinkled on half the dough

fold the dough over
(sorry, I know the photo din't come out all that great, but you get the idea)

rolled out thin again
with the cheese sandwiched between two layers of dough

Other variations I've tried include herbs like rosemary and thyme, and toasted sesame seeds.

Although easily enjoyed on their own, these plane crackers go great with hummus.  Very impressive when served at a dinner party.  Will keep for about 4 days in an air tight container at room temp.

Affordable cooking? Oh yah!  This makes several dozen crackers for next to no cost.  I'm actually not sure how to price it out.  I normally make this as a way to use up too much sourdough starter or sponge that would otherwise go in the compost.  1/2 cup of flour, plus some more for dusting - well, I'm guessing it costs between 1 to 25 cents depending on the flour you use.  Another few pennies for salt and melted butter.  And as for the cheese, I only add that if I have a bit of blue cheese that got pushed to the back of the fridge and is far too pungent to eat on it's own.

So, I'm going to guess an average of 15 cents for the ingredients, another 50 cents to $1 for the oven.  So, about 75 cents and as high as $1.50 for about 6 to 10 dozen crackers.

These are Bento Friendly, just don't pack them next to wet food or they will go soggy.

Allergy friendly?  Mostly.  Beware of yeast and flour sensitivities; also dairy if you choose to use butter and/or cheese.

Healthy?  I think so.  Not only does the sourdough help to render the wheat more digestible and make more nourishment available to your body, you can also control the amount of salt you use.  The recipe is easily adjustable to suit your health needs.  You can even grind your own flour (if using coarse flour, let the dough rest longer before rolling it out) or include sprouted grains.

Earth Friendly: When compared to commercial made crackers that are made with dubious ingredients and shipped long distances, this is an earth friendly food.  Of course, you could go all out and grow your own grain, grind your own flour, &c.

I like to make half plane and half blue cheese and cut them different shapes so I can quickly tell which is which.


  1. These were fantastic and easy to make. I messed up and didn't age the dough the first batch and went ahead and cooked them. They turned out fine. Tender and just a slight tang to them. Great way to use up that excess starter.

  2. How long would these keep? I'd like to take some on a trip. ThsnTh