It doesn't get better than these crisp, tangy, savory sourdough crackers — and they're surprisingly easy to make. That's a very good thing, because once you try them, you'll want to make them again and again.
Why this recipe works
Let me just lay all my nerd cards on the table from the jump: Making a new sourdough starter is exciting. But in the first few days, using most methods, you end up with quite a bit of "discard" — starter that's not yet strong enough to leaven bread.
The good news is that sourdough discard tastes tangy and wonderful, and since it's just a flour and water, you can easily use it in recipes.
- Use a full cup of starter (you can use discard from a new batch or unfed mature starter)
- Taste so good that you'll want to make them all the time, seriously
- Are highly adaptable to different flours and flavor combinations
This recipe is adapted from King Arthur.
What you'll need
Here's a glance at the ingredients you'll need to make this recipe.
- Unfed sourdough starter, a.k.a. sourdough discard. If you're in the process of creating a new starter, this is the part that you remove each day before feeding the remainder. If you have a mature starter, scoop some out before you refresh the starter to make a recipe. (Though, full disclosure, this recipe works just fine with refreshed starter, too.) I've always maintained a 100% hydration starter (equal parts flour and water by weight). If yours is lower-hydration, you may need to add some water to the recipe.
- All-purpose flour. My starter uses some pretty hardcore stone-milled rye flour, so I use all-purpose flour as a complement in these crackers. If your starter is made with a milder flour, you can make a more robust choice. Anything from bread flour to a stone-milled whole-grain flour would work well. If you do this and the dough seems too dry, add a bit of water.
- Use a really good butter wherever possible. I use my favorite cultured, salted butter, which sounds fancy but is available at a reasonable price at the supermarket.
- The combination of truffle, pecorino, thyme, and pepper makes these savory crackers really shine. I sometimes swap in 2 tablespoons of minced fresh rosemary for the thyme. See the section below for alternative flavor suggestions.
How to make them
Here's what you'll do to make sourdough crackers. This is a very workable dough, and it's a lot easier than you may think. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.
- First you'll mix all the ingredients except the olive oil and flaky salt together in a large bowl. When the dough starts to come together, knead it just a bit inside the bowl until it loses its stickiness and becomes a smooth, cohesive ball.
- Divide the dough in half, shape each half into a rough rectangle, wrap in parchment or plastic, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to chill and let the gluten relax. You can refrigerate for up to 24 hours before proceeding.
- Roll out the dough to a thickness of between ⅛ and 1/16 inch on a piece of lightly floured parchment. Brush with olive oil and prick all over with a fork.
- Transfer the whole parchment sheet to a half-sheet pan. Cut the crackers into approximate 1 ¼-inch squares or rectangles, keeping in mind that they will shrink a bit while baking. Sprinkle with flaky salt and bake for 15 to 20 minutes in a 350° oven, turning the tray halfway through. The crackers are done when the edges get slightly brown.
More flavor combos
Truffle, thyme, pecorino, and pepper is our absolute favorite, but these crackers accommodate a wide variety of flavors. Try one of these if you like, in each case replacing the truffle salt in this recipe with an equal amount of fine sea salt.
- ¼ cup za'atar
- ¼ cup shredded cheddar, ¼ cup fresh minced chives, and ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne
- 2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning + ¼ cup grated parmesan
- ¼ cup minced Moroccan oil-cured olives + 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary (truffle salt would work well in this variation if you like)
Expert tips and FAQs
These crackers are very flexible, and you can use whatever starter you've got. (Note: I've never tried making them — or anything, for that matter — with a gluten-free starter.) As mentioned in the ingredients section above, you may want to play around with the flour if your starter isn't as robust as my rye one.
The crackers will turn out well with any combination of starter and flour, so don't stress. You can play around over time to find your favorites.
If your starter isn't 100% hydration, you will likely need to add a bit of water to this recipe. And if you're using a s
Sourdough crackers keep well for a week, though they rarely last that long in our house. Once completely cooled, place in an airtight container or bag and store at room temperature.
More sourdough resources
- 1 cup (225 grams) unfed sourdough starter
- 1 cup (120 grams) all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons (56 grams) butter
- ¼ cup (8 grams) picked fresh thyme leaves, minced
- ¼ cup (30 grams) grated pecorino
- ½ teaspoon truffle salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil, for brushing
- Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon), for sprinkling
- Into a large mixing bowl, place the starter, flour, butter, thyme, pecorino, truffle salt, and pepper.
- Mix well and then knead a bit into a smooth, cohesive dough.
- Divide dough in half and shape each half into a rough rectangle. Wrap in parchment or plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack in the center.
- Lightly flour a piece of parchment. Place one piece of the dough onto the parchment and lightly flour that, too.
- Roll out the dough to a thickness between ⅛- and 1/16 inch.
- Brush surface of dough with olive oil.
- Prick dough all over with a fork.
- Transfer the dough, still on parchment, to a baking sheet.
- Cut dough into rectangles or squares, about 1 ¼ inches per side.
- Sprinkle with flaky sea salt.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the edges start to brown, turning the pan halfway through. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Cool before serving.
- My sourdough starter is made with rye flour and is very hearty, so I use all-purpose flour in the crackers. If your starter is made with a milder flour, you can use a heartier flour in the crackers. They are very flexible, and anything from regular bread flour to stone-milled whole grain rye flour will work beautifully.
- Be generous with the fork pricks to ensure the crackers won't puff up while cooking.
- I like to use a pizza cutter to cut the crackers. They will shrink a bit while baking, so keep that in mind when deciding what size to make them.
- If you prefer, you can bake all the crackers at once, on two racks as close to the center as possible. Swap the position of the two trays halfway through baking, and rotate each pan as well.
- Once completely cool, crackers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a week.
- Please refer to the section in the post for alternative flavor suggestions.
This recipe is adapted from King Arthur.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 65Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 80mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 2g