Since I’ve been keeping my sourdough starter on my counter lately, I’ve had more discard to use, and I must say that one of my favorite recipes is King Arthur’s Sourdough cracker recipe. We love these crackers, and I daresay that my dear husband is addicted to them. I make these crackers exactly as the recipe describes, but I have a few tips that will perhaps make your sourdough cracker adventure more successful.
For one, I would recommend dividing the dough into three pieces, as opposed to two pieces.
Why? Because then it’s easier to roll the dough out very thin, which makes for a better cracker experience… thinner, crispier…
It’s also nice to have three pieces of dough so you can make a variety of crackers with just one batch. Some with just salt sprinkled on top, and then maybe some with sesame seeds, and my latest favorite, sesame seeds and fennel.
As long as we’re talking about making different kinds of crackers, there’s an easy way to do that as well. You have your basic dough recipe (I always put Italian herbs in the dough), and then when you are about half way through rolling the dough out, add seeds and other other herbs, and then continue to roll out the dough. If you wait until the dough is completely rolled out, the add-ins won’t stick as well, and will pop off the crackers after they are baked.
Now, here’s a nit-picky detail, but for me it’s important. The crackers are great with salt sprinkled on top, but sometimes when I sprinkle the salt, I don’t do the greatest job of sprinkling evenly, so some crackers are too salty, while others are not salty enough. So here’s my solution. After you have done all of your rolling out, including add-ins, and have brushed the top of the cracker dough with olive oil, the next thing you will do is cut the cracker dough into squares using a pastry cutter or a pizza cutter. Then sprinkle the salt, putting a little bit in each square. This may sound too fussy, but I like each cracker to be as good as the last.
I would also recommend pulling the tray out of the oven and removing any crackers along the edges that have browned and are done.
Put those ones on a cooling rack, then separate the ones that are remaining and put the tray back into the oven to bake. As with most things in the oven, the outer edge bakes quicker, so if you want to have more evenly baked crackers, you need to do a little bit of cracker social distancing management.
Here are some nicely baked crackers!
Another tip? When you make the dough and wrap the pieces and place in the fridge, you can leave the dough in the fridge for a lot longer than two hours (recipe says for at least 30 minutes and up to two hours). I have left the dough in the fridge for as long as two days, and the crackers come out wonderfully. This, to me, is very helpful, because sometimes I like to make the dough when my jar of discard is overflowing, but I don’t really have time to make and bake the crackers that same day. And I suspect that the longer the dough rests in the fridge, the better the sourdough flavor.
(from the King Arthur recipe)
- 227 grams sourdough discard
- 113 grams King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 4 Tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 Tablespoons dried herbs of your choice (optional – we love using Italian herbs)
- Olive Oil (for brushing)
- Kosher salt (for sprinkling)
- Mix the discard, flour, salt, butter and herbs until you have a smooth, cohesive dough with all ingredients well distributed. Use your hand and knead the dough in the bowl to be sure everything is well combined.
- Divide dough into three equal portions. Make each one into a flat rectangle, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, and as long as 2 days.
- When ready to make the crackers, preheat the oven to 350° and take one dough packet out of the fridge. Lightly flour a piece of parchment paper, the dough, and your rolling pin.
- Roll out the dough on the floured parchment as evenly thin as you possibly can – to about 1/16 of an inch. If you are using add-ins, stop when you are about halfway done with the rolling out. Sprinkle on any seeds or herbs or anything else you’d like to add. Continue to roll until dough is nice and thin.
- Brush with olive oil. Cut crackers into squares any size you like, using a pastry cutter or a pizza cutter. Poke a few holes in each cracker with a fork. Sprinkle a bit of kosher salt on each square.
- Slide the parchment with the cracker dough onto a cookie sheet (a rimless cookie sheet makes this easy, but a regular cookie sheet will work as well. Place on the middle rack in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Keep and eye on the crackers, and when it looks like the edge crackers are browned (about halfway through the bake time), pull the cookie sheet out of the oven. Remove the browned edge crackers to a cooling rack, then separate the remaining crackers and spread them out on the cookie sheet. Put back in the oven and continue to bake until the rest of the crackers are browned to your liking. While the crackers are baking, you can be working on the next portion of dough.
- When crackers are browned, let them cool on the cooling rack. Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!