Thin, crispy and tangy crackers flavoured with Mediterranean herbs and sesame seeds. Quick and easy to make in 10 minutes (plus 50 minutes cooking time). Ideal to serve with spreads and soft cheese for a healthy snack or to serve as party appetizers.
Earlier on in the lockdown I decided to make a sourdough starter. It was a trial and error process of daily feeds over three weeks, with a lot of frustrating moments and little results. Eventually Rado (my starter) became hungry and active. The trick for me was using rye flour for feeding (instead of white or wholemeal bread flours) and I’ve been sticking to it ever since. Nowadays I don’t need to feed my starter every day. I keep my starter in the fridge and every 5-6 days I take it to feed. I feed it twice in one day (morning and evening) and the next morning I start the preparation of a new loaf of bread.
My sourdough bread making routine
I like to make the Bread Ahead Sourdough, using a recipe from their cookbook. A few years ago, I attended the Bread Ahead Bakery School masterclass in sourdough and I trust their methods and tips. I know their recipes area great, although sadly I forgot most of what I learnt during the half day course.
If you are at the start of your sourdough journey, choose a sourdough recipe from your favourite bakery and stick with it. Make it over and over again until you master it. Once you know all the steps by heart, you will be able apply that knowledge to other recipes.
Every time I feed my starter, I collect the discard into a glass jar (or plastic airtight container) and pop it back in the fridge. You can keep adding more discard over the next few days. Discarded starter will stay good for 7-10 days.
I obviously don’t enjoy throwing away food and so I try to use up all my sourdough discard every week. So far I have used unfed starter in waffles (recipe from The Scandi Cook) and chocolate chip cookies (recipe by The Boy Who Bakes). If you want to bake something sweet, try Izy Hossack recipes for banana bread and vegan brownies. Use your sourdough discard to add a slight tang make pancakes or scones.
You can add discard to pizza dough or focaccia. In these recipes, the yeast (fresh or dried) is the leavening agent, while the sourdough discard adds flavours: a slight tang and richness. You could also make Indian dosa, simply mixing the sourdough discard with chapati flour and water. There are so many different recipes your can use your ripe starter in!
A starving sourdough discard (kept in the fridge for more than two days) is basically just flour and water mixed together. You can use it up in any standard baked goods; simply substitute an equal weight of flour and liquid with the discard.
Sourdough Crackers with sesame and herbs
A few days ago, I decided to use up my jar of sourdough discard to make crackers with herbs and sesame seeds. Making crackers with extra sourdough starter is incredible simple and easy. All you need is the discard, butter, salt and herbs (plus more flour if you want, though it’s not essential).
These crackers have a strong sour and tangy flavour as they are made entirely of sourdough discard, without any additional flour. I recommend eating them with a savoury spread, a tapenade for example, or cheese, like cream cheese, ricotta or labneh.
I added a blend of dried Italian herbs (oregano, rosemary, and thyme) to the dough and sprinkled sesame seeds on top of the crackers. You can use any dried herb or spice you like and even add some grated cheese, taking inspiration from this Grana Padano and Paprika Savoury Biscuit recipe.
As you can see, the crackers are very thin and crunchy. They are funky and addictive snack!
- 300g discarded sourdough starter
- 45g unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2 heaped tbsp sesame seeds
Preheat the oven to 150°C fan and line an oven tray with baking paper.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Set aside to cool down.
In a medium bowl, combine the sourdough discard, dried herbs and salt. Add the melted butter and mix thoroughly until well combined.
Spread the dough in a thin, even layer onto the baking paper. Sprinkle the top with sesame seeds, roughly two spoonfuls, but use as many as you like.
Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from oven to lightly score the dough in straight lines using a sharp knife. Put the tray back in the over and bake for an additional 40 minutes (checking the crackers after 30 minutes and every few minutes after). Remove when the crackers are golden brown.
Let the crackers cool down completely on the tray before you gently break them alongside the lines. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 7 days.
Recipe adapted from Little Spoon Farm.