In the world of sourdough baking, there's a hidden gem that often gets overlooked – the sourdough discard. A great way to use it up is currently making these crunchy, flavorful, and utterly addictive sourdough discard cheese crackers. With just a few simple ingredients and a dash of creativity, you'll transform the discard into a convenient snack that everyone I know loves (even my 3-year-old!). Plus they'll take you literally 3 minutes to prepare, and the oven will do the rest!
Sourdough discard crackers are currently my favorite way to use up discard and sometimes I'll make sure I have some sourdough starter discard on hand just for the purpose of making these sourdough cheese crackers!
And if you are a fellow sourdough baker, you are probably always looking for new ways of using up sourdough discard.
If you want your place to smell nice when guests arrive, these are also very practical to quickly whip up. And of course, they're a great snack to put on the table or add to your charcuterie board.
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For these delicious crackers, you only need 3 ingredients to achieve incredible flavor, and the variations are limitless. I've added everything from different seeds and fresh herbs to various types of cheese.
A fantastic addition to almost any variation is nutritional yeast and everything but bagel seasoning sprinkled over the top. I'll provide you with the original recipe in this post, but feel free to add different spices of your choice!
- sourdough starter (discard)
- olive oil
- parmesan cheese
See recipe card for quantities.
How To Make Sourdough Cheese Crackers
In a small bowl (you don't need a large one), combine the starter, olive oil, and salt. You'll want quite a runny batter with this recipe since the crackers will be crunchier if you manage to make them very thin!
Pour the mixture on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. You've probably heard of these Amazon silicone baking mats and if not, you should try some! They work even better, making sure the sourdough crackers don't stick.
Try to spread it very thin, as this is what will make the crackers crispy. The easiest way to do that is with a silicone spatula.
Put the tray in the preheated oven for 8 minutes at 345°F (approx. 175°C). After 8 minutes, take it out and cut the crackers with a pizza cutter or a sharp knife. This will make separating them easier after they are fully baked. I usually do equal pieces of small squares.
Bake the crackers for an additional 20 minutes at 345°F (approx. 175°C). You can even go a minute or two longer if you want a crispier, golden brown result. Break them apart carefully after baking.
Hint: Out of all sourdough discard recipes, these crackers are one of the easiest things you can do. A good way to incorporate them into your sourdough routine is to just make them whenever you have some excess starter discard. The quantity of discard does not matter; you can make 3 trays or just half a tray. And they barely require any thought process: just mix your discard with other ingredients (you'll soon be able to just eyeball them) and watch the clock for a good half an hour. They really are just effortless to make, and amazing to have on hand!
- Nutritional yeast - Instead of parmesan cheese, you can use nutritional yeast to make this sourdough cracker recipe vegan.
- Butter - If you don't have olive oil on hand, you can substitute it with melted butter for a similar effect.
- Salt - you can play around with different types of salt. Use kosher salt, pink Himalayan salt, whichever you prefer. I especially like to sprinkle a bit of flakey sea salt on top of the crackers.
Variations & Add-ins
The options are endless here, first with what you put into the batter and then what you put on top of the crackers.
- Spicy - Add chili pepper flakes on top of the crackers for a spicy twist
- Italian - Sprinkle a little bit of Italian seasoning on top
- Pizza style - add fresh or dried oregano on top and serve with a tomato-based dip
- Rustic crackers - don't pause the baking to cut them, but bake them until ready to eat, and then just break them apart with your hands for a rustic look
- Everything but bagel crackers - everything but bagel seasoning looks really good on these crackers
Tools You'll Need
You don't need anything special for this recipe. A pizza cutter is really nice to have, but I actually don't have my own and usually cut these with a sharp knife.
You don't need a rolling pin, a food processor, a pizza wheel, or a pastry wheel for this recipe. The best things are always the simplest, right?
How to Store Sourdough Cheese Crackers
Let the crackers cool completely and store them in an airtight container at room temperature for one week at most (you'll see they won't last that long anyway).
💭Crucial Success Tips
If you like the look of store-bought crackers, use a fork to make little dents in the crackers when you cut mid-baking. If it's your first time making them homemade, this is a useful thing to do if someone in your family is very attached to the store-bought crackers and reluctant to make the switch.
Of course! Powdered herbs and spices are very useful when you don't have the real thing on hand. I used garlic powder and cheese powder in this recipe and they work great. The best thing about this recipe is its versatility!
No, I don't recommend using an active starter. We're going for a thin, crispy cracker here. Using an active starter will make the crackers a bit airy and chewy rather than thin and crispy.
Sourdough discard offers all the health benefits of wild yeast and bacteria that ferment the flour as sourdough bread does. The fermentation increases the bioavailability of many nutrients found in flour so I would argue that yes, eating sourdough discard is healthy!
Technically, you can use sourdough discard as long as it's not showing signs of mold or other harmful infestations. But using a discard that has been sitting on the counter will result in rather sour crackers. My advice is to use rather "fresh" discard. What I mean by that you stored it in the fridge for up to a week or on the counter for up to 2 days.
Yes, sourdough starter spoils over time. The more mature the starter, the longer it will last. But since discarded starter is unfed, the populations of beneficial yeasts and bacteria eat up all their food eventually. When their population begins to shrink, the competing bacteria and yeast are more and more likely to take over, and most of them are bad (think mold). When that happens, the discard is no longer safe to use.
It is not advisable to use the discard until your starter is established, which can range from one week to several weeks. It is usually recommended to wait at least 14 days until you start to use your discard. Until then, the four and water that is sitting at room temperature (which is essentially what the starter still in the making is) is prone to infestations of different microbes that are not all safe to eat, even after thermal treatment.
More Sourdough Discard Recipes
Looking for other sourdough discard recipes? Try these:
- 1 cup (240 g) sourdough discard
- 2 tablespoons (30 g) olive oil
- 2 tablespoons (10 g) parmesan cheese
- 1 (6 g) teaspoon salt
- Optional: some salt, parmesan cheese or other toppings for garnish
- In a small bowl (you don't need a large one), combine the starter, olive oil, and salt. You'll want quite a runny batter with this recipe since the crackers will be crunchier if you manage to make them very thin!
- Pour the mixture on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Try to spread it very thin, as this is what will make the crackers crispy. The easiest way to do that is with a silicone spatula.
- Put the tray in the preheated oven for 8 minutes at 345°F (approx. 175°C). After 8 minutes, take it out and cut the crackers with a pizza cutter or a sharp knife. This will make separating them easier after they are fully baked. I usually do equal pieces of small squares.
- Bake the crackers for an additional 20 minutes at 345°F (approx. 175°C). You can even go a minute or two longer if you want a crispier, golden brown result. Break them apart carefully after baking.
The quantity of discard does not matter; you can make 3 trays or just half a tray.
If you like the look of store-bought crackers, use a fork to make little dents in the crackers when you cut mid-baking.
Let the crackers cool completely and store them in an airtight container at room temperature for at least one week (you'll see they won't last that long anyway).
Nutrition Information:Yield: 5 Serving Size: 10 crackers
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 99Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 324mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 3g