Like so many others I bake sourdough every week, and for a long time I used to get rid of my “discard” until I started to see wonderful recipes on line for using it up.
There are many versions of “discard crackers” around, but I absolutely love the recipe from Sneh of Cook Republic (see here). I have followed Sneh for a very long time, and like everyone who loves to cook I have adapted her recipe slightly, and this is what I would like to share with you.
I have printed this version out so many times to share with family and friends, it is time for it to be here too for anyone else who wishes to give it a try.
These crackers keep really well for up to a month in a sealed container in the pantry.
You can use any seeds you like on top of the crackers, but I always have sunflower seeds and pepitas on hand so they are my seeds of choice.
I love using Za’atar in the dough, and to keep with the middle eastern theme I also sprinkle Nigella seeds on top along with the other seeds.
My starter is always relatively thick like a pancake batter, but I am aware that some starters are quite thin. The amount of flour you use to make the dough will be determined by the consistency of your starter … if it is thin you will use a little more flour, but if it is pancake like then the 150g I suggest in the recipe will be fine.
In terms of flour I like using wholemeal as it gives the crackers a lovely nutty taste and gorgeous colour, and whilst I prefer using wholemeal spelt flour, you can use plain wholemeal flour if that is what you have.
I do hope you like this version … it is a favourite in my home and very hard to stop at just a little 🙂
- 250g sourdough discard
- 60g olive oil
- 2 tsp Za’atar
- 1 tsp sea salt flakes, or ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 1 tsp chilli flakes (optional but gives a lovely “heat”)
- ½ tsp freshly cracked pepper
- 150g wholemeal spelt or wholemeal plain flour (or a touch more if needed)
- Sea salt flakes
- Freshly cracked pepper
- Nigella seeds
- Mixture of pepitas and sunflower seeds, or other seeds of choice
- Place discard and olive oil in a bowl and mix together
- Add the seasonings and stir to combine
- Lastly add flour and stir together well, you want the dough to be quite stiff, so if you need to add a touch more flour (if your starter is quite fluid then you will need to do this) do so now
- Cover dough in the bowl and place into the fridge for an hour to hydrate properly and firm up
- When you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 150 degrees fan forced, and place two racks apart in the oven (I place the racks on level 2 and level 4)
- Have two large baking trays ready (no need to prepare them with baking paper as you will be rolling out the dough on baking paper and then placing that paper on the tray with the dough sitting on it)
- Take two pieces of baking paper, place one on your bench, and put the other aside for a minute (if you have a silicon mat, place the baking paper for the bench on it as it helps to hold the paper in place as you are rolling out your dough)
- Roughly divide the dough in the bowl into two
- Place a little olive oil in the palm of your hand (about ½ tsp) and rub palms together so they are coated in the oil, lift up one portion of dough and roll it around in your hands so that is gets a coating of oil on it (this helps to create a nice crisp crust, and stop the baking paper sticking)
- Place the dough onto the first sheet of baking paper on your bench, and shape it into a rough rectangle
- Cover it with the second piece of baking paper, and roll the dough out thinly to approximately 3 to 4mm (no need to be perfect, but the thinner it is, the crispier it will be, and the quicker it will cook)
- Gently peel back the top sheet from one side of the dough (so that you don’t tear the dough underneath) and sprinkle with salt, pepper and seeds of choice
- Cover the dough again with the baking paper and run the rolling pin over the top to press the seasoning and seeds into the dough
- Peel back the top piece of baking paper again and put aside to use with your next piece of dough
- Place the bottom piece of baking paper with rolled out dough onto a baking tray
- Run a pizza or pastry cutter randomly over the top of the dough to make the desired sized pieces (you can also just bake the dough as it is and break the cooked crackers into pieces if you prefer)
- Place trays in oven and bake for 20 minutes, turn trays around and continue for another 10 minutes (baking time will depend on how thin you rolled out the dough … feel around the edge of the dough and if it is firm it is done, but if it still feels a little soft then bake for a further 5 minutes or so ... I usually bake it for a total of 38 to 40 minutes in my oven)
- NB: Also depending on your oven, you may wish to swap the trays around from top to bottom when you rotate them … you know your oven best when baking two trays of crackers or biscuits at the one time so do this if you feel you need to for an even bake
- Whilst crackers are baking, place two cooling trays onto your bench top
- Remove trays from oven, and use the baking paper to lift each sheet from the baking tray and slide the cracker sheet onto one of the cooling trays
- Once cool break into desired pieces and store in an airtight container in the pantry for up to four weeks
In terms of flour I like using wholemeal as it gives the crackers a lovely nutty taste and gorgeous colour, and whilst I prefer using wholemeal spelt flour, you can use plain wholemeal flour if you prefer.