Sourdough crackers

sourdough crackers

According to me, there are almost only advantages to baking sourdough bread.
Sourdough bread has a superior taste. Some claim it is also healthier than bread baked on commercial yeast.
The list of benefits is long.
But there’s one thing I don’t like.
And that is when you have to waste a part of the starter when feeding it.

So what’s the solution?
I know it’s necessary. Otherwise, your starter will grow into monstrous proportions, but it still feels bad.

But I also know that there are things I can do with my discarded starter if I wasn’t so lazy. Pancakes, waffles, muffins, and much more.
One thing that I have always wanted to try is sourdough crackers.
I don’t know why I’ve never tried it before.
I mean, you only have to read a few recipes to realize that it’s quite simple. You can easily make them as a side project to your ordinary baking session.

MIXING THE DOUGH

There is no kneading required. You don’t even have to stretch and fold the dough. You don’t have to think about temperature, proofing time or the risk of over-proofing or under-proofing the dough.
Sound good, doesn’t it.
It feels almost like cheating.
You just mix discarded starter with flour, butter, and salt. You can also add some dried herbs if you want. I used dried oregano, but feel free to use whatever you like and have available.
Form everything to a stiff dough with a rectangular shape.
If you prefer a tangier, sourdough taste, you can let the dough rest for a couple of hours. 7-8 hours is no problem.
If you’re in a hurry, you can continue to the next step immediately.

Wheat cracker dough

ROLL OUT THE DOUGH

Flour the working surface and the rolling pin. Some recipes suggest that you can roll out the dough directly on a piece of parchment paper. I missed that as you can see on the pictures. But it didn’t matter. The dough was quite simple to handle, and there were no difficulties in lifting it over to the parchment paper.
The rolled out dough should have a thickness of about 1/16″ (1.5 mm).
Brush with olive oil and cut the dough into squares with a pizza cutter or a sharp knife. Prick each square with a fork and sprinkle some sea salt on top.

Rolled out dough

 

dough with salt and oil

 

crackers cutted

 

TIME TO BAKE

These sourdough crackers should be baked on quite low heat, 350ºF / 175ºC.
They are ready after 20-25 minutes, or when the squares start to become brown around the edges.

I’m already addicted to these crackers. And that goes for the rest of the family as well. Two hours after I took them out of the oven, every little square was consumed.
The approach is almost the same as when I bake crispbread. But the taste is completely different. Wheat crackers remind me more of a snack.
I mean, imagine a big bowl of sourdough crackers together with some killer dips. The perfect start for any party.

 

Sourdough crackers

Print Recipe
Sourdough crackers
Sourdough crackers made of discarded sourdough starter. It always feels bad to waste food, but these crackers will solve your discarded starter dilemma. Besides, they taste so good you probably want to make them even if you don't have any discarded starter left.
Sourdough crackers
Servings
crackers
Ingredients
Servings
crackers
Ingredients
Sourdough crackers
Instructions
  1. Mix discarded starter with flour, butter, herbs, and salt. Form everything to a stiff dough with a rectangular shape. Let the dough rest for 5-8 hours if you want a more sour taste. Otherwise, continue to the next step.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF / 175ºC. Flour the working surface and the rolling pin. Roll out the dough to a thickness of about 1/16" (1.5 mm). Transfer the rolled out dough onto a parchment paper. Brush with olive oil and cut the dough into squares with a pizza cutter or a sharp knife. Prick each square with a fork and sprinkle some sea salt on top.
  3. Bake the crackers for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the squares start to become brown around the edges. Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack.
Recipe Notes
  1. The starter used in this recipe had a hydration of 100% (equal amount of water and flour by weight).
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Sourdough Focaccia with salt and rosemary

The good thing with Focaccia is that you can put almost anything on top of it. Olives, tomatoes, salami, you name it. It’s almost like a pizza. Some say that focaccia is the precursor to the pizza. I won’t argue with that.
It’s a bread dating all the way back to ancient Rome. So, please approach it with some respect. Something we should do with all great food by the way.
In this recipe, I will use a dough mixer, but don’t let that stop you if you don’t happen to have one. Remember that in ancient Rome, they had no dough mixer, but they still managed to bake focaccia. You can use the stretch and fold technique described here instead.

The dough for focaccia reminds much about pizza dough, with high-protein wheat flour and olive oil. Most recipes out there are based on yeast, and I won’t lie to you. It’s easier with yeast. But I don’t think they had yeast in ancient Rome, so therefore I want to bake with sourdough starter. Feel free to call me a geek if you want to. I won’t disagree. But I do think that sourdough starter beats yeast most of the time. Not always, but most of the time.

Biga

Everything starts with a Biga if you are dealing with Italien bread. A Biga is another word for a starter. It’s mixed with flour, water, and sourdough starter. After that, it’s left to ferment for some hours. I left mine to ferment overnight, about 9 hours at room temperature.

Biga
The Biga after 9 hours

You can exclude this step and mix everything directly, but I don’t recommend it. You will get better fermentation, consistency, and flavor with a starter dough, so it’s well worth the effort.
In the morning the day after I took all ingredients, except salt and olive oil, and kneaded in a dough mixer for 10 minutes on low speed.
I added the oil and salt and kneaded for an additional 4 minutes.
I urge you not to draw too much attention to kneading times that I specify here. Different mixers work with different efficiency, so you have to be a bit flexible. Always check the dough manually so that it’s sufficiently elastic. Use the windowpane test. If you don’t know what that is, you can check it out here.
I placed the dough in a well-oiled kitchen bowl and wrapped cling film over it.

Kneading

Dough
The required time for the bulk fermentation depends entirely on the surrounding temperature. I let the dough ferment at room temperature for one hour, and after that, I placed it in my basement that holds about 10-12 ºC. It took about 7 hours for it to double in size.
On the pictures, you can see how I pressed out the gasses from the dough and folded it. After that, I started to form it to a rectangle fitting into the stainless steel tray. I oiled the tray thoroughly with olive oil and placed the dough into it. I pressed the fingertips through the dough in some places and brushed more olive oil on the surface. Don’t skimp on oil. A real focaccia should feel a bit greasy when holding it.

Folding

Folding

Folded

All that remained was to sprinkle som flake salt and fresh rosemary over the dough, strap it with cling film and leave it for the final rise.
It will take at least 1,5 hour for the dough to double in size, but I recommend that you leave it some extra time if possible. 2-3 hours will give the crumb a fair chance to develop properly.

V

Ready


Focaccia doesn’t need a long time in the oven. 10-15 minutes should be enough. Remember that it’s not desirable to get a hard and very crispy crust. Just let it get a nice golden brown color.
As said earlier you can use all sorts of topping for Focaccia. I only used salt and rosemary because I intended to use it in another dish. Chicken burger with Foccacia and Mojo Rojo. I will soon publish the recipe. Because of that, I wanted it a bit neutral.
But don’t let that stop you. Unleash your creativity and tell us about the result.

About flour.

The hydration of this dough is about 68%. The flour I used has 11.5 % protein. You may have to increase the water amount to get the same result if you are using a much stronger flour.

Print Recipe
Sourdough Focaccia
A traditional Focaccia baked with a sourdough starter with just salt and rosemary on top.
Servings
bread
Ingredients
Biga
Focaccia dough
Topping
Servings
bread
Ingredients
Biga
Focaccia dough
Topping
Instructions
Biga
  1. Mix all ingredients. Be sure that all flour is hydrated. Wrap it with cling film or place it in any suitable container. Let it ferment for 9 hours in room temperature.
Focaccia
  1. Mix all ingredients except salt and oil. Knead the dough in a dough mixer or by hand until it's elastic. Make windowpane test. Add salt and oil at the end of the kneading process. If you knead by hand, add the oil from the beginning.
  2. Place the dough in a well oiled container an let it ferment until it has doubled in size.
  3. Lightly flour your work surface and dump out the dough. Press out the gasses. Fold the dough from each side into the middle.
  4. Form the doug to a size fitting to your baking tray. oil the tray and place the dough in it. Press your finger tips through the dough in some places and brush the surface with olive oil.
  5. Add preferd topping.
  6. Bak the Focaccia in 480ºF / 250ºC for 10 - 15 minutes or until it has a nice golden brown color.
  7. Let the Focaccia coll on a wire rack.
Recipe Notes

The hydration of this dough is about 68%. The flour I used has 11.5 % protein. You may have to increase the water amount to get the same result if you are using a much stronger flour.

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