Don't discard the good stuff — use your sourdough discard to make these quick and easy herb crackers
While staying home, Pay Chen learned how to turn her scraps into something delicious — here’s how you can, too
From learning how to bake with almost no flour, to finding a new way to style a bunch of tulips, spending more time at home has given many of us the opportunity to take on tiny challenges we would’ve otherwise put off. In each episode of Life These Days, lifestyle experts share something helpful that they have learned while living in isolation so that you can try your hand at it, too.
Like many people stuck at home alone, I decided I wanted a living companion. One that needed me but that wasn’t, you know, too needy. So… I hopped on the bandwagon and decided to grow my own sourdough starter. It required regular feedings (making me feel essential), but didn’t need to be let out, bathed or spoken to (making it rather high maintenance, actually).
As my starter started demanding more and more flour with each feed — and as I had trouble finding it at the grocery store — I looked for ways to use the “discard” that had been collecting in a large tub in the fridge. Social media and the internet told me to use my veggie scraps to make stock, taught me to regrow my vegetables from their ends, and now, have opened my eyes to the world of using sourdough discard in various recipes from waffles to pancakes to English muffins. I wanted a way to use up a large amount of discard, and a recipe that didn’t require resting, kneading or rolling out dough. Sourdough crackers were the answer. Experimenting with different dried herbs and whole wheat flour has made me a semi pro when it comes to making crackers. These are tasty on their own or as a partner to your favourite dips or cheese; you might never purchase crackers again. Check out the video below to see how it’s done, then scroll down for the recipe.
Easy 5-Ingredient Sourdough Discard Crackers
*Feel free to experiment with the dried herbs of your choice, like oregano, rosemary, or herbes de Provence. You can add a dash of smoked paprika for flavour and colour too.
- 1 cup sourdough discard
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour (white, whole wheat, or a combination)
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp za’atar or other dried herbs*
- Sea salt for sprinkling (optional)
Preheat oven to 325F degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, stir together the sourdough discard and the flour. Add the melted butter and stir to combine. Add the kosher salt and dried herbs and mix to incorporate. The mixture should look like a thick pancake batter.
Slowly pour the mixture into the centre of the silicone baking mat or parchment paper, and using a spatula, spread the batterpread outward toward the edges, as thinly as possible for the ultimate crisp cracker. Sprinkle the top with the reserved dried herbs and the sea salt.
Bake in the middle rack of the oven for 10 minutes.Then remove the baking sheet and score the crackers with a pizza cutter or butter knife, which will make them easier to separate them once they are done.
Return the baking sheet to the oven and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
Remove the sheet and check the crackers for doneness. The crackers should be crisp and lightly browned. Bake for another 5-10 minutes if needed. (If the outer, thinner edges brown too quickly, remove those and return the pan to the oven to continue baking.)
When done, remove from the oven and cool the crackers completely on the baking sheet before separating them. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.
Yield: Makes approximately 48 crackers
Pay Chen is a food and lifestyle expert on television, an occasional actress, and an avid eater who also writes about food and travel for numerous publications.