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Jun 20, 2015

Sourdough Crackers | The Leftover Sourdough Starter Dilemma

Sourdough Crackers | The Leftover Sourdough Starter Dilemma from Karen's Kitchen Stories

These sourdough crackers are made with unfed sourdough starter. They have the tang of sourdough bread, and are a great way to use up the starter that you would normally throw away when feeding your levain.

Sourdough Crackers | The Leftover Sourdough Starter Dilemma from Karen's Kitchen Stories

If you are a bread geek like I am, you know what I'm talking about. If you are not, here's a brief explanation:
  • Sourdough starter, or levain, is basically flour and water that has been allowed to ferment and take the place of yeast in bread. 
  • It requires feedings on a regular basis in order to remain active.
  • If you feed it on a regular basis, you will end up having a starter the size of the "blob" unless you bake bread on a daily basis.
Sourdough Crackers | The Leftover Sourdough Starter Dilemma from Karen's Kitchen Stories

I have pretty much figured out how to minimize the amount of starter I have to throw away, and I also have learned that I can neglect my starter for months and bring it back to life (future posts for Bread 101). 

I know that you can make sourdough pancakes and waffles, but how many pancakes and waffles can two people eat? Thus, these crackers. At least they last a week, and can be given away (and they are delicious!).

Sourdough Crackers | The Leftover Sourdough Starter Dilemma from Karen's Kitchen Stories

These crackers are surprisingly easy to make. The biggest issue is that the edges of the rolled out dough burn before the middle crackers are done. I dealt with that by removing the baking sheet from the oven and removing the crackers on the outside and placing the sheet back into the oven.

I also placed the middle crackers on a rack on a baking sheet and placed them back in the turned off oven to ensure they are crisp.

Sourdough Crackers | The Leftover Sourdough Starter Dilemma from Karen's Kitchen Stories

I seasoned these crackers with King Arthur Flour's pizza seasoning, which consists of "salt, spices, herbs, onion, and garlic." I'm guessing there is Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper, along with the garlic and onion. I also think that herbes de Provence would be wonderful, as well as dried rosemary and thyme. It's up to you!

I'm never throwing starter away again!

Sourdough Cracker Recipe

Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour


113 grams whole wheat or white whole wheat flour (I used KAF white whole wheat)
1/2 tsp sea salt (I skipped this because I used the pizza seasoning, which already has salt)
248 grams unfed, or discarded, 100% hydration sourdough starter
57 grams room temperature unsalted butter
2 T dried herbs and spices of your choice (optional)
Olive oil, for spreading
Coarse sea or Kosher salt for topping


  1. Add all of the ingredients together (except the olive oil and salt topping) in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix until smooth.
  2. Divide the dough in half and pat each half into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Wrap each rectangle in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 3 hours. 
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 
  4. Lightly flour two 12 inch by 16 inch pieces of parchment paper. Place the pieces of dough on each piece of parchment and lightly flour the top of the dough.
  5. Roll each piece of dough with a rolling pin out to a 1/16 inch thick rectangle. The edges will be ragged. That's okay. 
  6. Transfer the parchment to a baking sheet. 
  7. Place a small amount of olive oil on top of the dough and spread it with your hand. Sprinkle the dough with the sea or Kosher salt. 
  8. With a pizza wheel, cut the dough into 1 1/4 inch squares. 
  9. Bake the crackers, one sheet at a time, for 20 minutes. Check the crackers at about 15 minutes, to remove any pieces that are browned. 
  10. Cool the crackers on a wire rack. 
  11. To crisp up the middle crackers, place them on a wire rack on top of a baking sheet and place them back into the turned off oven for 10 minutes. 
  12. Store in an air tight container for up to one week. 

Would you like to comment?

  1. These look wonderful! I have been looking for new sourdough discard recipes, I'll add this to the list!

  2. I get it :-) I feel like a very bad sourdough mom when I have to toss some out.
    These look wonderful!

  3. I'm not much of a bread baker and I don't have any sourdough starter, but I love reading about how you work in the "bread trenches." If I ever get starter, I know just who to come to for ideas too.

  4. I have this dilemma all the time! Thank you!!

  5. please tell me the ingredients in not metric --I'm American and dumb about metric this crackers look good and will help me use up my starter. flour is hard to find these days, so don't want to waste

    1. They are metric and I'm American =). All you need is a scale. King Arthur flour has a conversion chart that you can use, but measuring flour and starter by volume can be pretty inaccurate.

  6. can you use levain that has been in the refrigerator?


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