Baked Sourdough Tortilla Corn Chips Recipe (Discard or Fresh Starter)
Are you ready to add one more awesome homemade sourdough recipe to your repertoire? Good. Because these crispy, flaky sourdough corn chips are fit to be a repeat guest at your table! They’re incredibly easy to make, with a flexible recipe to accomodate your schedule. As with all fermented sourdough goodies, homemade sourdough corn chips are a healthier alternative to processed store-bought snacks. Made with either fresh (active) or discarded sourdough starter, this is also a great way to use up extra starter.
Imagine if tortilla chips, pita chips, and crackers got together to make a delicious crunchy baby. This baked sourdough corn chips recipe is exactly that!
If you’ve made our infamous herbed whole wheat sourdough crackers before, this is going to feel extra easy and familiar! The process of making baked sourdough corn chips is essentially the same, but with even fewer steps and ingredients. As much as I love those crackers, the approaching summer season had me craving something a little different. Sourdough corn chips are the perfect dipping companion for salsa, guacamole, bean dip, hummus, or even alongside a dinner of soup, lentils, or chili!
You will need an established sourdough starter to make baked sourdough corn chips. If you don’t have a starter yet, don’t fret! Check out this article to learn how to make your own starter from scratch at home. Or, for even less fuss, pick up an organic sourdough starter from our shop. Once you have an established starter, you can enjoy baking rustic sourdough bread, focaccia, pizza crust, crackers, and more!
- 1 cup cornmeal OR masa corn flour (traditionally used for making tortillas). If using cornmeal, I suggest using a fine to medium grind for best binding. We like to use this organic medium-coarse cornmeal, which gives the chips a nice bit of grit. Masa flour is made with corn that has been soaked in limewater, so it provides more of a classic tortilla flavor.
- 1 cup sourdough starter. For this recipe, you can use sourdough starter discard or fresh active (recently fed) starter. We prefer to use active starter, mostly because our starter often sits in the fridge for up to two weeks before being discarded and fed again. In that state, it is very acidic and sour. A hungry, unfed starter will result in a more tangy chip flavor. Using starter at peak activity (as you would in a bread recipe) will result in a more light and flaky chip.
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) of coconut oil, olive oil, or butter (softened)
- Olive oil, for brushing
- Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling on top
- Optional: garlic powder, onion powder, lemon powder, or other seasonings of choice. Finely grated cheese is always welcome at this fiesta too!
This recipe makes 2 full baking sheets or approximately 6 to 7 dozen sourdough tortilla corn chips (depending on the size and shape you cut them). The full recipe is perfect for a family, party, gathering, or a few days of snacking. With just the two of us here, we sometimes make a half-batch only. They’re so addicting, we’d devour them all in a day or two otherwise! They do stay crunchy for several days with proper storage.
1) Mix dough
In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients listed above: 1 cup cornmeal or masa flour, 1 cup sourdough starter, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 cup oil or butter of choice. If you opt to use coconut oil or butter, lightly heat it as needed to make it soft and easy to work with.
Baked sourdough corn chips are awesome as-is, but feel free to spice them up if you’d like. Sometimes we add a sprinkle (about 1/4 tsp) of homegrown garlic powder or onion powder, or even a little dash of lemon and chili powder for a fun twist! Everything-but-the-bagel seasoning and/or a handful of grated cheese is also amazing. Soon, I want to experiment with adding a handful of flax seeds to the mix. You can add extra seasonings early with the dough, or lightly sprinkled over the top later – once the raw chips are rolled out.
Thoroughly mix the dough until it is uniform. I usually start mixing with a fork or spoon, but then finish mixing with my hands. The oil or butter prevents it from being too sticky. The texture should be similar to cookie dough, but more rough from the cornmeal.
2) Split, Squish & Chill
Divide the large dough ball into two smaller balls that are roughly the same size. (That is, if you made a full batch; form just one ball for a half-batch.) Using your hands, form each ball into a flattened rectangle. We have been vegetarian for a loooong time, but this step definitely reminds me of forming hamburger patties, if that helps… Mine generally end up a little larger than my flattened hand, and about half an inch thick. Repeat for the second ball.
Wrap each rectangle of dough in parchment paper, plastic wrap, or better yet, reusable beeswax wraps! The purpose is to prevent the dough from drying out. We set each one on a small plate, though you could put them together on one larger plate – or skip the plate all together and stick them right in the fridge.
Finally, refrigerate your flattened dough for at least 30 minutes, up to several hours. This is where the recipe is nice and flexible for your schedule! The main benefit of an extended time in the fridge is added time for the sourdough starter to ferment the cornmeal, which will make it slightly healthier and easy to digest. We typically let it sit for at least an hour.
3) Roll Out
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Once they’ve had time to chill, remove the sourdough corn chip dough from the fridge. Cut a piece of parchment paper to the size of the baking sheet, or use a handy silicone baking sheet liner. Lightly dust the parchment paper/liner with a small amount of cornmeal. Carefully unwrap one chunk of flattened dough, place it in the center of the parchment paper, and then lightly dust the top of the dough with cornmeal as well. I like to do this on a large cutting board, which makes it very easy to transfer the cut raw chips onto the baking sheets.
Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it is nice and thin. The goal is about 1/16th of an inch thick or less. The edges may get a little ragged; that’s okay. Just work it back and forth and side to side to spread the dough as evenly as possible, while still maintaining a relatively rectangular shape. The thinner you roll them, the more crisp your sourdough corn chips will be!
4) Oil, Salt & Cut
Once the dough is rolled out, lightly brush the surface with a thin even coating of olive oil. Make sure to get the edges! Then sprinkle some coarse sea salt over it as well. Here is where you could opt to add a little extra seasonings of choice, if you didn’t already when mixing the dough. Or, keep them simply salted!
Next, cut the dough into rows of either squares, strips, or triangle chips. The use of a rolling pizza cutter works very well for this. Anything in the ballpark of 1 to 2 inches is good. Squares are definitely the easiest to cut, but triangles are fun too! We are making sourdough corn chips after all. You can also use a pastry/pasta cutter to cut them and create fun wavy edges.
Repeat Steps 3 and 4 for the second piece of dough.
Slide the parchment paper with the cut chips onto a baking sheet. Each batch will need its own sheet. We bake two trays at one time, but if you only have one baking sheet to work with, have them take turns.
Bake on 350°F for approximately 25 minutes*, until the chips turn lightly golden brown and crisp. Rotate and switch the cookie sheets halfway through baking. It is common for the outermost edges to get “done” more quickly than the inner chips. Personally, I find it worthwhile to ever-so-slightly overcook the ragged edges in order to get the ideal crunch in the rest of the batch. The more crisp your baked sourdough corn chips are out of the oven, the longer the crunch lasts in storage.
When they are done baking, immediately transfer your finished sourdough corn chips off of the baking sheet (and parchment paper) and on to a cooling rack.
*Note: Baking times will slightly vary by individual oven, how thin you roll out your chips, and also depending on if you bake one or two trays at a time.
The moment we’ve all been waiting for! You’ve probably already sampled a few by now… I always snack on those irregular outer pieces right away. They’re too irresistible, and “not pretty” enough to make it to the plate anyways, right?! Right. Of course.
Now, dig in! These sourdough corn chips are best freshly-baked. Enjoy them any way you’d like – with your favorite dips, or plain on their own. Your friends and family are going to be SO impressed that you made homemade chips!
After they are fully cool, store the chips in an air-tight container to maintain maximum freshness and crunch. We like to use a glass food storage container with snap-on sealing lid. They may get a tad stale after 4 or 5 days in storage, but ours don’t usually last that long anyway!
Ta da! You just made homemade baked sourdough tortilla corn chips.
In all, I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do! Feel free to ask questions in the comments below, or share this recipe with your friends! We’d love to hear how you like them, so please pop back by for a review. Happy baking!
Don’t miss these related recipes:
- Simple No-Knead Sourdough Bread Recipe
- Herb Sourdough Discard Crackers Recipe
- Cast Iron Whole Wheat & Herb Sourdough Pizza Crust
- Simple Sourdough Focaccia Bread Recipe
- Sourdough Cornbread Recipe (w/ vegan options)
Baked Sourdough Tortilla Corn Chips Recipe
- Rolling pin
- Pizza Cutter or Pastry Wheel
- Mixing bowl
- Parchment Paper
- Basting Brush
- 1 Cup Cornmeal, fine to medium grind (OR 1 cup masa corn tortilla flour)
- 1 Cup Sourdough starter (discard, or at peak activity – see recipe notes below).
- 1/4 Cup Coconut oil, olive oil, or butter (softened)
- 1/2 Tsp Sea salt
- Olive oil for brushing
- 1/4 tsp Optional: garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, lemon powder, or other seasonings of choice.
- In a mixing bowl, thoroughly combine the sourdough starter, cornmeal or masa, salt, and oil/butter.
- Divide the large dough ball into two equal sized balls.
- Next shape and squish each dough ball into a patty like rectangular shape until the dough thickness is about a half inch.
- Place the rectangular dough patties on their own plates and cover with plastic wrap, parchment paper, or beeswax wrap. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to several hours hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the patties of dough each on their own piece cornmeal-dusted parchment paper, dust the top of the dough with cornmeal, and roll out with a rolling pin until dough is nice and thin, about 1/16th of an inch thick. The thinner they are, the more crisp they'll be!
- Lightly brush the dough with extra virgin olive oil, and lightly sprinkle salt over the top.
- Cut the dough using a pizza wheel into 1 to 2 inch squares, strips or triangles.
- Transfer the parchment paper of raw chips on to a baking sheet and place in the oven for approximately 25 minutes* (see recipe notes below) until the chips are lightly golden brown and crisp.
- Rotate the baking sheets halfway through to help the chips bake evenly.
- Once finished baking, quickly remove the chips to a cooling rack.
- Once cool, enjoy the chips immediately or store them in an airtight container to enjoy later.
- For this recipe, you can use sourdough starter discard or fresh active (recently fed) starter. We prefer to use active starter, mostly because our starter often sits in the fridge for up to two weeks before being discarded and fed again. In that state, it is very acidic and sour. A hungry, unfed starter will result in a more tangy chip flavor. Using starter at peak activity (as you would in a bread recipe) will result in a more light and flaky chip.
- Baking times will slightly vary by individual oven, how thin you roll out your chips, and also depending on if you bake one or two trays at a time.
Cathleen J Barry
Can you freeze the chips for longer storage?
Absolutely, although we have yet to freeze them so can’t say for sure if the texture changes any after being frozen and defrosted. Let us know how it works out for you and thanks for reading!
Cathleen J Barry
Thanks! I’ll report back in a few weeks 🙂 the fresh batch we made are amazing!
What a delight to find this recipe! Easy and delicious! Looking forward to making more and experimenting with different spices and flavours! Thanks Deanna!
Can gluten free sourdough starter be used for this recipe?
Hi Jennifer – we haven’t tried it, but feel free to do so and report back! The one thing I found with our gluten free starter cracker recipe compared to the wheat crackers was that they were more crumbly, a little more difficult to roll out and needed a splash of water added to the dough to get the right “cookie dough” type texture. I imagine the same would apply here.
Did the GF experiment with my brown rice starter and used a little water to get everything to come together. I didn’t measure the water and wouldn’t expect someone else to use the exact same measurements as me anyway because all starters are different! They were really yummy and delicious!
Always looking for new recipes to use sourdough discard. I make crackers all the time so this was a fine change up. I only had enough discard for half a batch. Too bad because they were eaten up quick with a quick cucumber salsa from the goodness of the garden. The only thing that I wished for was weights not volume. Since starting my sourdough journey last year, I hardly ever use recipes that use volume measure – has more universal appeal. Grams for the win! Back to the tortilla chips, super delicious, easy-peasy – great plain with a sprinkle of salt or jazzed up with a flavorful dusting of chili powder or garlic salt. Thanks, Deana (+ Aaron;)
Deanna spells this out so well, these were so easy to make and omg they taste so good. I used olive oil this time but will be experimenting. Woohoo!! Thank you!
Came out perfect! I will definitely be making these again!
What do you think about using the flour for corn tortillas instead of cornmeal?
Absolutely! I actually meant to mention that as an option but forgot to! Thanks for the reminder, I will make an edit. We simply already have organic cornmeal here at home since we also use it in our sourdough corn bread recipe – and you know, hard times getting other good right now!
Hi Jennifer & Deannacat! ! I also wanted to know whether this would work with the GF starter. Please post back hete if you try it!