Recipes,  Sourdough

Herb Sourdough Crackers Recipe: How to Use Discarded Starter!

I’ll admit it. The process involved with maintaining a healthy sourdough starter and baking hobby can get a little wasteful. All that feeding and dumping, feeding and dumping… But it doesn’t have to be a waste! There are a number of ways you can put that discarded sourdough starter to good use.  Most often, we feed ours to the compost or chickens, but another great way to use discarded starter is in other baking recipes – like these delectable, crispy, savory sourdough crackers!


Come learn how to make healthy, whole wheat sourdough crackers with your discarded sourdough starter*. You won’t regret it! These are perfect for holidays, parties, or simply as a healthier cracker snack option for your family. We love to pack ours full of fresh herbs from the garden, but dried herbs can be used instead too. The beautiful thing is, you can use any combination of herbs that are available to you. Have fun making them your own!


Speaking of making them your own, I have to add a disclaimer here: this recipe is sort of based off the popular King Arthur version – but with our personal twists! For example, they call for butter. We opt to make these vegan and use coconut oil instead, which also provides for an extra crispy texture! We also love to use fresh herbs, and a variety of them, rather than dried. The flours used are also different. I hope you love our take on this classic!


*If you need help getting a sourdough starter culture going, check out our simple instructions to make your own – using only three ingredients!


An active bubbly sourdough starter in a flip top jar with the lid open. It is surrounded by cut herbs placed around the jar, the herbs are oregano, sage, thyme, and rosemary.


INGREDIENTS

  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup unbleached white wheat flour. We used our unbleached bread flour.
  • 1 cup unfed, active sourdough starter. Meaning, take the starter at the time you would usually discard it – several hours after feeding, not just-fed. We store our starter in the fridge during the week, and choose not to make this recipe with the very first cold discard. Instead we feed it, let it get active and happy, then use the discard from the next feeding session.
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) coconut oil
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped herbs, or 2 tablespoons dried. We most often use a combination of fresh rosemary, sage, oregano, and thyme from the garden – as shown below.
  • Olive oil, for brushing
  • Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling on top
  • Optional: garlic powder


DIRECTIONS


1) Mix dough


In a large mixing bowl, combine whole wheat flour, white flour, sourdough starter, fresh chopped or dried herbs, salt, and coconut oil. The coconut oil should be slightly softened and easy to work with. If it is hard, you may need to lightly heat it until it just barely starts to melt. If you have only one type of flour available, you can just use whole wheat or white on their own. We personally love the balance of both! Sometimes we like to add 1/8 tsp of our homemade garlic powder to this step too.

Thoroughly mix the dough until it is uniform. I usually start mixing with a fork or spoon, but then finish mixing with my hands. It should not be sticky, especially with the coconut oil.


A four way photo collage. The first picture shows two types of flour and the sourdough starter in a white mixing bowl. The second image is a stainless steel ¼ cup measuring cup hovering over the bowl, overflowing with chopped fresh green herbs, rosemary, oregano, thyme and sage. The third photo shows the additional ingredients added which consists of coconut oil, fresh chopped herbs, and salt. The final picture shows the dough once it has been thoroughly mixed and is in a nice ball, held in a hand over the bowl.



2) Split, Squish & Cool


Divide the large dough ball into two roughly equal smaller balls. 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 maybe about half an inch thick. Repeat for the second ball.

Place each squished dough rectangle on a plate, and cover/wrap with parchment paper. King Arthur calls for plastic wrap, but this is a slightly more sustainable option. The goal is to not allow the dough to dry out. I cut a piece just larger than the dough and tuck it in around the edges.

Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes, up to a couple hours. We tend towards the shorter timeframe – again, to prevent it from drying out.


A four way picture collage that shows hands forming the two dough balls into two small rectangles that are about a 1/2 inch in thickness. Once the rectangles are formed they are placed on their own plates and then wrapped in brown parchment paper to retain moisture while they are place in the refrigerator for the dough to harden.



3) Roll Out


Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Once they’ve had their time to chill, remove the cracker dough from the fridge. Cut a piece of parchment paper to about the size of a cookie sheet. Lightly dust the parchment paper with flour. Carefully unwrap one chunk of flattened dough, place it in the center of the floured parchment paper, and lightly flour the top of the dough. I like to do this on a large cutting board, which makes it easy to transfer onto a cookie sheet.

Using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough until it is nice and thin. The goal is about 1/16th of an inch thick. The edges will be a little ragged. That is okay. Just work it back and forth and side to side to get it spread as evenly as possible while still maintaining a relatively rectangular shape.


A three way picture collage that shows the dough being place on a freshly floured piece of parchment paper. The next shows hands with a rolling pin, spreading the dough until it is about 1/16th of an inch thick.



4) Oil, Slice, & Poke


Once the dough is rolled out, lightly brush the surface with olive oil. Don’t drench it! Just enough for a light coating. Then sprinkle some coarse salt over it as well.

Next, cut the dough into rows of square crackers. Anything from 1 to 2 inches is good! The use of a rolling pizza cutter works well for this. We love to use a pastry/pasta cutter to get fun wavy edges.

Finally, poke the top of each cracker with a fork a couple of times.

Repeat Steps 3 and 4 for the second piece of dough.


A four way picture collage showing the rolled out do being brushed with olive oil and  sprinkled with salt. Next is a close up of the sheet of dough, now cut 1 to 2 inch squares using a wavy edge pastry cutter and finally the individual squares are then poked with the tines of a fork, creating dots on the top of the crackers.



5) Bake


Slide the parchment paper with cut and poked cracker dough onto a baking sheet. Each batch will need its own cookie sheet. We bake two trays at one time, but if you only have one cookie sheet to work with, have them take turns.

Bake on 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes, until the crackers turn light golden brown. Rotate the cookie sheets halfway through.

When they are done baking, immediately transfer the finished sourdough crackers on to a cooling rack.


A side by side photo of the crackers ready to go into the oven. There are two cookie sheets shown from above, with the raw dough all cut and poked as previously described. The second image shows the crackers immediately after done baking, cooling down on a cooling rack. They are slightly more golden brown and fluffy now.
Sourdough crackers, before and after baking.


6) Enjoy!


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.  

After fully cooling, store your sourdough crackers in an air-tight container to maintain maximum freshness and crunch. Ours get a tad stale by day 5 or so, but they usually don’t hang around that long!

These herb sourdough crackers are damn good on their own, as a healthier alternative to most other types of crackers or chips. You can enjoy them with cheese and olives, or dunked in hummus and other dips. We had them with soup just last night. So good! Sourdough crackers are our new go-to for holiday and party platters. They are a huge hit, and people are always impressed to learn they’re homemade!


A three way photo collage of the finished crackers. One photo is a close up picture of 4 rows of crackers stacked neatly in a line, the 2nd photo shows a close up of a single cracker being held above the assemble plate. It has obvious specks of coarse salt, green flecks of herbs, a light brown color, and nice wavy edges. The final photo is of the crackers on an appetizer plate with carrots, cauliflower, humus, and cashew dip.
The finished product. The Hors d’oeuvre plate shown on the bottom right was from last Thanksgiving, served with hummus, garden carrots, cauliflower, and a cashew “queso” dip. I believe we made the crackers with 100% whole wheat that time!


Now get to baking, so you can see for yourself how tasty these are!


If you haven’t yet checked out our tried-and-true simple sourdough bread recipe, be sure to!

You may also love our cast iron whole wheat sourdough pizza crust recipe as well. It’s pretty drool-worthy.


I hope you love these sourdough crackers just as much as we do. Let me know if you have any questions, and please spread the love by sharing this article with friends. Come back and let us know if you make ’em!


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4.94 from 44 votes

Herb Sourdough Crackers (How to Use Sourdough Starter Discard)

Instead of wasting your discarded sourdough starter, come learn how to make herb whole wheat sourdough crackers. They're crispy, savory, and delicious – perfect for holidays, parties, or just as a healthy snack. We love to pack ours full of fresh herbs from the garden, but dried herbs can be used instead too.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time23 mins
Resting Time30 mins
Course: Appetizer, Party Food, Side Dish, Snack
Keyword: Sourdough Crackers, Sourdough Recipe, Sourdough Starter Discard, Sourdough Starter Recipe
Servings: 6 Dozen

Equipment

  • Rolling pin
  • Pastry Wheel or Pizza Cutter
  • Mixing bowl
  • Parchment Paper
  • Basting Brush

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 Cup Unbleached bread flour or white all-purpose flour
  • 1 Cup Active sourdough starter
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh herbs of choice, e.g. rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano (Or 2 tbsp dried)
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut oil
  • 1/2 Tsp Sea salt
  • Olive oil for brushing
  • 1/4 Tsp Optional: garlic powder

Instructions

  • In a mixing bowl, thoroughly combine the sourdough starter, flour, chopped herbs, salt, and coconut oil.
  • 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 or parchment paper. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to a couple hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place the patties of dough each on their own piece of floured parchment paper and roll out with a floured rolling pin until dough is nice and thin, about 1/16th of an inch thick.
  • Lightly brush the dough with extra virgin olive oil, and lightly sprinkle salt over the top.
  • Cut the dough using a pasta/pastry cutter (or pizza wheel) into 1 to 2 inch squares. Next, use a fork to poke each cracker square several times. 
  • Place the parchment paper and the cracker squares on a baking sheet and place in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes. 
  • Rotate the baking sheets halfway through to help the crackers bake evenly.
  • Once finished baking, quickly remove the crackers to a cooling rack.
  • Once cool, enjoy the crackers immediately or store them in an airtight container to enjoy later.


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68 Comments

  • Yvette

    5 stars
    I loved this recipe! I also used the sourdough starter recipe but substituted with 100% spelt as I’m gluten intolerant but have been managing to eat spelt sourdough for around 6 months – after nearly 20 years of no bread I can’t tell how exciting that is! Anyway I haven’t made a bread yet, hopefully later this week I will but the starter is doing all the right things and the crackers are damn delicious and I hate waste so was thrilled to use it.

    • Shannon

      5 stars
      These were easy and delicious! We have made them 3 times already. They come out perfect and crisp. Love the herb flavor. Great way to use what otherwise would go in the garbage!

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