Gluten-Free Sourdough Discard Crackers Recipe w/ Optional Herbs & Cheese
Flaky, crispy, salty, and savory… What more could you ask for in a cracker? Except perhaps that they’re gluten-free, if that is a priority for you. If so, you have come to the right place! Please enjoy this easy recipe for gluten-free sourdough crackers – a spin off of our classic wheat herb sourdough crackers. Our friends have dubbed these “pizza crackers” because of the incredible aroma they put off while baking!
While they’re dang good plain, the addition of fresh herbs, seasoning powders, and cheese make these gluten-free sourdough crackers over-the-top delicious. So much so, people can’t believe they’re gluten-free. If you don’t have a gluten-free sourdough starter yet, don’t worry! Check out this article to learn how to make your own GF starter from scratch at home. Once you have an established sourdough starter, you can enjoy baking gluten-free sourdough bread, pancakes, crackers, and more!
I’ll admit, maintaining a sourdough starter can feel a tad wasteful at times, with all that feeding and discarding required. Yet rather than letting it go to waste, making crackers is the perfect way to use your discarded gluten-free sourdough starter. You can also feed sourdough starter discard to chickens or add it to a compost pile instead of the trash!
Ready to get crackerin’?
- ½ cup rice flour. We like to use this brown rice flour, or half brown rice along with half sweet rice flour.
- ½ cup oat flour. We have also tried substituting sorghum flour instead of oat flour in this recipe. The flavor was outstanding! Yet the texture was less light and flaky, though still crisp. The crackers also took about 5 minutes longer to cook. If you experiment with other flour combinations, be sure to let us know what worked well in the comments!
- 1 cup of gluten-free sourdough starter, active and hungry. Meaning, use the starter at the time you would usually discard it – several hours after feeding, not just-fed. Please note that we use brown rice flour to start and maintain our gluten-free sourdough starter. Therefore, the cracker results may vary with different types of GF starter, such as one maintained with buckwheat.
- 1.5 tablespoons of psyllium husk powder (husk for binding)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) of coconut oil, butter, or olive oil (we use coconut oil)
- 1/2 cup water
- Olive oil, for brushing
- Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling on top
- 1/4 cup fresh herbs (finely chopped) or 2 tablespoons dried herbs. We most often use a combination of fresh rosemary, sage, oregano, and thyme from the garden.
- Optional, but highly recommended: 1/2 cup sharp-flavored grated cheese (hard to semi-firm such as parmesan, sharp cheddar, asiago, or similar).
- Optional: 1/2 tsp garlic powder, onion powder, or other seasoning of choice – such as “everything but the bagel”!
This recipe makes 2 full baking sheets or approximately 6 dozen gluten-free sourdough crackers – perfect for a family, party, or gathering! With just the two of us here, we often make a half-batch. They’re so addicting, we’d devour them all in a day or two otherwise!
1) Mix dough
In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients first, including the flours, psyllium husk, salt, and any other seasonings/ powders of choice. This is to ensure the psyllium husk is evenly distributed among the dough. Next, add the gluten-free sourdough starter, fresh chopped or dried herbs, coconut oil, water, and optional cheese. The coconut oil (or butter) should be very 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.
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. Depending on the hydration of your starter (how wet it is) you may find the need to add a splash more water. If the cracker dough will not hold together in a smooth ball, add one additional tablespoon of water at a time until it will. The texture should be similar to cookie dough.
2) Split, Squish & Chill
Divide the large dough ball into two roughly equal smaller balls. (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.
Place each squished dough rectangle on a plate, and wrap it with parchment paper. Some cracker recipes call for plastic wrap, but this is a slightly more sustainable option (the parchment paper we use is compostable). Better yet, wrap the dough in a reusable beeswax wrap!. The purpose is to prevent the dough from drying out, and also keep it from sticking to the plate. I cut a piece just larger than the dough and tuck it in around the edges.
Finally, refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes, or up to a couple hours.
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 the size of the baking sheet, or use a silicone baking sheet liner. Lightly dust the parchment paper/liner 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 very easy to transfer the cut raw crackers 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 or less. 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. The thinner you roll them, the more crisp they’ll be!
4) Oil, Slice, & Poke
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 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 the tines of a fork a couple of times.
Repeat Steps 3 and 4 for the second piece of dough.
Slide the parchment paper with the cut cracker dough 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 30 to 35 minutes*, until the crackers turn golden brown and crisp. Rotate the cookie sheets halfway through baking. It is common for the outermost edges to get “done” more quickly than the inner crackers. 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 they are out of the oven, the longer the crunch lasts in storage.
When they are done baking, immediately transfer your finished gluten-free sourdough crackers 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 crackers, and also depending on if you bake one or two trays at a time. Also, the use of different flours may influence the time. For example, we found using sorghum instead of oat flour increased the baking time by about 5 to 10 minutes.
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 gluten-free sourdough crackers in an air-tight container to maintain maximum freshness and crunch. We like to use a glass container with snap-on sealing lid. They do tend to get a bit stale after 3 or 4 days, but ours don’t usually last that long anyway!
These herby gluten-free 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 butternut squash soup last week and it was SO good! Sourdough crackers are our go-to for holiday and party platters. They are a huge hit, and people are always impressed to learn they’re homemade!
And that is how you make delicious gluten-free sourdough crackers.
In all, I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. I may or may not be snacking on crackers as I wrap up this article… 😉 Please feel free to ask questions, come back for a review or comment, or share this recipe with your friends! Happy baking.
Gluten-Free Sourdough Discard Crackers (w/ Optional Herbs & Cheese)
- Rolling pin
- Pastry Wheel or Pizza Cutter
- Mixing bowl
- Parchment Paper
- Basting Brush
- 1/2 cup Rice flour (we like using brown rice flour, or half brown half sweet white rice)
- 1/2 cup Oat flour (can sub with sorghum flour though the cook time may increase, and flakiness decrease)
- 1 cup Active gluten-free sourdough starter (we use a brown rice flour-based stater)
- 1/4 cup Fresh herbs of choice, e.g. rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano (Or 2 tbsp dried)
- 1/4 cup Coconut oil (butter or olive olive)
- 1.5 Tbsp Psyllium husk powder
- 1/2 cup Water
- 1/2 tsp Sea salt
- Olive oil for brushing
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp Optional: garlic powder, onion powder, "everything but the bagel" seasoning, etc
- 1/2 cup Grated sharp-flavored firm cheese (such as sharp cheddar, parmesan, asiago, etc)
- In a mixing bowl, thoroughly combine the dry ingredients first: flours, psyllium husk, salt, and any seasoning powder used.
- Next add the "wet" ingredients, including sourdough starter, chopped herbs, water, coconut oil, and optional cheese. Mix thoroughly*. (See Note 1 below)
- 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 or less.
- 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 30 to 37 minutes* (See baking tips below, Note 2)
- Rotate the baking sheets halfway through to help the crackers bake evenly.
- Once finished baking (golden brown and crisp), immediately transfer the crackers to a cooling rack.
- Once cool, enjoy the crackers immediately or store them in an airtight container to enjoy later.
- Depending on the hydration of your starter (how wet it is) you may find the need to add a splash more water. If the cracker dough will not hold together in a smooth ball, add one additional tablespoon of water at a time until it will. The texture should be similar to cookie dough
- Baking times will slightly vary by individual oven, how thin you roll out your crackers, and also depending on if you bake one or two trays at a time. Also, the use of different flours may influence the time. For example, we found using sorghum instead of oat flour increased the baking time by about 5 to 10 minutes. It is common for the outermost edges to get “done” more quickly than the inner crackers. 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 they are out of the oven, the longer the crunch lasts in storage.
The best! Used sweet wite rice and brown rice flours. Dried herbs thyme and black pepper and salt. Used butter. Thanks for sharing!
Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)
Hi Amanda, sounds delicious! Glad you enjoyed the recipe and had such success.
I have my first batch in fridge. I am super excited about them. I tasted a small pinch of dough and it is so yummy! I can’t wait!
I made these with Bob’s red mill one to one gluten-free flour mix. They are awesome. Thanks so much for the recipe. I can’t wait to try with another flour.
Made these crackers for the first time tonight. We are in love! I used brown rice flour and a 1/4 cup each of sorghum flour and almond meal. We can’t eat dairy so I subbed some nutritional yeast and included some dried herbs from my garden. Yum!!
Thank you so much for your detailed recipes and instructions. We have our first loaf of GF sourdough proofing tonight and we can’t wait to taste it! I’m so thrilled that your recipes don’t use starch or xanthan gum. Thanks again!
Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)
That sounds delicious Tamar! Glad you are enjoying the recipes and have fun baking!
I made these with purple barley flour and Iraqi Whole Wheat, minus the psyllium husks. My kids LOVE them. Thank you!
Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)
That sounds amazing Karen! Glad you enjoyed them.
I substituted ground Flax for the psyllium, and rolled them out between parchment paper and the silicon baking mat they cooked on (the dough was as a little sticky), and they were gone in less than 24 hours, so good! Next time I’ll try to make them a little thinner and cook then a little longer because the crispier edge ones were far superior
Hi, I haven’t tried the recipe yet, but I wanted to provide a quick and easy tip. A way to have less “edge-looking” pieces is to exactly roll out the dough WHILE it’s still wrapped in the parchment paper. The dough only goes as far as the parchment paper will allow it to go. So you can give the dough some slack to expand into, and roll from there. Even if you need to roll it a bit more after unwrapping the parchment paper, it’ll generally be more uniform than had you not used this trick.
I learned this trick when I was making my own date breakfast bars. 🙂
Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)
Thanks for the tip!
Can you freeze these cracker ,I would like to make yhem as a gift for xmas
Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)
Hello Marney, we have yet to freeze the crackers so we aren’t sure exactly how they would turn out. Give it a try and let us know your results!