Sourdough Whole Wheat Crackers

sourdough whole wheat crackers

I never thought I’d make crackers, I mean, if I could get them for less than a dollar a box, why would I take the time and effort? Besides, rolling out dough is not one of my favorite things. But, when you start reading labels and caring about what’s in the food you’re eating, those cheap crackers don’t look so good anymore. I still by regular Triscuits (three ingredients!) if I have a coupon, but natural and organic crackers are around $2 a box- even with a coupon – so I decided to take the plunge and try making a whole wheat cracker recipe last year.

And I thought if I was going to make crackers, I might as well use the opportunity to use up the sourdough starter I had- especially because this recipe is one of very few sourdough recipes that doesn’t require an active starter. Meaning, you can take the starter out of the fridge and make these right away- a great way to use some starter before feeding it again.


Three things surprised me about this sourdough whole wheat cracker recipe:

  1. The dough was really easy to work with and rolled out beautifully without tearing.
  2. They take only about an hour to make- start to finish.
  3. They are delicious and my family LOVES them. In fact, they’d probably eat them all in one day if I didn’t ration them a bit!

And one sure way to impress people is to make something that most people have only bought at stores their whole lives (a classic pantry basic). A bag of these crackers along with some cheese or a home-canned topping like Tomato Chutney or Jalapeno Jelly would make a wonderful gift.

If you keep them from being devoured by your family, that is.


I adapted a recipe I found at Heartland Renaissance- I use butter instead of coconut oil, as the flavor of the coconut was too much for us and I adjusted the flavorings a bit, adding honey and less salt, as well as adjusting the cooking time way down. Start by pouring 1 cup of sourdough starter into a large bowl. I always use my stand mixer, but of course it can be made my hand (I then feed my starter and place it in a warm place for 24 hours before putting it back in the fridge).


Add 1/4 cup of butter and 1 teaspoon of honey and mix well. If you like the flavor of coconut oil, feel free to use it- but the butter is so good.


In a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup whole wheat flour (I use pastry flour made from soft white wheat) with 1/4 teaspoon sea salt and 1/4 tsp. baking soda.


Add it to the bowl and mix well before adding the remaining 3/4 c. flour, 1/4 c. at a time. This “kneads” the flour into a smooth dough.


I have found that when my starter is wetter I need to add a bit more flour- 1 tablespoon at a time- until I have a smooth and stiff dough. Other times, 1 cup flour is enough.

Let the dough rest for 10 minutes and start the oven heating to 350 degrees.


Place the dough on a well-floured surface and divide into thirds. Roll out one portion at a time, while keeping the remaining dough covered with a towel.


Shape the dough into a circle with your hands and then start rolling it out on the floured board, turning and flouring as needed to keep from sticking. It’s OK to use as much flour as you need to keep it from sticking- it doesn’t seem to affect the end product.

This is about 1/4- inch thick- a good cracker is a thin cracker, so keep on rolling until the dough is about 1/8- inch thick:


As you can see, the dough can be rolled thin evenly and without tearing- it really is easy to work with.


This is how thin you want to aim for- I’m guessing this is about 1/8-inch thick, but I didn’t actually measure it (how?)- what do you think? And it doesn’t tear even doing this, though you can see everything’s pretty well floured.


Use a pizza wheel or a knife to cut the dough into cracker-sized squares (the size is totally up to you- I was aiming for the Wheat-Thin size). I trim off the really ragged edges, but you can see I leave some and we have half-crackers as well as whole ones.


Transfer the crackers to a silicone or parchment-lined cooking sheet and spray with a little olive oil. I found that trying to brush each cracker took way too long and moved them all over the tray as I was brushing, so I just spray them. Make sure that each cracker gets some oil, but don’t worry about each cracker being covered evenly- it doesn’t seem to make a difference when they’re cooked, so it’s not worth the extra time it takes.

Then lightly sprinkle them with fine sea salt. When I tried a coarser salt, they were just too salty, so I’m very careful with salting the tops.


As soon as one tray is filled (this recipe makes three large baking sheets of crackers), place them in the oven to cook while repeating the rolling and cutting with another portion of dough.

Bake the tray of crackers about 8-9 minutes (rotated halfway through) until they are medium-browned. This is a sheet pulled out then- you can see some are more brown than others- I usually remove the darker ones and replace the sheet in the oven for a few more minutes so the lighter colored crackers can get done. The crackers that are lighter will never crisp up, so they will remain chewy. I’ve found that erring towards the side of too dark is better than too light, as crisper is better than chewy- just keep them from actually burning.


Let cool on a rack before storing in an airtight container. They stay nice and crisp up to a week when stored in a glass jar – the few times they’ve lasted that long.

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Sourdough Whole Wheat Crackers

  • 1 c. sourdough starter
  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 c. whole wheat pastry flour + extra for rolling
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • olive oil + salt for topping
  1. Mix the starter, butter, and honey in a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup of the flour with the salt and baking soda. Add to the large bowl and mix until smooth.
  3. Add the remaining 3/4 cup flour, 1/4 c. at a time, until a smooth, stiff dough forms. You may need to add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the sourdough starter was “wet.”
  4. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Turn the dough out to a well-floured surface and divide into three portions. Roll out one portion, keeping the remaining dough covered, until quite thin (1/8″ or thinner). Use plenty of flour and turn as necessary to keep from sticking.
  7. Use a pizza wheel or knife to cut into squares and place on a silicone or parchment lined baking sheet. Fill the pan- the crackers don’t expand, so place them quite close together without touching.
  8. Spray (or brush) the crackers with olive oil- it doesn’t need to be even, just make sure all the crackers get a bit of oil- and sprinkle very lightly with a fine salt. Don’t use too much- it really makes them too salty.
  9. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes, rotating the pan as needed, until medium brown. Remove crackers as they brown and return pan to oven as needed to brown all the crackers.
  10. Repeat with remaining dough while the first batch is baking.

Makes 9-10 dozen

This is linked to Tasty Tuesday and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.

Comments

  1. Gina says

    We love sourdough crackers too! My recipe is a little different than yours but similar. It is one thing that I think I can make that tastes BETTER than store bought! And of course, healthier!
    Gina

  2. Leah says

    Wow impressive. I may have to try this soon. My wheels are spinning with the things I could add to suit our tastes.

  3. says

    This is a lot like my cracker recipe too! Only mine doesn’t call for baking soda (I don’t think) and you can let it sit overnight. I have been using my pizza stone to bake them–they get beautifully crisp! (And you can roll and cut them out right on the stone instead of transferring them.) Yours look great!

  4. Jami @An Oregon Cottage says

    Diana- What a FABULOUS idea to use a baking stone! I hadn’t thought of that and I’m going to try it the next time I make them.

  5. says

    I am so excited to try this recipe since I was reading the back of the Club House cracker box yesterday and found high fructose corn syrup listed as an ingredient. Eww. Every day I am more convinced that homemade IS the only way to go. Thank you for sharing! :)

  6. Anonymous says

    Great way to use extra starter. My husband was wary, but ended up loving them. My first tray puffed up like little pillows LOL. On the next tray, I poked them with a fork and problem solved. When they were almost done, I flipped them to dry the otherside. Thanks for the idea.
    AmyBeth

  7. Maya says

    love it all your recipes are great can i join you with my baby& your kids next time you bake please :D
    need to ask a silly question what is the sourdough starter? thanks alot
    p.s. didnt hear about it before and i live in Middle-East

  8. says

    We (I say ‘we’ when I mean my husband) make several different types of crackers. I much prefer homemade over store bought. I’ve purchased various crackers over the years, but with wanting to get away from questionable ingredients I switched to organic brands. However, with prices now hitting upwards of $3-4 a box (even at Trader Joe’s) that is no longer something I do on a regular basis, especially when making organic crackers is so simple at home. All it takes are a few ingredients and about an hour of time.

    Thanks for sharing your recipe. I’m a fellow Oregonian (also in the Willamette Valley). :)

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