This super easy recipe for sourdough discard crackers is the perfect solution for leftover sourdough discard. If you’re one of those cool kids who ends up with lots of discard in your fridge and you don’t know what to do with it – you’re in the right place!
(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This means that if you purchase an item via a link on my website I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.)
What I love about this recipe is how very easy it is. I just toss some melted butter and a little salt in my discard and spread it on parchment paper. It bakes for a longer time at a lower temperature to dry out the crackers and give them their crisp – but that’s hands free baking time!
Just break the crackers apart when they cool and they’re ready to eat! SO easy. Did I mention that it’s easy??
Before we hop right into the recipe, let’s talk a little bit about sourdough discard.
What is sourdough discard?
Sourdough discard can also be called “unfed starter” in recipes. An active, fed starter is bubbly and has reached twice the height of when it was first fed. Discard is usually flatter and less bubbly because all those good bacteria have “eaten” the flour that you fed to your starter.
Each time a starter is fed, it’s important to remove some of it first. Otherwise you would need to feed it more flour each time for the bacteria to have enough food. You’d wind up with a huge amount of starter, more than you could even think of using!
Simply using some of your starter to bake a loaf of sourdough bread can work, but if you’re just keeping your starter fed until the next time you bake, you’ll need to find something else to do with the discard.
Most people I’ve spoken to don’t like the idea of wasting so much good flour by discarding their leftover starter. I’m the same way. This is why recipes which call for sourdough discard or “unfed” starter are a great way to put your leftovers to good use!
What can you do with sourdough discard?
Lots of things! You can find tons of recipes around that use sourdough discard as an ingredient, but you can also fry it up on its own, make these wonderful crackers we’ll be talking about in a moment, and worst case scenario – you can compost it!
Is sourdough discard healthy?
YES! Sourdough discard is very healthy. It’s full of good bacteria that are great for your gut health. When grains have been fermented, the glycemic index of the flour reduces as well, which makes it easier on your blood sugar.
It’s great to add to recipes as an ingredient to get the benefits of some fermented grains in your recipe, but long-fermented recipes are my preference because they’re easiest on my digestion. If you struggle with any wheat intolerance, sourdough may be a good solution. Anyone with Celiac Disease, however, should still stay away from sourdough made from flours with gluten. The fermentation does not remove gluten.
How long does sourdough discard last?
At room temperature, discard will last one to two days before it gets very, very sour. It won’t be dangerous to eat, but the flavor will be VERY strong. In the fridge, sourdough discard can last up to two weeks and still be usable in recipes.
I have heard anecdotes from folks whose sourdough starters remained in their refrigerators for months at a time, and they were able to revive them after a few feedings. They are very hardy! Do not use your starter, however, if it has mold on it or if it has orange or pink streaks in it. Orange and pink streaks mean that bad bacteria have taken over your starter and you’ll need to either purchase or make a new one.
This recipe calls for melted butter, but you can replace it with another oil if you wish. I use butter because I enjoy its flavor more. If you’re making a more plainly flavored cracker, make sure the oil you use is one whose flavor you enjoy. If you season your cracker heavily, however, the oil flavor won’t matter as much.
For cold refrigerated discard, it may be wise to let it come closer to room temperature before adding the butter. The butter can solidify and fail to mix well if the discard is too cold. This isn’t going to ruin the recipe, but you will have an easier time incorporating the butter if the discard is closer to room temperature. This is obviously not a concern if you’re using a different oil!
Divide the batter in half and spread each half onto a parchment paper covered baking sheet using an offset spatula. Make sure you spread it very thin. You want to almost see the parchment through the batter. When I’ve made these crackers too thick they end up with a very chewy texture. They were still edible and tasty, but they were not as nice to eat.
I like to do things the easy way (if you hadn’t noticed) and just break up the crackers after they have cooled completely. It gives them a more rustic look and I don’t have to work as hard. If you prefer a more controlled shape, you can gently score them after they’ve baked for about 15 minutes, then break them apart after they cool completely.
Sometimes I’m not perfect (shocker, I know) and I don’t spread the batter evenly enough. When that happens I might break off the portions of cracker that are done baking and put the tray back in for 5 more minutes to finish the rest of it. That way I avoid burnt cracker edges.
Keep an eye on your crackers as they bake. Not all ovens are the same, so yours may cook faster than mine!
These crackers can be stored up to a week in an airtight container. I find, though, that they’re best the day I make them. I will actually be impressed if they last in your house for longer than a day. It’s hard to stop once you start.
Serve with hummus, baba ganoush, cheese and charcuterie board, or just eat them by themselves!
There are a lot of options for seasoning. I like to sprinkle the top with everything bagel seasoning. You can also add dried herbs or seasonings you enjoy to the batter itself, then lightly salt the top right after baking. If you like a cheesy cracker, you can add hard cheeses as well. (Don’t add soft cheeses, or the crackers won’t crisp up.)
For a sweeter cracker, you can brush the warm crackers with some honey and sprinkle with sesame seeds. For a Mexican theme, you could add a little taco seasoning to the batter, then dip your finished crackers in some queso dip. The options are endless!!
Ideas for Seasoning:
- Lemon zest and Rosemary
- Italian Herb Blend – basil, oregano, parsley, etc
- Fresh herbs – rosemary, thyme, sage, chives
- Spices – zaatar, pepper, chili flakes, garlic powder, paprika, coriander
- Seeds – fennel, sesame, poppy, nigella
- Finely chopped nuts
- 1 c. unfed sourdough starter (discard)
- 3. Tbsp. melted butter
- 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
- 2 Tbsp Everything Bagel Seasoning (optional)
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit
- Mix melted butter into room temperature discard starter.
- Add salt and mix well.
- Spread thinly over parchment paper covered baking sheet with an offset spatula, then sprinkle with seasoning.
- Bake until golden brown, about 35 minutes. Begin checking at 25 minutes so the crackers don't overbake.
- Let crackers cool for ten minutes after removing them from the oven. Break them apart into cracker-sized pieces.
Be sure to spread the batter very thinly. If the batter is too thick, the final result will be chewy rather than crisp.
These crackers can go in a lot of different flavor directions. You can make a simple cracker and just top with some flaked sea salt, or you could use any combination of herbs, seasonings, hard cheese, seeds, or nuts to make them whatever you want them to be. Have fun experimenting!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 10 crackers
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 79Total Fat: 2gSodium: 2995mgCarbohydrates: 66gSugar: 0gProtein: 9g
If you liked this recipe, please leave a review or a note in the comments to let me know what you think. Happy baking!