Does it seem like craziness to make your own crackers? These crackers are easy and very tasty, and a great way to use excess sourdough starter. They are also a good excuse to make bacon (don’t burn it!) or discover lard. This recipe is based on the Sourdough Bacon Rosemary Crackers recipe from Cultures for Health.
- 1½ cups fresh sourdough starter
- ¾ teaspoon or so sea salt, plus more to sprinkle on top
- 1 tablespoon or so rosemary, either fresh and finely chopped, or dried and roughly crushed
- up to 1 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely cracked (or finely, if preferred)
- 6 tablespoons (just over 3 oz or 1/3 cup) room-temperature bacon fat, lard, or similar fat
- 1½ cups whole wheat flour
- 1-2 teaspoons of granulated garlic, and more salt, to sprinkle on top (optional)
The night before baking (or - in the morning)
- Place the sourdough starter in a medium bowl.
- Mix in salt, rosemary, pepper, and fat until thoroughly blended.
- Add whole wheat flour. Mix well, using clean hands, if necessary.
- Knead the dough briefly right in the bowl.
- Cover and proof at room temperature at least 8 hours, or overnight.
Note: This dough can be frozen after it has proofed overnight, or you can pop it in the fridge (tightly covered) if you want to wait a few hours or another day to bake. Bring to room temperature before rolling out and baking as directed below.
The next day (or - in the evening):
- Preheat oven to 350°F. (If you have a pure convection heat setting, use this.)
- Divide dough evenly into three portions.
- Roll out each portion as thinly and evenly as possible on parchment paper.
- Score the dough in roughly 1.5" to 2" squares, using a rolling pizza/dough cutter or a sharp knife.
- Prick each square 1-3 times with the tines of a fork or pastry tool to keep the dough from puffing up as it bakes.
- Sprinkle the dough with additional sea salt, pepper and/or garlic powder, if desired, pressing it lightly into the dough with the palm of your hand.
- Slide the parchment paper onto a baking sheet.
- Bake for about 10-15 minutes, checking frequently after 10 minutes to make sure crackers are not getting too brown. You may need to remove the outer rows of crackers before the center rows are fully baked, as the entire tray of dough may not bake evenly. (Crackers should be a nice golden color, but not brown, and thoroughly dry—cool and bite one to check.)
- Cool on a rack, separating any crackers that did not already break apart at the score lines. (If they are a little thick, they can finish drying on the rack, too.)
- Once completely cool and dry, store in an air-tight container at room temperature for a week, or refrigerate or freeze for longer storage.
If you want to try making variations, I suggest sprinkling them with parmesan cheese before baking, or substituting sesame seeds for the rosemary. If you have other ideas, please share!