Discard Starter Sourdough Crackers

I have not made crackers with rye discard. I make rye bread frequently but use my white starter.

BUT, your question gave me some ideas. I think I will try some rye flour and a caraway-fennel seed mix in place of the herbs.

My advice would be to make the recipe a time or 2 with white discard if you have it, just so you get used to dough consistency, baking time under your conditions.

Now … starter. This recipe is for 100% hydration so starter of 248 grams is 124 grams flour and 124 grams water. You can use less actual starter and sub additional flour and water. Example, if you used 124 grams starter then you would add 62 grams flour and 62 grams water to the other ingredients.

All that to say, that if you only have rye starter, you might try … for a first recipe try to use 124 grams rye starter, and add the 62 grams flour as white flour, i.e. not quite so much rye to start so you could see how it behaved. If all went well, increase the rye starter and/or add more rye to the rest of the flour mix.

thanks. Will give it a try again.:slight_smile:

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I recently baked a third batch of these and am really having fun with the recipe. This time I used coconut oil which I will not do again. Even though the flavor is subtle, it’s there and I don’t think it goes well with the rest. Also, this batch is less crisp for some reason, not sure if it’s the oil. I used some rye flour, maybe 25%. My starter discard is a combination of white, whole wheat and rye because discard is discard so no need to keep separate!

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I’m glad you are enjoying the recipe! Even after years making these, I have variations in crispness … baking time, dough, etc. I feel like I KNOW when the dough is just right and rolling with the pasta maker gives me the best control over even thickness, but a VERY short time one way or the other is what seems to affect crispness for me. BUT … I’ve only ever used olive oil and never any rye so ???

so here my report: my first batch got perfect! yay! I remember when I did it the very first time from the King Arthur recipe I made it with butter acording to the recipe. I did not like that. To me they were too greasy. I like the olive oil! My 2. batch I used 90gr AP, 23gr Rye, 200gr AP Discard and 48gr Rye discard.
39gr Olive/sunflower oil and 5 gr caraway. The dough was a little bit more likely to tear but worked fine when I used very little to go through the pasta machine. The crackers a mean! yummy!
I think the secret is the cold! dough and I like oil better than butter. May try to reduce the amount of oil as well.
My big mistake before was doing it with out any fat. that why they became tooth beakers :frowning:Thanks for encourage me again. Will also experiment with more rye.

Barbara

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YEA!!! You are welcome and thanks for the report back! I think you are correct about the no fat making for hard crackers. This weekend, I am planning on trying some rye with a caraway-fennel seed mix … thanks to your inspiration!

So, I made crackers with rye! White starter and the remaining flour used 1/2 rye. I used a mix of caraway, anise seed and fennel which I blitzed in a mini processor. Just a wee bit of salt. The dough was definitely more “tender” (as you said, more likely to tear) than my typical white-kamut mix. I rolled to 3 instead of 4 in the pasta thingy and even more careful on the bake. Like the white mix, these did not develop full flavor until about 36 hours but YUM! This is a great variation on my usual. Thank you!

So far I haven’t tried putting herbs or seasoning in the dough but rather have sprinkled an herb mix on top before rolling. I’d like to try rosemary in the dough but I’m not sure how much and what kind (fresh or dried) to use. I’m a bit gun shy because rosemary can be over-powering if too much is used. Here’s what I’m striving for: Trader Joe’s has a delicious cracker called Rosemary Italian Style Crackers. I’m not trying to reproduce those crackers, but I AM trying to reproduce the subtle rosemary flavor. I’d love to hear from someone who knows these TJ crackers, has experience making the discard crackers with rosemary, and has some suggestions on amounts and method. Thanks!

I don’t have any of the qualifications needed to answer your questions :joy:, however, I can say that you’ll probably get a more subtle flavor using dried rosemary. I have a couple of rosemary plants and when I bake olive rosemary sourdough bread, I dry out a few stalks first because the family taste testers concluded they prefer that 🤷

I’ve not had the TJ crackers. I started making crackers to replace a rosemary garlic olive oil cracker I’d been buying at $$$.

So, while I cannot speak to a comparison with the rosemary flavor in the TJ crackers and taste is SO subjective … I think my method produces a subtle [to me] rosemary flavor. I use dried rosemary or like Melissa, fresh that I’ve let dry. Although I have used mortar and pestle, I prefer whizzing rosemary, black pepper and a lemon garlic pepper mix in a mini food processor (spice mill size attachment on my stand mixer) so that all becomes not quite a fine powder but definitely ground and no pointy rosemary ends. I sprinkle the herbs on top of the dough ingredients before I even start mixing. After a quick mix, I let the dough sit for 30-60 minutes, then knead briefly, then refrigerate for 4-8 hours before rolling.

The herb measurements … at this point in my making of crackers, I eyeball amounts which I know is not helpful to you. But, I use a tablespoon to add 2 heaping T of rosemary to the blender, 1/4 tsp black pepper and 1 tsp of the lemon garlic … about and probably all heaping and then I smell it and adjust. I know … very scientific and precise…

I’m pretty sure the above is not what you wanted to hear but the point is, I make to my taste which I arrived at through experimenting and that is what I would suggest. What you might do is divide your dough mix in 1/2 or 1/4 and try varying amounts of herbs so that you don’t make an entire batch that is not to your liking. Maybe there is someone out there who has made this recipe AND had the TJ crackers but I think that is a long shot and experimentation might be your best option.

Liz, I made these yesterday and liked your idea of dividing it into two batches so the whole batch wouldn’t be ruined if I got the rosemary wrong. Turns out, the flavor is great: I used rosemary (but forgot to weigh it) that was dried for just one day so not really dry; garlic powder; salt. Used a spice grinder and got the right texture.

But I had other unexpected problems. I wrapped both dough rectangles in plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight. The olive oil oozed from the dough - like there was much too much. I kept looking at the recipe to make sure I weighed it right (I did). The dough was very soft and never got firm despite refrigeration. I think for the previous batches I reduced the oil a little but this time I didn’t. Before rolling in pasta maker, I blotted with paper towel and dusted with flour. It was so soft I was able to roll one time only on 3 (4 made holes) and that was it. Next time I will definitely cut back on oil. The bake was quite long and they taste fine but who needs all that oil (talk about weight management).

I really agree about the flavor coming out with time. I baked them last night and they taste much better today.

Also, in my research I started looking at the KA recipe and reviews (270 of them!) and came across some great ideas for flavoring/seasoning. I’m noting them down and when I’m done (I’m getting good at skimming…) I’ll start a separate thread.

I’m glad you got a rosemary taste you like!

About the olive oil. I’ve never reduced the oil. Since my flour is cool (not refrigerated, just in a cool corner), but my discard starter is out of the frig so cold, I find that the olive oil sometimes clumps up … must combine with some of the cool stuff ??? Anyway, I knead the dough a bit before refrigerating and sometimes add a bit more flour if it feels too wet. I refrigerate in a bowl with a loose “shower cap” type cover vs wrapped tightly. I’ve never had the oil ooze out at all. I do usually lightly knead the dough after it has warmed up and I flour the bits before putting them through the pasta roller, much like you do when rolling pasta … so, I’m adding flour in that way. The only time the dough was particularly tearable was my recent use of rye … expected with rye, though.

Yes, a LOT of comments and good ideas on that KA thread. I haven’t tried adding cheese but I do often add nutritional yeast when I remember and that gives a little cheese taste.

More on the oil and dough consistency: every time I’ve made these since I posted the recipe I kind of think … did I write that I do this or that … little things I do to “adjust”. And since some question re the oil and the dough consistency, I took more photos this past weekend when I made these.

Above photos is all of the ingredients barely mixed. This is as far as I go at first. You can see the yellow clumps which are the olive oil bound and clumped with some of the flour.

I let it sit at room temp and then flour the counter and hand knead to a smooth consistency:

At this point, the dough is soft and tacky … a bit “oily”, but it doesn’t stick to my fingers:

At this point, I cover the dough with a plastic shower cap kind of thing so not airtight or wrapped tight. I usually roll and bake 3-6 hours later.

When I cut the dough for the pasta roller, I have lots of flour and usually flour between every 2 changes in roller thickness.

I have not been tempted to reduce oil, although I don’t think a little reduction would hurt since I am generally adding more flour. But, I have very happy with how crisp these bake and with taste so I’ve stuck to the amount and my evolved method.

This is where making a levain is beneficial. My starter is never more than 100g and it lives in the fridge. When it comes to baking i’ll take some off and build a levain - an off-shoot starter built to the correct specs for the recipe. When my starter runs low i’ll feed it, allow it to double then return it to the fridge etc. No discard.

Basically my starter is just where I store all the yeasts and bacteria. It’s not particularly built for any one recipe. The recipe begins when I build a levain from the starter. Building up and not in excess.

Feeding your starter with wholegrain rye I find is easiest. It’s very hardy and keeps for a long time between feeds in the fridge. Keep enough so that it’ll last a week or two but not too much where you have to discard.

Lovely recipe though and like Melissa i’ll have to build some discard :slight_smile:

I think I would “argue” a bit with “beneficial” and call your strategy an option :slight_smile:

Melissa and I had a brief discussion of the options above. I like having discard to make her Sourdough Naan and these crackers, although when I began using natural leaven some years ago I started with the “habit” of pulling out some starter, feeding the rest and didn’t think much about it.

Now, I often take just a Tablespoon of starter, feed 75/75 grams water/flour and leave out overnight, incorporate next morning. But sometimes, I’ll use a larger amount: ciabatta or if I want things to go faster.

I bake several times a week so no long rests between feeding and my starter spends more time on the counter than in the refrigerator. I have no issues with my all white (grown local to me WheatMontana hard red spring white). Between that and my well water with no chemicals in it, my starter tends to be very active even in my very cool (62-66F) house.

I hope you enjoy the recipe if you decide to try it!

I’m adding a very lazy variation on sourdough discard crackers to this thread. I learned it from someone named Ana Patterson on Facebook.

Discard, oil or butter, herbs, and salt. I also add some water. Spread on parchment and bake with convection 325F for 30 minutes. Cut lines with a pizza cutter about 10 minutes in.

I don’t have convection so I usually hit it with broil at the end for some browning. Didn’t do that with this batch though.

The texture is like a tortilla chip – not very crackerlike but the flavor is all fermented-flour goodness. Very addictive.

Hi All,

I have tried a few cracker recipes, including one with SD discard and have not reached my goal of a truly crispy cracker. If I could get even close to the “Firehook” brand snap, or even “Stoned Wheat Thins” as a second best, I’d be happy. In our house crackers are a vehicle to carry cheese to the mouth, so, relying on the cheese for the tasty part, I’m trying to run down the crispy part.

I noticed “convection” mentioned a few posts back, and I’d be very interested in any tips anyone might have to (1) reduce potential rise in the crackers when baked and (2) crisp without burning.

I’m up to trying anyting !

Those ‘Firehook’ crackers are the bomb. That snap you mention is something to strive for – probably never to achieve, but definitely to strive for.

I don’t know the Firehook crackers, but I DO get a crispy cracker with this recipe and method. I think the keys to crisp are:

  • even roll out. I use a pasta roller … simple manual one and roll to 4. You can see size “sheets” in the photos above

  • I use olive oil as stated and I think the quantity is necessary for crisp baked crackers. I lightly brush some olive oil on top before sprinkling with coarse salt.

  • baking … this is probably going to take some tweaking with your oven and mix/roll out. I’ve made them so long that I know 400F and 9-12 minutes. I start checking at 9. The sweet spot is lightly brown. And it is easy to go from lightly brown to over brown. I have 2 baker half sheets … one is darker and the crackers bake a minute faster on that pan.

link to a video on Instagram. Volume on to hear the crisp.

Edited to add … I have not tried convection, that is 400F without convection. Also, you can make them a bit thicker (bake slightly longer), but I find rolling to 4 perfect for me and my cheese and cracker habit :slight_smile:

Thanks @easummers … sorry, this place is as “social media” as I get, so while appreciate the help, I can’t get to the instagram info. I assume your last post relates to the recipe you included earlier in this thread from Apr '19, right? In the next day or two I’ll give it a try and see what I get.

Like @susanmcc99 noted, the Firehook snap will be hard to replicate I’m sure. I note that the list of ingredients includes yeast, yet the crackers have very little rise, almost uniformly flat. Who know what kind of mechanics are involved in their production…

I wonder, if treating the dough as if it was going into a bread dough might be worth trying. What I mean is working up the gluten from a high protein flour to see if rolling it thin and baking would produce a cracker the equivalent of a thin crispy bread crust. Thoughts on that anyone?