Anyone who gives life to sourdough starter knows that it is a hungry pet. You feed the flour and water mixture with more flour and water twice a day, just like the family dog. You end up with a bubbling vat of starter capable of making a billowy loaf of bread.  And a lifetime commitment to keep the thing alive. Sourdough Crackers help use up some of the excess starter.  And they are addictingly good.  You might find yourself feeding your starter just so you have some extra around.

(For the uninitiated, when you make starter to leaven your bread, you have to remove and discard a portion before feeding the starter. There is a good amount of waste unless you bake huge quantities of bread. The discard is what you use to make these crackers.)

As its name implies, sourdough starter tastes tangy. It makes crackers with a rich cheese like flavor. You must add fat to the starter, or you end up with hard tack. Or cracked teeth. Melted butter would be delicious but I used olive oil. Its easier to use and a smidge healthier.

Use any combination of flour that suits you, all white flour, half white and half whole wheat or half white and half rye, my favorite.

You do need to roll the dough thin because thick crackers are inelegant.  And they are very hard on the teeth. I use a docker to poke holes in the dough before baking. This keeps it from rising.  You can do it with the tines of a fork.

Docking cracker dough

My handy kitchen ruler and a rolling cutter help me make uniform rectangles.

Cutting sourdough crackers

Full credit to this recipe goes to Bon Appetit where the concept was posted on its web site.  I turned it into a recipe that makes smaller batches of sourdough crackers. The topping suggestions are mine. Pick toppings that suit your taste.   Scale it up according to the number of sheet pans you have and the amount of sourdough starter looking to be used. And I’m a fuss pot about cutting them into uniform rectangles. You could bake the dough in a sheet and break up the crackers after baking as suggested by Bon Appetit.

Sourdough Crackers

Yield: approximately 4 Dozen crackers


1/2 cup (2 ounces) all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sourdough starter

3 – 4 tablespoons olive oil

Coarse salt

Toppings: Sesame seeds, ground black pepper, ground cumin, hot or smoked paprika, herbs de Provence


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Cut out a piece of parchment paper the size of a half-sheet pan.
  2. Combine the flour, salt, sourdough starter and olive oil in a bowl. Blend it into a moist dough using a stiff rubber spatula. If it feels a little dry add a little more sourdough starter or oil.
  3. Knead the dough for a minute until it is smooth.
  4. Pat the dough into a uniform rectangle or even thickness.
  5. Start rolling out the dough into a rectangular shape. Roll out and in one direction thinning the dough as much as possible until it covers the parchment. Use a clean kitchen ruler to divide the dough into even rectangles. Pierce the dough all over with the tines or a fork or docker.
  6. Sprinkle the dough with any of the suggested topping
  7. Slide the dough-covered parchment onto a half baking sheet.
  8. Bake until the crackers are dried through and evenly golden brown, for 15 – 20 minutes. (Check the dough after ten minutes to see how the crackers are browning. Turn the pan around to allow crackers to brown evenly.) Cool the crackers completely. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.