Well hello there, remember me? I took a wee bit of a break from blogging, but I have a recipe for you today that I just have to share, and it is really delicious! I call it Easy Cheesy Sourdough Crackers, and it truly is ridiculously easy…if you have a sourdough starter! During this world-wide pandemic and the lockdowns that we’ve all been under, a lot of people have gotten into sourdough baking because of a shortage of yeast.
I actually began baking with sourdough for the first time back in September, 2019 following a convergence of events. One day my husband, Joe, happened to mention that he likes sourdough bread. A few days later, I scored this King Arthur Flour sourdough canister at a thrift store. And for several months, I saw some of my bread-baking friends posting photos on Facebook of their beautiful sourdough breads. So I decided that I needed to see what all the fuss was about.
I began with just flour and water and I soon had a reliable culture that has since allowed me to make amazing rolls, biscuits, pancakes, English muffins, baguettes, boules, and loaves of sandwich bread. Many folks believe that sourdough bread is healthier than yeast-raised bread, but I just love the amazing texture, flavor, and keeping qualities of sourdough baked goods.
If you don’t already have a sourdough culture going in your refrigerator, you may know someone who does. Ask them for some of their “discard” to make this recipe. They’ll be happy to share!
If you think you’re interested but you don’t know of anyone with a sourdough starter, just Google “how to make a sourdough starter” and you’ll find lots of blogs and videos, some good and many that I think are entirely too complicated. It occurred to me that if crusty old gold miners in California and Alaska could keep their sourdough going for years, it simply couldn’t be as hard as it’s often made out to be. And I’m a firm believer in KISS–Keep It Simple Stupid. The formula that I started with and that still works well for me is what’s called a 100% hydration sourdough starter which simply means that you use equal amounts by weight of flour and water.
I strongly suggest that you use small amounts of flour and water to begin, none of this business of twice a day feedings that use a cup of flour and then tell you to throw away half of the starter 12 hours later! Who has time or money for that? You can start by vigorously stirring together 6 tablespoons (3 fluid ounces, 84 grams) of either filtered tap or bottled spring water and 2/3 cup (3 ounces, 84 grams) of either unbleached all purpose or whole wheat flour in a 1 quart glass jar. Loosely cover it and leave it on the counter for 24 hours. The next day, add the same amounts of flour and water to the existing starter and vigorously stir it all together, then cover it and let it sit on the counter for another 24 hours.
Repeat the preocedure once more on Day 3 with the same amounts and you will have enough starter for this recipe, with enough leftover to continue developing your starter. If you decide you want to start down the sourdough rabbit hole 😎 check out this sourdough starter recipe on the KIng Arthur Flour website. And there are sourdough Facebook groups that you might enjoy. Once your starter is going strong (likely in 6 to 8 days), you only need to “discard” half and feed the rest once a week as long as you keep it refrigerated between feedings. But don’t discard that half, use it to make something delicious!
Okay, back to the recipe. In the photo above I stirred down my starter, then spooned enough into the mixing bowl to weigh the equivalent of 1 cup of starter, generally considered to be about 8 ounces or 227 grams (226 was close enough for me). One cup is the amount of starter used in many recipes that you’ll find online.
A good extra virgin olive oil adds complex flavor to the crackers. If you’re sensitive to salt, you may want to cut back on the amount of salt you use depending on how salty your cheese is.
The final ingredient is the freshly shredded good quality sharp cheddar cheese. Pre-shredded cheese from the store is coated with ingredients to keep it from clumping and they dull the flavor of the cheese.
I use a dough whisk for mixing recipes like this. It does a thorough job and is easier to use than a wooden spoon or a spatula for biscuits, muffins, and scones, and it also works well for stirring together no-knead bread doughs.
Evenly spread the thick batter onto a parchment-lined half sheet pan (13″ X 18″) with an offset spatula, then bake in a pre-heated oven.
Half-way through the baking time, take the pan out and use a pizza cutter to score the dough into whatever size you want, then slide the pan back into the oven and continue baking. Scoring the dough at that point will make it easy to separate the crackers after baking.
When they’re done, slide the parchment onto a cooling rack and after a few minutes, peel them off the parchment and separate at the score marks. These were sooooo good after they had cooled for 20 minutes that we could hardly stop eating them and I was worried we wouldn’t have enough for the photos.
Fresh fruit, toasted nuts, maybe a few olives and your favorite beverage are a great way to enjoy easy cheesy sourdough crackers with your favorite people.
Please leave a question or a comment and rate this recipe with the stars below, then Pin, Tweet and/or share on Facebook. If you make the recipe, I’d love it if you would come back and make a comment with your results and share a photo on Instagram.
Thanks for sharing, and bon appetit!
- 1 cup (8 oz, 227 grams) sourdough starter, discard or fed (Note 1)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (Note 2)
- 5 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese (Note 3)
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Line a half-sheet pan with parchment and spray the parchment with non-stick spray. (Note 4)
- Add all the ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir to thoroughly mix.
- Scrape the thick batter onto the prepared pan and spread evenly with an offset spatula.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and use a pizza cutter to score into squares or rectangles.
- Return to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes until starting to brown around the edges.
- Remove from the oven and slide the crackers on the parchment onto a cooling rack.
- As soon as your are able, remove the crackers from the parchment to the cooling rack.
- When cool, break along the score lines.
- Serve while still slightly warm, if desired.
- Store the completely cooled crackers tightly sealed in plastic in the refrigerator.
- Bring to room temperature to serve.
2. I used Morton Kosher salt, if you're using regular fine table salt, use a rounded 1/4 teaspoon.
3. Other semi-hard cheeses like provolone, gruyere, and havarti will work, so pick your favorite.
4. You can use a different size pan, but it should have sides that are 1" or less and it shouldn't be too much smaller or there won't be enough room to spread the batter thin enough.
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