Covid-19 has produced some wonderful culinary trends. From donuts, to my favorite, Sourdough Bread, the virus lockdown has inspired so many to try making some wonderful recipes. Sourdough Bread making is something I have been doing way before the virus. Thinking about it, I've been making Sourdough Bread for probably 10 years. My starter, Eleanor, was given to me by a farmer I use to frequent for veggies. From what I gather, Eleanor is about 40 years old. She has been gifted to hundreds of eager bakers like myself. Eleanor is like a pet to me. I feed her weekly and in return, she has given me some spectacular breads. But one of the most unfortunate parts of making Sourdough Bread is the ritual disposal of leftover starter. It literally gets thrown out after a feeding.
Though Covid-19's Lockdown made way for some nouveau bakers, it also created a new problem, limited quantities of flour. And for a bread maker, that has been tough. So dumping leftover starter has become even more frustrating. Just watching all that flour go down the drain has been irritating. So when I heard about making crackers with leftover starter, I jumped at the opportunity. I had recently fed dear Eleanor and had quite a bit of starter leftover. And after researching and combining a few recipes, I feel this one (and the variations) is perfection.
Ingredients for basic cracker mix:
1 cup starter
3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1-2 teaspoon water
Spices/flavoring (see variations)
2 teaspoons Maldon Salt
1. 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder + 1 teaspoon Herbes De Provence
2. 3 tablespoons powdered cheese (I used a sachet from Annie's Organic Mac n' Cheese) + 1 tablespoon Parmesan Cheese + 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard.
3. 1-2 teaspoon Za'atar + 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
4. 2 teaspoons smoked paprika + 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees or 300 degrees convection setting
2. In a small bowl, using a spoon, mix 1 cup starter, melted butter, salt, flavors/spices. If the starter has been recently fed, it may be dense and blob-like. If so, add 1-2 teaspoons water. Mix vigorously until you get a looser mixture (see picture above).
3. Pour mixture on a Silicone Pad OR Parchment paper. Spread evenly using a spatula. Do not spread it so thin that you can see the Silicone Pad through the starter.
4. Place Silicone Pad or Parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
5. Sprinkle Maldon Salt over top.
6. Put the cookie sheet into the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and using a bench scraper (or knife), score your crackers (If you don't mind uneven pieces, skip this step and bake for a total time of 50 minutes - 1 hr). Put back into the oven for 40 minutes. ***NOTE*** For the cheese flavor, the baking time MAY be longer. By about 15 minutes, so a total of 1hr 05 minutes.
7. Remove the crackers from the oven. They will be done when hard to the touch. Let cool completely. If you don't eat them that day, place them in a airtight container. They should last 2 weeks or longer.