Never having made crackers before I wasn't sure what to expect, especially since these were going to be sourdough crackers for August's Sourdough Surprises. It did occur to me that not having anything with which to compare them could be a good thing. At least they couldn't turn out worse than the last time I made them, right?
To make things seem better I took a time lapse before and after photo of my freshly fed starter.
Not that I've used it alone to get a rise out of anything, but it seems the little beasties are are alive and well after all, so I got that going for me! With new found confidence, I throw myself into the project at hand and learned a few good lessons along the way.
No matter how thin you think you've rolled the dough, it can always get just a bit thinner. The perfect cracker walks a fine line between done and burned. And homemade crackers are ridiculously easy to make and ridiculously addictive!
Now I want to be perfectly honest, my first attempt was much beloved by certain members of our household. The dogs, yes the dogs loved um! They were rye crackers and if anyone has a good recipe for rye crackers I need it now. But I didn't let this stop me and the premise that my next batch couldn't be worse than my last still held so I throw myself into the project at hand again.
The second time around I adapted this recipe by the adorable Julie Hasson. Basically subbed Parmesan for garlic and made the necessary changes for the starter. Let me tell you, they are fantastic! Crispy, crunchy, salty and full of savory goodness. They were great just out of hand for a nibble and out of this world with a certain sheep's milk cheese that my sister brought back from Amsterdam for me. What!
Considering how easy and tasty homemade crackers are, (well not rye) not to mention the endless variety (except rye) awaiting my rolling pin, I may never buy them ( well, except rye) again!
sourdough rosemary Parmesan crackers
(adapted from Julie Hasson)
1 & 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt (plus some for the top)
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup discard starter (or enough to make a firm dough)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, rosemary, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese. Stir in olive oil and starter until a "shaggy" (Julie's word, love it!) dough forms.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead briefly until smooth. Divide into two balls. Working with one ball at a time roll out on a piece of parchment paper to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut dough with a pasty wheel or a pizza cutter to desired size. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
Transfer crackers on parchment to a sheet pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until crackers are golden. Makes 40 to 80 crackers depending on the size. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.