Adapting a favorite cracker recipe to work through my sourdough discard glut
When I first had a sourdough bread-making routine a decade or so ago, I didn’t know that things could be done with all that sourdough discard; I thought it was to be, well, discarded.* Since then, thanks in large part to the pandemic, legions of home bakers have taken to making sourdough, and many of those geniuses seem to have had a lightbulb moment of realizing — hey! since sourdough discard is just flour and water but with a little tang, couldn’t I cook with that? I’m glad that they have.
Gearing up for a bread-related project that I’ll be telling you about later on, I recently decided to make a new sourdough starter from scratch. This process, which usually takes about 2 weeks, generates an alarming amount of discard (another way of saying that you burn through lots of flour). I kept the discard in a big jar in my fridge, remembering all the recipes for waffles, breads, crackers, and more that I could finally try out, and ultimately I fixated on adapting one of my favorite, easy crackers from Snacks for Dinner, which has such a wonderful gritty texture, thanks to some chia and cornmeal mixed into dough.
My system for adapting the recipe was pretty simple, I suppose. Working backwards, 100 grams of starter would equal 50 grams flour and 50 grams water. So I calculated the liquid weight in my cracker recipe and replaced that with the water in the starter. Likewise, I reduced the amount of flour in the recipe, based on how much was in the starter. Does this seem super obvious? It tripped me up a bit.
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