I seem to have an unlimited supply of sourdough discard, and these rye and spelt sourdough crackers are our favourite thing to make with it. With piles of flavour from whole grain flour, olive oil, and any variety of toppings, they’re a great easy bake.
Crackers sometimes feel like a bit much work for not much payoff, but like most things, they’re phenomenal when made from scratch. A little rolling and cutting is all it takes for some truly excellent crackers.
I’ve topped these with edible flowers (pansies and borage) from the garden, fresh dill, and chives. I equally love oregano and thyme or sesame seeds as a topping, but edible flowers are beautiful and suit the season so perfectly. If you, too, have an excess of discard from feeding your starter, give them a try.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Flour: any whole grain flours can be used in place of spelt and rye, including 100% of either rather than a blend. I haven’t tried making these with GF flour because I don’t have a gluten-free starter.
- Sea salt: a lot of cracker recipes call for flake salt but I think it’s a pretension – fine grain salt is more common in the average kitchen and if anything, provides a more even flavour.
- Sourdough starter: rye, spelt, or any other kind of (gluten) starter will be fine.
- Herbs: or spices, or seeds, or whatever you’d like to top your crackers with. If using edible flowers, make sure they’re marked as such, and not just floral shop flowers, which are not edible even if the plant technically is.
Step 1: add the wet ingredients to a bowl.
Step 2: whisk until fully combined.
Step 3: add the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until it comes into a shaggy dough.
Step 4: knead into a smooth ball of dough.
Step 5: divide, flatten, and place between two sheets of parchment.
Step 6: roll thinly and top with olive oil.
Step 7: add any toppings you’d like, then cut into squares.
Step 8: bake until lightly golden, cool, and serve.
Notes and Substitutions
You will need to roll the crackers out between two sheets of parchment paper (or some kind of reusable baking mat) as the dough is on the sticky side. The thinner, the better, though we’re not going so far as to use a pasta roller or anything.
Splitting the dough in two parts exactly fills my large oven-width baking sheets. It should be the right size for your largest sheets – if you just have smaller ones, split the dough into three instead so it can be rolled out as thinly.
Brushing oil over the top of the crackers is what makes the toppings stick, so don’t skip this step. While herbs and edible flowers are both beautiful and delicious, seeds, spice mixes, or plain salt are all good too.
The dough can be refrigerated for up to 48 hours before baking. The taste will become more noticeably sour if it rests for any length of time, and the age of your discard will make a difference to the flavour as well.
How to Store
Storage: keep in a sealed container at room temperature for up to a week.
Freezing: transfer cooled crackers to an airtight container and freeze for up to three months.
- Change up the toppings: sesame seeds and other smaller seeds are very good, as are any fresh herbs you like. If using dried herbs, I recommend mixing them into the dough rather than rolling them into the top.
- Use weights: I highly encourage using weights for any recipe, but if you want to use active starter rather than discard, you must weigh it to get the correct amount.
- Let the dough rest: if the dough is too soft or refusing to come together properly, set it aside (covered) for ten minutes. This allows the grains to absorb some of the liquid and it should be easier to work with after resting.
More Spelt Flour Recipes
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Sourdough Rye and Spelt Crackers
- 200 grams sourdough discard*
- 55 grams olive oil, plus extra for brushing
- 75 grams spelt flour**
- 75 grams rye flour
- ½ teaspoon sea salt plus extra for topping
- Herbs and/or seeds for topping
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
- Add the discard and olive oil to a large bowl and whisk until fully combined.200 grams sourdough discard*, 55 grams olive oil, plus extra for brushing
- Add the spelt flour, rye flour, and salt to the mixing bowl. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to stir until a shaggy dough forms.75 grams spelt flour**, 75 grams rye flour, ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Tip the dough out onto a work surface and knead several times, until a smooth, soft dough forms. You shouldn't need extra flour as the oil will keep it workable.
- Divide the dough into two halves and flatten each into a disc.
- Place one half of the dough between two sheets of parchment paper. Use a rolling pin to roll it as thin as possible, to around 30cm (12 in.) on the long edge (as long as this will fit onto your baking sheet).
- Remove the top piece of parchment and brush the top of the rolled out dough with about a teaspoon of olive oil.
- Top with herbs/seeds, then place the parchment back down and gently roll over to press the toppings into the crackers.Herbs and/or seeds for topping
- Place the rolled-out dough onto a large baking sheet, using the bottom piece of parchment as a pan liner. Remove the top piece of parchment.
- Cut the crackers into small squares. A pizza cutter is ideal for this.
- Bake for 18-22 minutes, turning once if your oven bakes unevenly. Remove from the oven and cool fully on the baking sheet.
- Repeat with the second half of the dough*** and store the cooled crackers in an airtight container for up to one week.
* For American cup measurements, please click the pink link text above the ingredient list that says ‘American’.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.
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