I’ve come up with a new marker of an excellent friend: one who saves you from sourdough starter fails, one who can help you feel like a sourdough winner and not a sourdough loser. Also, someone who helps you out so that you can make crispy, tangy Rosemary Sea Salt Sourdough Crackers and feel joy.
As I noted in my last post, I experienced Sourdough Sadness, as my starter – initially filled with yeasty hope – ended up dying off. My lovely co-blogger, Streusel – ever the problem solver – texted and announced that she was going to figure out how to send me some of her successful starter.
Like magic, a few days later, UPS dropped off a double-bagged portion of starter (with a now-melted ice pack). I cut off a corner, poured it into a mason jar (while, I’ll add, somehow managing to spill about a 1/4 of the starter all over the kitchen counter). Following Streusel’s pre-texted instructions, I started feeding on a regular schedule (in a much less compulsive manner, I might add). I texted her daily photos of my starter and eagerly asking when I could bake bread. She gamely replied each and every time and coached me through the process (I told you she’s a good friend!).
In the meanwhile, my dad sent me this article from the New Yorker, and similar to Streusel’s messaging, it was all about calming the hell down. While I admit I’ve never reached that level of peace (please), I did make the crackers she recommended. Thin and crispy, I added rosemary and flaked salt to match the sourdough tang. The dough comes together in a snap, rolls out easily, and a great accompaniment to and appetizer tray. Or, more realistically, as snacks-for-dinner for one during quarantine.
I made three dips to go with my crudités and crackers. From the left, they are:
Greek Goddess – this came from NY Times Cooking. Per reader suggestions, I used only 1/4 cup oil and 1 clove of garlic. Also, just a tiny bit of mayo.
Fromage Fort – an awesome cheese spread from Alton Brown. I use whatever was leftover in my cheese drawer, plus some inexpensive cheese from the odds and ends basket at Whole Foods. I think I had about a half-dozen different cheeses in my blend, and it was delicious.
All of these dips pair really well with the crackers – as I mentioned, they were nice and crisp, with a lovely sourdough tang that held up well with the dips.
200 g. (about 1 cup) sourdough starter, fed the night before
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more olive oil or butter for brushing over the top
1–2 tablespoons finely minced fresh Rosemary
Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
In a mixer at medium speed, combine starter, flour, salt, and oil or butter until a smooth dough forms—it’s fine if it’s still a little sticky.
Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm.
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut dough into 2 even pieces.
Working with one piece of dough at a time (store the other in the fridge while you work), flour a piece of parchment paper, flour dough, and flour a rolling pin. Roll dough out on parchment until very thin—1/16 of an inch.
Brush flattened dough lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and/or other seasonings, and use knife to cut dough into squares or whatever shape of cracker you like.
Prick all over with a fork (this will stop your crackers from baking into little pillows – which FYI are pretty fun to eat)
Transfer dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets, leaving a bit of space between crackers. Bake for 15-20 minutes. The crackers are done when they are golden brown and crisp.
Strudel and Streusel are two friends living in different cities, sharing a love of baking (and butter) through this blog. With Streusel in Denver, and Strudel in Seattle, we've found our little site to be a great way to stay in touch, share recipes we love, and talk about experiences in our respective cities.