This recipe for sourdough discard graham crackers is the best I’ve made yet! They are sweet and perfectly crisp.
They are comparable to name brand but way better!
In this post I will tell you what makes them unique, walk you through the process, and give you the best tips for the most critical parts: shaping and baking.
Why are these sourdough graham crackers the best?
My original sourdough discard graham crackers recipe has been shared and saved thousands of times.
They are delicious! But I wanted to improve a few things so I made this version.
This version is sweeter and more crisp than the original.
Also, this recipe version uses less sourdough discard which means you don’t have to wait and store up as much before you make a batch.
To have optimal flavor and digestibility, you will definitely want to let the dough sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours.
Why are sourdough graham crackers healthier?
However, most store bought graham crackers are full of processed ingredients like canola oil, lots of sugar, even soy.
So having an option that not only meets but exceeds the store bought kind in healthiness but also in flavor is important for my family and me.
Making homemade graham crackers will always be healthier since you are using whole ingredients. This recipe from Culinary Hill looks great for a non-sourdough option.
Using sourdough gives even more benefits because when time is given to allow the whole dough to ferment, it is more easily digested and the fermentation deepens the flavor.
How do you make sourdough graham crackers?
- Save up leftover sourdough discard in a jar and keep in the fridge
- Set a bowl on the scale and weigh in sourdough discard–determine whether batch will be single, double, etc.
- Add ingredients (multiply weights if batch is doubled, etc.), make sure melted butter has cooled
- Mix ingredients into a smooth dough
- Optional: cover dough and ferment for better digestibility at room temp 1-5 hours or in fridge for up to 48 hours
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
- Roll dough out on parchment paper to a thin, even thickness
- Cut horizontal and vertical lines then use fork to poke each scored cracker
- Bake 11-15 minutes on convection until golden brown
- Cool on baking sheet for 5-10 minutes then break apart along the cuts
- Finish cooling on a cooling rack
- Store in a container once cooled
Full, detailed instructions are below but that is the general gist of the steps you need to make for this recipe.
Shaping sourdough discard graham crackers
Use a rolling pin to roll the dough to an even thickness, about 1/8-inch thick
Feel the dough as you roll to feel for any spots that are too high or too thin. Any areas too thin will burn. Focus on high spots.
If any dough gets too thin, you can fold it onto itself, reroll the dough, or add some extra dough on top of the thin spot and reroll.
Trim off the edges of the rolled dough for straight lines. My batch is usually about 12 inches long by 9 inches wide.
Personally, I do this on only the first batch. On the second batch I leave the edges untrimmed, but you can trim both for uniform crackers.
Take a rolling pizza cutter or a large butcher knife and cut the dough in half along the length then cut each half into even thirds (sixths along the whole).
To get even columns, score thirds on each side of the half before you commit to the full cut to gauge even widths.
Then cut along the width into fourths.
There will be 24 crackers total.
Poke each cracker with a fork so they don’t puff up at all. You can see the desired thickness of the crackers in the image above.
The size of your crackers will impact the bake. You can make your own shapes or designs, just keep in mind that smaller crackers bake more quickly.
How to bake sourdough graham crackers?
Something to notes is that the bake time tends to be shorter if the dough has fermented longer than 3 hours at room temp or 24 hours in the fridge.
You should monitor with the bake time in your oven and for your preference of how crisp or chewy you want them. Avoid burning them!
I prefer to bake them until a golden brown for crisp crackers, my husband likes them baked a bit soft with a more light golden color.
After they come out of the oven, break them apart at the scored lines and let cool on the hot pan to finish crisping up.
If you are looking for more nutrition in your whole wheat flour, see the mills and farms on my Grain to Bread page.
Tips and Reminders for Sourdough Graham Crackers
- Measure the milk into a separate container or carafe so that if you over pour you can correct it. Then add the accurate amount to the dough. The liquid in dough recipes needs to be as accurate as possible.
- Use unsalted butter. Salted will make your dough very salty, especially since a whole stick (or 8 T.) are melted for this recipe.
- Make sure the butter has cooled before adding it to the dough to 90 degrees or cooler, otherwise it could cook your starter or your flour.
- Allow time for the dough to ferment for best digestibility. At least 2 hours at room temperature or 24-48 hours in the fridge.
- Roll out the dough evenly and cut the crackers equal in size for consistent baking. Smaller crackers, bake more quickly.
- The bake makes or breaks these crackers, pay attention to your crackers while they bake. If you smell the sweetness of baked crackers, check. They go from perfect to burnt very quickly because of their small, flat size.
No waste or low waste sourdough baking
Depending on which method of sourdough starter care you use, you will have varying amounts of sourdough discard (also known as spent starter, or non-fed starter).
Using sourdough discard will make your sourdough maintenance and baking low to no waste.
In my method, I do not create a lot of “waste” so I usually build up my supply of sourdough discard for recipes like this. You can read this post about how I store mine. I always save up my leftover sourdough starter in my fridge.
Where do you get the sourdough discard for this recipe?
If you don’t have any sourdough discard stored, add 40g or about 2 T. of an older batch of sourdough to a pint sized container or larger. Then feed with 60g (1/4 c.) water and 60g (7 T.) flour.
Cover and leave at room temp for 18-24 hours. You’ll have enough discard for this recipe as well as some leftover to use for future sourdough recipes.
Once you have at least half to three-quarters of a pint jar full of discard, you can make these.
The great thing is that you can increase (or decrease) the recipe based on how much sourdough discard you have. Using a food scale makes this a lot easier!
Can I ferment my dough longer?
One interesting thing that I have noticed with this recipe and some others, is that the longer it ferments, the faster it bakes.
This would require more experimentation, but my hypothesis is that the moisture from the melted butter, milk, and brown sugar dissolving into liquid becomes more absorbed by the flour and sugars are metabolized by the yeast in the sourdough discard.
This is why the bake is so important for getting good results.
Sourdough recipe for kids
This is a great baking activity for kids! A lot of room for error and they love cutting out the crackers themselves.
My son even tried using cookie cutter shapes and they worked really well. To use cookie cutters, firmly cut dough with as many shapes that you can fit on the dough. Then, carefully peel away the extra dough between the shapes and bake 16-18 minutes.
These graham crackers are easy to make, a healthy way to replace store bought option, use up old discard, and save money on favorite snacks.
I hope you love the flavor and texture of these as much as we do! I love seeing the full container of crackers. If kept well sealed, these should last for at least 2 weeks.
They don’t last long in our house.
Need more sourdough help?
A competent guide is the big difference from floundering in sourdough with information overwhelm to having confidence and ease in your sourdough baking.
If you are just getting started in sourdough, I’d love to support you with my books or online courses.
Beginner-Friendly Video Courses
My Intro. to Sourdough online course is comprehensive with video tutorials for each stage of the process to help new or aspiring sourdough home bakers gain a solid foundation for sourdough, the traditional way, to learn all the basics, language, techniques, and the process from start to finish to make sourdough bread. My teaching is straight forward and makes the whole process seem simple. I have helped launch hundreds of eager sourdough bakers onto their own inspiring sourdough journeys.
I also have a Once-a-Week No Knead Sourdough online course, which is my strategy for busy weeks to have sourdough on hand ready to make into country bread, sandwich loaves, English muffins, pizza, bagels, and more! This course is great for absolute sourdough beginners to just get familiarity with sourdough or for veteran sourdough bakers who need to simplify their baking schedule.
If you are just starting on your sourdough journey, you can get my free Quick Start Sourdough Guide to begin learning some of the key terms and concepts in sourdough. Learn the difference between the sourdough stages of active sourdough starter and sourdough discard as well as how to care for a starter.
Perfect for new or experienced bakers, I have a full Sourdough Time Planning Workbook with 8 templates ready to fill in and a baking journal. The 8 templates include 4 different ways to make classic sourdough country breads, 3 time planning worksheets for enriched sourdough bread depending on serving time target, and a blank template. The baking journal goes over baker’s percentages and how to take notes on your sourdough bakes.
Living Bread Baker posts mentioned
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The Best Sourdough Discard Graham Crackers
- Rolling Pin
- Parchment Paper
- Baking sheets
- rolling pizza cutter or straight edge dough scraper
- 100 g sourdough discard about 1/2 cup
- 100 g whole wheat flour 2/3 cup
- 200 g all purpose flour 1 1/3 cup
- 100 g brown sugar 1/2 cup
- 1/2 t. Salt
- 1/2 t. Baking soda
- 1/8 t. Cream of tartar
- 1/4-1/2 t. Cinnamon
- 95-100 g unsalted butter melted (or 1 stick melted)
- 65 g milk 1/4 cup
- Melt the butter. Set aside to cool.
- Weigh your sourdough discard into a mixing bowl.
- Add the flour, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, or cream of tartar, cinnamon to the bowl. Stir together.
- Then add the milk and melted butter (cooled to 90 degrees or cooler).
- Mix until all the ingredients are incorporated. Don't overmix. Dough should be soft but not too sticky, add more flour if sticking.
- Cover and leave at room temperature for 2-6 hours (or in fridge for 24-48 hours) to develop flavor and to help them become more easily digestible.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees on convection.
- Cut two baking tray size pieces of parchment. Separate dough in two and roll out until 1/8″ thick.
- Cut rolled crackers into square or rectangular cracker shapes, remove the edges for straight edges and uniform shapes. Poke each cracker with a fork so that they don't puff up while baking.
- Bake 13-15 minutes until the crackers are set and color is a light golden color.
- When crackers are cool enough to break apart, break apart along cut lines. Continue to cool on the hot baking sheet for at least 5 minutes before moving crackers to a cooling rack. This final step allows them to finish baking and have the crisp texture once cooled.
- Repeat with the other half of the batch.
- Store in an airtight container like a jar once cool. These will keep for up to 2 weeks.