I have always loved graham crackers. So creating a sourdough graham cracker recipe using sourdough discard for my kids and me to enjoy was a fun project!
These are crunchy lightly sweetened and delicious as a snack. The recipe makes about a whole sheetpan but can be increased easily.
The shaping and bake are the most critical parts of the process. I have an updated video and tips in my newest version of sourdough discard graham crackers, linked below.
Update: I have a new version of sourdough discard graham crackers here
Why are sourdough graham crackers healthier?
Most store bought graham crackers are full of processed ingredients like canola oil, lots of sugar, even soy.
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.
If you haven’t attempted sourdough yet or still feel confused on how to use it, I have user friendly sourdough courses and resources here: free Quick Start Sourdough guide and Intro. to Sourdough online course
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
- Optional: cover dough and ferment for better digestibility at room temp 1-5 hours or in fridge for up to 48 hours
- Preheat oven
- 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 until just turning golden and no longer raw
- Cool on baking sheet
Full, detailed instructions are below but that is the general gist of the steps you need to make for this recipe.
Where do you get the sourdough discard?
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).
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.
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 scale makes this a lot easier!
How to bake sourdough graham crackers?
For the crispest texture bake right away or with only a short fermentation time. Texture will be slightly chewier and 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 may have to play with the bake time in your oven and for your preference of how crisp or chewy you want them. Avoid burning them! This post has helpful shaping and baking tips for this type of bake.
I prefer to bake them until a bit soft still but baked and a more golden color. Then 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.
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.
More sourdough and sourdough discard resources
If you are looking for more sourdough discard recipes, see these delicious ideas.
And if you want to learn all about sourdough starters, I have a free 21-page Sourdough Quick Start Guide here. (psst… it comes with an option to get my Intro. to Sourdough course for half off)
Living Bread Baker posts mentioned
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Sourdough Graham Crackers (with Sourdough Discard)
- Rolling Pin
- Flat Baking Sheet
- Rolling Pizza Cutter or Large Knife
- 40 grams Unsalted Butter, melted
- 160 grams Sourdough Discard
- 80 grams All-Purpose Flour
- 80-90 grams Whole Wheat Flour
- 40 grams Maple Syrup
- 20 grams Brown Sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
- dash Cinnamon, ground add to your taste, ok to omit also
- Melt the butter. Set aside to cool.
- Weigh your sourdough discard into a mixing bowl.
- Add the flour, maple syrup, melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon to the bowl. Mix together until the mixture is crumbly.
- Add baking soda and salt. Mix well. Dough should be soft but not too sticky, add more flour if sticking. These can be made right away or covered to ferment for 1-5 hours to develop flavor and become more easily digestible.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut two baking tray size pieces of parchment. Separate dough in two and roll out until 1/8″ thick or so. Thinner crackers are more crisp and bake more quickly, thicker will be a bit softer and take longer to become crisp.
- Cut rolled crackers into square or rectangular cracker shapes and poke each one with a fork.
- Bake 18-24 minutes (depends on thickness). They should be turning golden brown at edges. The edges should be firm, but center should have a slight softness that will crisp up after cooling. Don't overbake.
- Allow to cool on cookie sheet. This step helps them crisp up like a traditional graham cracker.
- Store in an airtight container once cool. These will keep for up to 2 weeks, if they aren’t eaten before then!