25 December 2013

Christmas Crackers

Not just any old crackers.  Yellow star-shaped crackers.  

The bright yellow of these sourdough crackers add a festive splash to your holiday spread.

Festive Sourdough Star Crackers

adapted from Bint Rhoda's Kitchen

(these can also be starfish crackers in the off-season)

300 g white sourdough starter

200 g unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 c. good quality olive oil
1-1/2 tsp tumeric
1/4 tsp salt 
more salt for dusting

In a non-reactive bowl, mix all the ingredients together using your hands. When it becomes difficult to mix, knead in the bowl until everything is incorporated.  One benefit of the tumeric is that it's very easy to tell when it's well mixed.  

Form into a ball, cover and let rest for 8-10 hours.

Pre-heat oven to 350F.

Divide dough in two.  Using one section at a time, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out nice and thin, as evenly as possible.  I try to keep the flour on the bottom only, and flour the rolling pin very lightly when needed.  This keeps the top of the cracker from looking dusty but allows you to transfer the crackers to a baking sheet with minimal distortion.

Cut into star shapes.  You will find a star-shaped cookie cutter is very helpful here.  Hand cut stars are fabulously whimiscal, but are a pain in the bum to make.  But if you have more patience than I do, or you just want to win, knock yourself out.  Just be aware that the dough is stretchy, so you need to make quick, short cuts to avoid distortion.

Transfer the crackers to a baking tray.  Crowd them on there or you'll be baking all day.  They don't expand during baking, so won't get stuck together unless they are already touching when they go into the oven.  Dust them with salt, to taste.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the cracker.  You want them to be well cooked, and lightly browned (undercooked crackers don't get crunchy).  These will puff up a bit in the middle.  That's fantastic, because now you have a star that looks filled with joy.  It's just an air bubble, but it gives them character. 

(Goes well with baby cheeses.... heh...)

For a more traditional snack cracker, whole wheat sourdough and poppy seeds are an excellent combination.

Variation:  Whole Wheat Poppy Seed Crackers

Use whole wheat sourdough starter instead of white and omit the tumeric.  When the dough is rolled out, sprinkle liberally with poppy seeds then lightly roll once more to press the poppy seeds into the surface.  If you don't roll them in, they will just fall off.  Cut into squares, or any other shape of your liking.  If you don't want them to puff up in the center, poke a few holes in them with a fork.


I came across Bint Rhoda's recipe when I was looking for ways to use up sourdough starter.   To some extent, I am still making peace with sourdough.  I love it, I just wish I was a more predictably talented sourdough bread maker.  In the meantime, these crackers have never failed, even when I've drifted away from the recipe (but this might be my bread problem).

I know I can throw out sourdough starter.  Lots of people do.  Every day.  But it seems not just wasteful, but somehow pointless to have fed and fed and fed, only to throw it out by the cupful.  Now, not only do I use more of the starter, but I'll never have to buy crackers again.  Win!

Happy holidays from The Moose Curry Experience!

submitted to YeastSpotting


  1. SCORE! That's a prize slam-dunk with this tasty looking recipe. I failed miserably with sourdough. I don't know what it was (probably deviating about as far from a recipe as is humanly possible...) but I regularly turned out vinegar bricks and Steve just wasn't into the results at all (can't say I blame him...teeth are wonderful things ;) ). Love this recipe! I might try it with an overnight ferment of non-dairy kefir to give it some oomph. I am going to send you my psychiatrists bill for that joke about the "baby cheeses" ok? You KNOW you deserve it! ;)

    1. Let me know how they turn out. And tell me about non-dairy kefir!


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