Sourdough Rye Crackers With Coriander and Fennel R…

[Photographs: Tim Chin]

Crackers are the go-to option for many bakers looking to use up excess sourdough starter. At its simplest, the process is a breeze: Mix some starter, flour, and salt until you get a rough dough; roll it out, bake it, and you’ve got yourself some serviceable crackers. You don’t need to worry about kneading, proofing, or any of the countless pitfalls of baking sourdough bread. Sourdough crackers should be forgiving, and shouldn’t demand much thought.

These crackers are inspired by ones I used to make at BISq restaurant under Alex Saenz. Back in those days, I saved all the tiny, unusable broken cracker scraps from each batch and stored them in a deli container; later in the night, if I got a little peckish, I’d go to town on them with a spoon. While that recipe doesn’t include any sourdough starter (it’s still amazing without it), the bones of my recipe are similar. Rye flour serves as a foundation for nutty, earthy flavors. Sparkling white wine like Champagne or cava adds both sweetness and a fruity kick to the crackers that plays nicely with the funky sourness of the starter (if you don’t have the wine, a sparkling cider could work too). Cracked coriander reinforces citrus and sweet notes, while the subtle licorice flavor of fennel seed sneaks up on you with each bite.

The resulting crackers are thin, shatteringly crisp, and feature a dark, caramel color. They’re salty, sweet, and lightly tart—perfect for a cheeseboard. And because you bake them in large sheets, they can be broken into various sizes to suit your entertaining or snacking needs.

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