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Seedy Sourdough Crispbread

Since I’ve been making sourdough, over a year now, I haven’t bought bread but I also haven’t bought crispbread.  Crisp, seedy biscuit topped with cottage cheese and salad used to be a really regular lunch for me.  So I’ve been playing with a homemade sourdough based version, and it’s joined the list of things I like homemade best.

Not only tastes better, but it makes frugal sense. You can make 18 to 24 crispbreads, depending how large you cut them, about 650 grams. The seeds, bought from my local little wholefoods shop, cost me less than $2.50, the semolina about 80 cents, and the flour just a few cents.  All up, about $3.50.  The equivalent in Vitawheats would have cost me $9.50.  It only takes about 15 minutes of actual time, though like everything sourdough, that’s spread out over a whole day. Even counting the gas for cooking and my own time, it makes frugal sense.

Seeds are way up there in the superfoods list. When you think about it, a plant’s whole lifecycle is dedicated to creating seeds, with all the protein, energy, nutrients, and protection from invasion by bacteria and fungus, that they will need to germinate.  Some are spectacularly good.  Linseeds have omega 3 fatty acids, which are antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral, and good for your heart. Pepitas are a really good source of several minerals including zinc, which is important for warding off viruses among other things, and  L-tryptophan, which is important for mental health.  Sesame seeds are rich in a whole range of minerals including copper and calcium. Sunflower seeds are one of the best sources there is of Vitamin E.

The Recipe:

It starts just like my regular sourdough, except I make a smaller batch of starter:

Before I go to bed:

  • Take the sourdough starter out of the fridge.
  • Mix 1  cup of unbleached bakers flour, 1  cup of water, and 1 cup of starter.  (I use my tank water, which has no chlorine or additives in it).
  • Put half of it back in the jar in the fridge.  You should be left with 1 cup of fed starter, to put in a bowl covered with a clean cloth on the kitchen bench for the night. By morning it should be frothy, like the picture.

Next morning:

  • Mix in 1 cup of fine semolina and 1 cup of seeds. (Ooops, and I forgot, half a teaspoon of salt).
  • I used a mixture of poppy seeds, sesame seeds, crushed linseeds, finely chopped pepitas and finely chopped sunflower seeds.  The larger seeds all need to be chopped fine – the same kind of size as the sesame seeds – so that you can roll the crispbreads out later.
  • Tip ½ cup of bakers flour, on the benchtop,  tip the mix out onto it, and knead for just a couple of minutes to get a ball of soft, springy dough. Put a good dollop of macadamia (or olive) oil in a large bowl, swirl the dough ball around in it to coat, cover the bowl with a clean cloth, and leave out on the benchtop for the day to prove.

When I get home at 5.30

  • Lightly oil three biscuit trays.
  • Tip the dough out on the benchtop,  knead very briefly, and divide up into three balls – two large and one small.
  • Flour the bench well and, with a floured rolling pin, roll first ball out to very thin – 5 mm or so – basically as thin as you can get it.  Carefully transfer to the oiled biscuit tray and trim to fit.  Prick all over with a fork and cut into 6 or 8 squares.
  • Do the same with the second ball. Add the trimmings to the third (smaller) ball, knead again and do the same with it.
  • Leave on the benchtop, covered with a clean tea towel, for a couple of hours.

At 7.30

  • The crispbreads will have puffed up slightly.  Bake in a slow oven for about 40 minutes, till they are firm and just colouring. They will crispen up more as they cool.  Cool on a cake rack and store in an airtight jar.
{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Jane March 18, 2012, 3:31 pm

    Hi Linda,
    Love your recipes, I also have a sourdough mixture, I just wonder why you don’t use wholemeal flour in your bread recipes?

  • Linda March 18, 2012, 4:38 pm

    Hi Jane, maybe I’m not good enough at sourdough yet, but I’ve found that if I make the starter with unbleached baker’s flour (Laucke Wallaby Unbleached Bakers Flour, which I can get at the supermarket) and put about a cup of it in the dough, I can use practically anything I like as the rest of the ingredients and it works. I’ve fed my starter wholemeal flour when I’ve run out but it didn’t seem to like it. I make a wholemeal bread, with about 4 cups of high protein wholemeal flour, using the white flour starter, and it is good but not exciting. My everyday heavy wholegrain breads have a cup of bakers flour in the mix, and the rest is rolled oats or barley or bran or multi-grain porridge or rye flour, and they’re interesting enough to blog about. I tried it with wholemeal instead of the bakers flour and it was just a bit too heavy, even for me! The crispbread is mostly seeds and has only a little bit of flour in it at all (besides the starter), and the semolina, but semolina is just the endosperm of durum wheat (not the bran or germ), so it’s really a kind of white flour anyhow. I’ve tried it with wholemeal flour but it was possible but a bit difficult to roll out thin enough.

  • brenda from ar March 18, 2012, 5:15 pm

    I keep hearing about linseeds and have been wondering what they are and where the heck you find them. Thanks to your little link thing, I now know linseeds and flaxseeds are one and the same. Ha. Your recipe looks wonderful, though I have yet to begin a starter. I now have the rye flour to begin my starter so really have no excuses.

    best to you,
    brenda from ar

  • celia March 18, 2012, 6:09 pm

    I am so going to try this! Thanks Linda! I have a bowl of starter ripening on the bench as I type!

  • Linda March 18, 2012, 6:11 pm

    Love to hear how it turns out Celia.

  • Louise March 18, 2012, 6:44 pm

    Oh I like these a lot, must get into making my own sourdough.

  • cityhippyfarmgirl March 18, 2012, 7:28 pm

    These look great Linda, they look similar to the scandinavian knackebrod, which I adore… especially for lunch.

  • Sharon March 20, 2012, 7:22 am

    I made my own starter for the first time a couple of weeks ago, I was surprised how easy it was! I’ve got to get into the swing of making the bread more regularly though. I like the crisp bread idea and will give it a go… thanks Linda

  • Linda March 20, 2012, 10:35 am

    Hi Sharon, I experimented quite a lot with how to make a sourdough routine fit with busy workdays. It’s one of the big ideas that I credit permaculture with – that it’s not about doing things but about setting up systems so things do themselves. So I knew I had to make it so that it wasn’t a mission to remember and organise myself to do it, but just a little ritual, like brushing my teeth, that fitted into the routine nicely. I’m pretty happy with my Everyday Sourdough routine. It usually works quite nicely. On the weekends and when I’m in the mood I can play with new ideas, but routinely, I can just make fresh bread a couple of times a week without thinking about it.

  • Maris August 14, 2014, 5:31 am

    I use rye starter to get mye wholemeal bread to rise. Works with wholewheat as well. I only use wheat starter for fine bread.

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