This spicy Sichuan sourdough crackers recipe made with sourdough starter discard and Sichuan peppers makes a cracker that’s delightfully hot and numbing and incredibly moreish. Roughly shaped like a homemade corn chip, these crackers are perfect for eggplant dips such as baba ghanouj and mutabal, as well as hummus or muhammara.
Our spicy Sichuan flavoured sourdough crackers recipe made with sourdough starter discard and Sichuan peppers makes a cracker that’s delightfully hot and numbing and incredibly moreish. Shaped roughly like a homemade corn chip, these crackers are perfect for dips such as baba ghanouj, hummus or muhammara.
Last year, while we were staying at home quarantine cooking and working our way through a long list of cooking projects, we published a whole series of sourdough starter discard recipes. This spicy Sichuan sourdough crackers recipe takes one of those, our popular sourdough starter discard crackers recipe, to another level – of heat!
First, a bit of background if you’re new to sourdough baking: sourdough starter discard is the excess sourdough starter that comes from the starter needing to be fed daily to keep it active. You can store sourdough starter in the fridge to slow down the feeding schedule, however, I bake sourdough bread every second day, meaning I discard some starter (around 80 g) on the days when I’m not baking.
While this is a small amount, the discard is very useful as it only take a few bakes to get to 230 g of discarded starter to make this spicy Sichuan sourdough crackers recipe. Do peruse our other sourdough discard recipes if you enjoy this one. I recommend starting with the sourdough scallion pancakes, which are super easy. And if you are new to making sourdough, do browse our ultimate guide to sourdough baking.
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Spicy Sichuan Sourdough Crackers Recipe Made With Starter Discard and Sichuan Peppers
I experimented quite a bit before settling on this spicy Sichuan sourdough crackers recipe. We felt these crackers didn’t need either olive oil or butter and found that coarse salt, cumin and sesame seeds gave us plenty of flavour to go with a dip.
I’ve made these spicy Sichuan flavoured sourdough crackers a few times over the past few months. We love hummus and make these crackers to go with it, however, while eating some Sichuan fish-fragrant eggplant I had made the other night, it reminded me a little of a very spicy baba ghanouj, the Middle Eastern eggplant dip.
Not only did I think that fish-fragrant eggplant would make a great dip, but that these spicy Sichuan sourdough crackers could do with a little hit of heat to go with it. The results of that dip experiment are in our next post.
Tips for Making This Spicy Sichuan Flavoured Sourdough Crackers Recipe
I have just a few tips to making these spicy Sichuan sourdough crackers. For my recent batch of crackers, I went from using the hand-cranked pasta machine to a good old-fashioned rolling pin.
It was a good move, motivated partly by being inspired by how Lara who refuses to use the pasta machine for her Russian dumplings and gets fantastic results, as well as disliking having to use too much flour on the rollers of the machine, as the dough is quite wet.
If you want to do real volumes of these crackers, however, a Kitchen Aid mixer with the pasta roller and cutter attachment is the way to go. It bugs me that there’s no universal standard for dough thickness on pasta machines, but with this dough it should be thin enough to see through.
In terms of the thickness of these spicy Sichuan sourdough crackers, I’ve kept them the same as the original sourdough discard crackers recipe, which I posted last year (link above). Think a slightly thinner corn chip – as the remaining active yeast in the dough will thicken the crackers; some even bubble up a bit.
As I can only fit one half-sized sheet pan in our little oven, I prepare two sheets of oven-proof paper and as one sheet of crackers is cooking, I’m rolling and shaping the next batch and placing them on the other sheet of oven-proof paper. You’ll see in the recipe I’ve written the instructions for a full-sized oven where you can fit two trays.
Just with making pelmeni and pasta-making, keep the unused dough under a damp cotton tea-towel. The shaped crackers waiting to go in the oven do not need to be covered.
With these crackers I found 10 minutes at 180°C gave the best results. I turned the tray and flipped the crackers over halfway through cooking. Cooking on a rack helps the crackers keep that distinctive crunch so they won’t break when you’re dipping them into your favourite dip.
Spicy Sichuan Inspired Sourdough Crackers Recipe
- 230 g sourdough starter - discarded & unfed
- 110 g white bread flour
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 5 g white sesame seeds
- 5 g black sesame seeds
- 3 g cumin seeds
- 5 g Sichuan peppercorns - crushed
- 2 tsp five spice powder
- 2 tsp chilli flakes - more to taste
- 1 tbsp coarse salt such as kosher or sea salt for sprinkling on top
- Mix together all the ingredients except for the coarse salt to form a dough.
- Once the dough is formed, give it a light knead until the surface of the dough is smooth. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line two baking sheets with parchment
- Once the dough has rested, divide into 4 equal pieces and begin shaping the first piece, keeping the others wrapped in the plastic to avoid the dough drying out. Using either a rolling pin or a pasta machine, roll out the dough to around 1mm thick. If you’re running this through the pasta machine, you might want to divide the dough in two. I like to have the width of the dough at 7cm wide.
- When the dough is the right thickness and width, line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut the dough into triangles – we are looking for a shape like corn chips.
- Place the dough pieces on the parchment paper and spritz the top of the dough with water. Grind or sprinkle salt on to the pieces. We like ours pretty salty.
- Place the trays in the oven and cook for 10-12 minutes, swapping and rotating the trays at the halfway point to get even baking. You may need to flip the crackers over halfway as well.
- While this batch is baking, start the next batch.
- At the 10 minute mark check the crackers. If they are starting to go brown at the edges, you can take them out. If you want to push the brownness a little further you can bake them for a couple of minutes more – but watch them carefully – they can easily overcook.
- Remove from the oven and using a fish slice, transfer the crackers to a wire rack to cool.
- Serve with a nice homemade dip.
- Leftover chips can be stored in an airtight container for up to 7 days.
Do let us know if you make this egg bhurji recipe in the comments below as we’d love to know how it turns out for you.