Italian Sourdough Crackers with Fennel

These fennel and olive oil sourdough crackers lock in all the goodness of Italian flavours plus fibres from whole wheat flour. Easy to make and super crunchy, they're perfect to use up your sourdough starter discard.

Italian Sourdough Crackers with Fennel


Nutrition per serving
Net Carbs23.5 g8.5%
of which Sugars0.1 g0.1%
Fibers3.2 g11.5%
Fats6.4 g9.9%
of which Saturates0.9 g4.3%
of which Omega 30.1 g5%
Proteins4.3 g9.3%
Calcium18 mg1.8%
Vitamin A0 mcg0%
Vitamin C0 mg0.2%
Iron1.9 mg12.7%
Potassium93 mg2.7%
Sodium149 mg6.5%
Cholesterol0 mg0%
Kcal169 8.5%
Macro split
  • net carbs 63%
  • sugars 0%
  • fats 17%
  • saturates 2%
  • proteins 11%
  • fibers 9%
*RDA based on a 2000 kcal diet;
**Nutritional data sources: USDA, food labels.
169 per serving

If you love baking with sourdough but often find yourself with lots of discards in between feedings, this zero-waste sourdough crackers recipe is perfect for you.

That's right, instead of throwing away excess sourdough starter, you can upcycle it into super tasty bread thins. This naturally fermented dough gives the crackers a distinctive, slightly tangy taste you won't find in the commercial ones.

We made these crispbreads even more flavourful by adding a blend of Italian-inspired spices. Oregano, fennel seeds, and cracked black pepper enrich the dough with an aromatic, earthy zing.

These homemade crackers are not just extra tasty but also much healthier than store-bought ones. We used extra virgin olive oil and whole wheat flour to keep the saturated fats low and increase the fibre content.

Olive oil is a minimally processed fat and preserves all the goodness of the fruit. Plus, it's a staple in the Italian diet, making the perfect addition to these Mediterranean crackers.

Whole wheat has 30% fewer carbs and three times more fibres than plain white flour, meaning you'll automatically consume fewer calories and feel full for longer.

So, bake a big batch of these super crunchy fennel crackers, and you'll have a tasty, wholesome snack always at hand. Plus, you won't have to toss away your beloved sourdough starter anymore!

And if you're in for more healthy cracker ideas, check out these recipes:


Measuring System
Wholemeal Flour120 g
Fine Semolina30 g
Salt1/2 tsp
Oregano1/2 tbsp
Fennel Seeds1 tbsp
Cracked Black Pepper1 tsp
Extra Virgin Olive Oil50 mL
Sourdough Starter (Discard)230 g

Step 1

Add whole wheat flour, fine semolina, salt, oregano, half of the fennel seeds and black pepper to a bowl.

Then, mix well to ensure the salt is evenly distributed.

You can swap semolina with fine cornmeal or wholemeal bread flour.

whole wheat flour, semolina and italian herbs in a bowl

Step 2

Next, pour in the extra virgin olive oil and sourdough starter.

We fed our starter with equal parts of water and flour the night before. Then, we left it to bubble overnight (for about 10-12 hours) at room temperature and used it the next morning.

sourdough starter and olive oil with crackers ingredients

Step 3

Briefly mix the ingredients with a spoon until they come together and then transfer the mixture on a lightly floured surface.

Work the dough by pressing it down and forward with the heel of your hand and then folding it back. Knead it this way for 5 minutes until you have a smooth, elastic, and slightly sticky dough.

kneading the dough

Step 4

Now, roll out the sourdough between two sheets of parchment paper into a rectangle (1).

Make sure the dough slab is no more than 2-3 mm thick (2). The thinner you can roll it out, the crispier the crackers will be.

We find it easier to divide the dough in two and then roll out each half separately. This way, we can get a really thin slab with less effort.

sourdough cracker dough rolled out with rolling pin
sourdough cracker slab

Step 5

Next, brush the surface with cold water and sprinkle the remaining half of fennel seeds and black pepper over it.

Wetting the dough will both help the seasoning stick and make the crackers crispier.

Then, roll over the seeds with a rolling pin, pressing down to secure them into the dough.

sourdough crackers with fennel and pepper

Step 6

Use a wheel cutter or long knife to cut 6 cm x 6 cm (2.5 in x 2.5 in) dough squares. Then, prick them with the tines of a fork.

We made our crackers squared, but you can also make them rectangular or diamond-shaped.

Bake them for 50 minutes at 160 °C (320 °F) for static ovens or at 140 °C (285 °F) for fan ovens.

We recommend checking the crackers after the first 30 minutes of baking time and removing those that look golden and crispy.

If you're cooking them on two trays, rotate the trays top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking time to get evenly browned crackers.

cut crackers shapes pricked with a fork

Step 7

Finally, transfer the baked crackers onto a wire rack and leave them to cool down completely.

They will crisp up and harden as they cool down, so it's important to keep them on a wire rack to allow even airflow.

baked fennel sourdough crackers on a rack


  • You can swap fennel seeds with other Italian herbs like dried thyme or rosemary.

  • To keep these sourdough crackers crispy for longer, we recommend storing them away as soon as they have cooled down. Transfer them into an airtight container or zip-lock bags and keep them for up to 6 days.