One of the many benefits of making sourdough bread recipes is that it increases nutritive value by breaking down phytates by 62%. Phytates, naturally present in whole grains act as enzyme inhibitors. It’s these enzyme inhibitors that keep the grain from sprouting until the right conditions are present. The grain naturally binds it’s minerals waiting for the optimal condition or germination of the seed to nourish the growing plant.
When the lactic acid fermentation in sourdough begins, it dissolves these mineral blocking phytates and allows our bodies to absorb zinc, iron, magnesium, copper and phosphorous. Other added benefits of sourdough is that the fermentation process allows the bread to be more easily digestible and breaks down gluten which may counteract gluten intolerance. In my opinion sourdough followed by sprouting are THE most nutritious ways of preparing your grains.
Reading how forgiving homemade sourdough crackers were to make, I decided to go all out and came up with a delightful recipe using freshly pureed tomato from my garden in the base. This gave it a wonderful tomato flavor complemented by basil and freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese. A vibrant cracker suited for adults and loved by my kids.
Sourdough Tomato and Basil Crackers with Pecorino Romano Cheese
- 3/4 cup sourdough starter (This can be discared old starter)
- 1/2 cup pureed tomato
- 1/4 cup farm fresh pork lard
- 1 tbl dried basil
- 1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino romano cheese (or parmagianno)
- 6 oz whole wheat pastry flour (soft white wheat), adding 1 tbls of flour more at a time to make a stiff dough
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- extra virgin olive oil for brushing
- coarse sea salt for sprinkling
- In a large bowl combine the sourdough starter, pureed tomato, pork lard, dried basil, pecorino romano cheese and 6oz whole wheat pastry flour. Combine until mixed and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and knead adding 1 tbls of flour at a time until stiff.
- Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover and allow to sit at room temperature for at least 7 hours. (I started my dough in the morning and baked in the evening)
- Before prepping to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Taking 1/4 cup of the dough, roll it out onto parchment paper until thin.
- Brush the dough with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
- Using a pizza cutter or knife cut the dough into cracker shapes, horizontally and vertically.
- Transfer the crackers on the parchment paper to a baking pan or stone and bake for 15-20 minutes or until just golden brown.
- Repeat in batches.