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Why These Sourdough Starter Crackers Are a Cheese’s BFF


We’re partnering with California goat cheese maker Cypress Grove to show you delicious ways to enjoy goat cheese throughout the season. Here, food writer and recipe developer Irene Yoo shares her recipe for sourdough starter crackers with thyme and black pepper. Pro tip: They pair up perfectly with Cypress Grove’s limited-edition Humboldt Fog Haze Remix.

I have never heeded the siren call of the sourdough starter. Not for lack of opportunity—a colleague once told tales of his 80-year-old starter from Alaska and offered to cut me in. I seriously considered it, but did I have room in my life to take on another living, breathing entity that I would have to fretfully nurture? My apartment is already teeming with too many plants as it is.

Plus, the whole endeavor seemed a bit wasteful to me, once I learned that I would have to regularly feed and discard the starter, essentially dumping pounds of flour in the trash.

All to say, I didn’t think I’d ever have a sourdough starter of my own—until a recent park hang with a neighborhood friend, who brought a mini spread of cheese nubs from her fridge along with a container of crackers. “Oh, these are sourdough starter crackers that my neighbor dropped off!” she exclaimed. They were perfect little squares (almost too cute to eat), sprinkled with sea salt and flecks of herbs and spices. And truly, they were the best crackers I have ever had, especially with cheese.

Pairing crackers for a cheese board has always been a struggle for me. The store-bought kind are either too froufrou and expensive (at almost a dollar a pop) or too milquetoast (sad, wan attempts at flavor or crunchiness). They’re usually too stale by the time you get to them, too.

So these sourdough starter crackers were the Goldilocks of them all—just right. I knew they were the recipe to get me on board the sourdough train, so I phoned a baker friend to request a piece of her starter.

With some sourdough starter on hand, these crackers turned out to be incredibly simple. I whipped up a batch to complement my cheese of choice this fall: Cypress Grove’s Humboldt Fog Haze Remix, a seasonal riff on the brand’s iconic creamy goat cheese. I mixed dried thyme into the dough to play off the lavender and wild fennel pollen in the cheese—the floral, earthy flavors matched up nicely. After cutting the crackers into rectangles (for easy cheese spreading), I topped them with freshly cracked black pepper for a bit of kick.

Now I’ve got a little sourdough starter baby nursing in my fridge (did you know you can keep it dormant in there for months?) at all times, ready and waiting to become crackers for my next cheese board. Or, hey, maybe I’ll try my hand at some bread after all.

What’s your favorite cheese-and-cracker combo? Tell us in the comments below!

Mary Keehn first launched Cypress Grove in 1983, after a fresh goat cheese she perfected over her stovetop quickly caught on in her community in Humboldt County, California. She started out with just two goats (Esmeralda and Hazel) and zero experience, but today, Cypress Grove has over 1,000 goats and produces a lineup of award-winning goat cheeses—from their popular Humboldt Fog and Midnight Moon to the one-of-a-kind Danger Zone. We’re excited to team up with Cypress Grove to share the ultimate cracker for their seasonal Humboldt Fog Haze Remix: herby sourdough starter crackers with black pepper.

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