Gluten Free Sourdough Basics
For those who love and miss sourdough, take heart! The art of making sourdough isnt lost without the gluten. Theres still a lot of feeding, caring and waiting for the starter to mature and bloom into all its potential.
Ive actually made so much starter that Ive given some away to neighbors with the promise of sharing the gluten free sourdough recipe soon , but I just couldnt throw any away when Ive tended to it for so long! Its like a little sourdough baby and you just cant toss it out I care about it! Its alive.
Youll see when you make this gluten free sourdough starter youll see. You wont want to discard any of the extra either. Its precious.
Some things are the same about making gluten free sourdough bread as they are with making any other gluten free bread. Theres no kneading the bread and stretching the gluten because theres no gluten! Just follow my instructions to the letter, use my gfJules Gluten Free All Purpose Flour, and sit back to watch the magic happen.
Gluten free flours are tricky business. It took me two years to develop my original blend way back in 2003 and Ive been tweaking and improving it ever since. Just because you think you can read ingredients and intuit how much of anything to use or to buy something off the shelf that sounds similar you cant. It wont be the same, and the results wont look like those pictured.
For more help with gluten free bread baking, in general, hop to my 18 Top Gluten Free Bread Baking Tips.
Get Your Starter Going
Getting your first starter ready is likely the most nerve wracking and challenging part of the whole process. The starter is what will make your bread rise, and creating a starter with wild yeast takes about 8 days. Its a process of adding flour and water to a jar, twice a day while catching some wild yeast in the air. That yeast helps activate the starter, and ferment it. Its this fermentation that gives sourdough its signature sour taste, and gets your bread rising.
To get your starter started you will need:
- 1 Mason jar
- 8 cups of sorghum flour
- dry measuring cups
- cloth or paper towel and elastic band
Cooks Gluten Free Sourdough Bread Product Review
This review comes with mixed feelings. On the upside, I was SO silly excited to find out about Cooks Gluten Free back in February at the Nourished Festival in San Diego. I was happy to purchase bread loves, of each flavor, after Kid Two sampled them and gave it a thumbs up. Best part? Theyre coming from a dedicated facility. Their bread is also yeast free . So whats not to love?
Turns out, the bread. No one liked it. Forget that I spent good money on the loaves, but NO ONE liked them during the sampling process. Their number one complaint was that the bread is too vinegar-y. Kid Four said the Original Bread was as sour as sour candy. They also complained quite a bit about the texture and mouthfeel. They didnt like how it broke apart when you would bite/chew, and one taster even said it was like eating sand on the beach. As you can imagine, I was truly heartbroken, but determined to not waste money.
Enter creative meals. I decided not to give up on this bread and incorporated it into a few meals. The first was a tuna bake with melted cheese. They LOVED the meal. They all said that the bread was MUCH MUCH MUCH better toasted and paired with something. I made another tasty dinner with the French Loaf and had the same results.
Since trying the bread again, served differently, Kid Two has been pulling slices from the freezer and enjoying them toasted with lunch meat from time to time.
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Preparing Your Starter For Baking
When it comes time to bake your bread, you want your starter to be bubbling what is often referred to as active! You want those yeasts working.
If you are baking on Day 7 of the starter-making process, you likely dont need to do this, but if, like me, youre not that organized this works great.
- Take the starter out of the fridge and using a spatula, mix well. Transfer about 1 cup of starter into a second Mason jar and allow it to come to room temperature .
- Feed with 1/2 cup sorghum flour and 1/2 cup of water, after about two or three hours, you should see some bubbling activity or, if youre not home, just trust that its happening.
- 4-6 hours later, feed again with another 1/2 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of water.
- Allow to sit for 3-4 hours before using in baking.
- To get 1 cup of active starter as needed for your bread, just before measuring it out, give your starter a light stir, and pour out the 1 cup of starter just before adding to your dough.
Making Gluten Free Sourdough Starter
Youll first need to make the gluten free starter.
ONE QUICK NOTE: while most dry yeast is gluten-free, some are not. There is a new Platinum Sourdough Yeast out from Red Star which is made with both rye and wheat. DO NOT USE THIS YEAST to create your gluten free starter!
The premise behind any sourdough is that it starts with you got it, starter.
Youll need to be sure you have a non-reactive container to store your starter in: glass, glazed pottery, stainless steel, or food-grade plastic will work. Make sure the container is large enough to hold your starter for the duration it will grow!
I found that transferring my starter to a bowl to mix in more gluten free flour and water and then transferring it back to jars worked for me, but you may find another method that you prefer.
Youll also want to have some cheesecloth or muslin to cover your starter for the first week or two when its on the counter. The porous material will allow yeast in the air to settle on the starter and help to feed it.
Gluten Free Sourdough Starter Recipe
(Note: while I have only made the gluten free sourdough starter in the measurements given below, I have discussed this with other readers and using the same proportions but halving or quartering the recipe does appear to yield the same results. Meaning you may make the starter with 1/2 or 1/4 of the below recipe.
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Why Make Pure Wild Yeast Gluten Free Sourdough Bread
This recipe for a standard loaf of gluten free sourdough bread and our simplified recipe for gluten free wild yeast sourdough starter are not designed to be a deep dive into all things sourdough. Our goal here is much simpler.
Indeed, this is a loaf of authentic gluten free sourdough bread, made without any commercial yeast at all. But these recipes are designed to scratch the itch for a fuller-bodied yeasty tasting bread, and to help you enjoy fresh homemade bread if you dont have any commercial yeast.
Think of it more like a workhorse kind of white sandwich bread thats great for lunches. In my bread book, GFOAS Bakes Bread, I have a whole chapter on wild yeast sourdough recipes and we go deep.
Here, we go simple. The rules are a little relaxed, but the process takes less work. And frankly I believe that the deep dive in Bakes Bread really illustrates why I still love traditional cookbooks that can really explore a whole subject.
Different People Different Methods
Understand that most people will probably use different methods to make a starter. Just like no two people will ever make pizza the same way. Below are my tips on how to prepare a simple active Gluten-Free Sourdough Starter.
Ive tested everything from adding kombucha, grapes, water kefir and apples to create pleasant smelling starters. Each method has different outcomes. Ive even placed fruit beside my starter to see if the bacteria from the fruit would magically fly into my starter to make it sweeter.
My friend Melissa Torio makes her starter with kombucha yeast.
Start with a simple method. As you get better at experimenting you can test different ingredients to achieve a lively bubbly starter that you will love to bake with.
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Grab Your Active Fed Wild Yeast Gluten Free Sourdough Starter
Before we begin discussing how to make bread with your active, fed wild yeast sourdough starter, lets first make sure you have one! If you dont, no worries at all youve come to the right place.
Keep in mind that a wild yeast sourdough starter takes at least 5 days to become active. And it will perform best after about 10 days.
You can speed things up by adding a bit of commercial yeast to your starter. If you have commercial yeast on hand and you need a loaf of bread today, I recommend our simplest gluten free white sandwich bread recipe.
But if youve been confused by sourdough starters in the past, try to stick with us. Weve simplified the process significantly. Please see our recipe for how to create a gluten free sourdough starter.
It includes an instructional video to bring it to life, and frequently asked questions to help soothe your worried sourdough soul. ?
Key Tips For Using Your Gluten Free Sourdough Starter:
- For best rise, feed your gluten free sourdough starter 4-12 hours again before using it and bring to to room temperature
- You may still use the starter stored in the refrigerator that wasnt just fed your loaf will have less springiness and will take a lot longer to proof.
- Using starter that is not fed a few hours before will produce a loaf with more sour flavor.
- Unfed starter can still rise the sourdough, even after two weeks in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before using, if possible.
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Storing Your Homemade Gluten Free Sourdough Bread
I always recommend storing your baked goods at room temperature in a sealed container, and this gluten free sourdough bread is no exception. The simple truth is that if you put baked goods into the refrigerator, they will dry out. You can put them into the freezer when they are fully cooled, but they will need to be warmed or toasted before enjoying again.
This gluten free sourdough bread is still soft and delicious after a few days in a zip top bag with the air squeezed out of it and stored at room temperature. Depending on the size of your loaf, you may need to cut it in half to get it to fit into a gallon sized bag, but other than that, its easy to just seal it up and grab a slice whenever you like!
If youd like to bake a regular gluten free artisan loaf without the sourdough starter, check out my Gluten Free Artisan Bread Recipe. And of course, my award-winning gfJules Gluten Free Bread Mix works well for any kind of sandwich bread, oven or bread machine, hamburger/hot dog bun or baguette recipe! Click on the description tab to find links to all these gluten free bread recipes or use the search bar above.
So lets get down to baking great gluten free sourdough, shall we?
How To Make Gluten Free Sourdough Taste Sour
There are three main distinguishing features of sourdough: taste smell and texture. You might expect that the most difficult feature to achieve in gluten free sourdough would be texture, but as you can see from the photos, the artisan texture, open cell structure and crunchy crust are present in each of my loaves made with my gfJules Flour or my gfJules Bread Mix.
The smell is something that is quite noticeable from the starter. It should be tangy and rather sour smelling to know its really active. If your starter isnt smelling very sour, it needs to age longer and/or be fed more.
But the sour taste was the thing that seemed to be most elusive for me in my bread experiments. Thats fine for me, as I dont prefer a sourdough taste in my bread, but I know many of you do.
My breads came out tasting yeasty and mild, just perfect for sandwiches or dipping in olive oil and balsamic .
No, the sour taste didnt come easily. I did achieve it when I allowed the bread to rise overnight, so if you are searching for that sour, I recommend budgeting time for an overnight rise.
I allowed my bread to rise as I described above, then placed it in the refrigerator overnight , then removed it the next day to sit on the counter to come to room temperature before baking. THEN the sour started to show through!
If you do any experimenting of your own and find other ways to make this bread taste sour-er, please share in the comments below!
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Good To Know When Making Gluten
I kept the bread dough in the fridge for 14 hours. After taking it out of the refrigerator and putting it in the tin, it was rising for 6 hours. Sourdough needs much more time to rise than yeast dough.
I used a rectangular baking tin measuring 11 by 30 centimetres.
You can prepare sourdough for gluten-free bread according to this recipe: Sourdough gluten-free starter but without the addition of honey.
Are you looking for gluten-free baking ideas? If so, try our recipe for Gluten-free pizza.
Schedule And Ingredients Ratios Summary
|Coming to room temp|
|*The longer the refrigerated bulk, the shorter the proofing time.|
|Timing based on a dough temperature of 26.5C and room temperature of 26.5C|
|18.75g||7.5% of dough flour|
|*if you use the version of Mix 1 without whey protein isolate , scale up dough water to 374g to achieve 145% hydration|
Can You Store The Sourdough Bread
Yes, you can definitely store the gluten-free sourdough bread. For this purpose, wrap the sourdough bread in a dry, cloth towel. Make sure the towel is lint-free. Now place this cloth-wrapped bread into the brown paper bag. This way, the bread stays fresh for up to 3 4 days.
You can also revive a few days old stale bread by toasting or lightly broiling it. It is recommended to store it in the freezer if you wish to store the bread for more the 3 4 days,
Gluten Free Sourdough 18 Oz
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