Tips For Making Gluten Free Sourdough Banana Bread
Activating The Gluten Free Sourdough Starter
The process of activating the gluten free sourdough starter can take from 5 to 10 days, it depends on a lot of factors. The package of sourdough culture comes with instructions on how to activate it, but the description doesnt always coincides with what can happen in reality, so this is how it worked for me :
Day 1: In your jar combine 1 tablespoon of brown rice flour and 1 tablespoon of filtered warm water, and add the packet of sourdough culture, stir well to incorporate. You might need to add another 1 tsp of water, if it feels too thick to mix. Cover loosely with a cloth secured with a rubber band and let it sit at room temperature for 24 hours. Cover the jar with a towel if your kitchen is really sunny during the day.
Day 2: Feed the starter with 2 more tablespoons of flour and 2 tablespoons of water, stir. The mixture should have the consistency of a pancake batter. Let it ferment for another 18-24 hours.
Day 3: After 24 hours, no bubbles yet but I fed it with another 4 tbsp of flour and 4 tbsp of water.
Day 4: After 18 hours I could see really tiny bubbles and feel a mildly acidic smell and I fed it again with 1/2 cup flour + 1/2 cup water. As the starter is getting hungrier and growing I noticed that the time between feedings needs shrinking.
Day 5: This time after only 14 hours I could notice more bubbles and more activity . I fed it again, this time with 1 cup of flour + 1 cup of water.
How To Make Gluten Free Vegan Sourdough Bread
Flour can be added to the sourdough starter using the gluten-free ingredients.Sea salt, xanthan gum, flax and psyllium husk should be mixed together.Once the dough has thicken and is slightly warm, fold the dough in half and then roll it up.A cast iron dutch oven is one of the best methods of cooking.Place the loaf on the counter and cover it with the mixing bowl for two hours.
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Step : Proof Overnight
Next, were going to transfer the dough into the proofing basket, aka banneton. Proofing is essentially the final rise. After much experimentation, we have found the best results with our gluten-free sourdough bread when the room-temperature bulk fermentation phase is followed by a long cold proof in the refrigerator. This is almost exactly how we bake our wheat-based sourdough bread, with one exception: time. Wheat is more forgiving and can sit for up over 24 hours in cold proof. On the other hand, gluten-free sourdough peaks and falls faster, so I suggest a 7-12 hour cold proof instead.
By putting the dough into a banneton, it helps it form and hold the perfect loaf shape. A banneton proofing basket is made from woven material, which allows extra air into the loaf adding to the rise. Last but not least, using a banneton for proofing makes the transfer into the hot baking pan a bit easier. If you do not have a bannteon, simply transfer the dough into a smaller bowl (a loaf-size bowl that will easily fit in the fridge.
To transfer the dough into the banneton:
Other Factors To Consider
Its important to note that the ingredients you use, the liveliness of the gluten-free starter, and the environment in which you bake will also play a role in the outcome of your loaves.
The GF sourdough for this test is thicker. It contains psyllium husk, which makes it manipulable by hand. Other recipes could have a batter-like consistency and might not have psyllium husk, flax or other similar binders.
I feel that all gluten-free vegan sourdoughs require some resting/rising/proofing time. It gives the ingredients a chance to soak up the liquid and transform into something magical that will bake into a beautiful, nutritious loaf with a good rise.
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ALLERGEN NOTICE: Make sure the ingredients you purchase are prepared in a facility free from the top allergens you avoid. Gluten-free products should be certified GF and clearly labelled. Consult your medical professional with your dietary questions. Even certified gluten-free ingredients such as GF oats, corn, seeds, etc., can create health problems for individuals following a GF diet. Always consult a medical professional if unsure about ingredients for your needs.
Before you begin, please watch this step-by-step video to help you make this Buckwheat Sourdough.
Step 1Cut a piece of unbleached parchment paper that will fit inside or on your baking vessel of choice, set aside.
Step 3Transfer the dough into a large soup bowl and dusted with a little flour. A cloth-lined banneton basket is ok too. Reference video for guidance. Loosely cover , let rise in a warm place for a minimum of 2 hours. Read Step 4 about preheating.
Step 4Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F, at least 30 to 45 minutes before you are ready to bake your loaf. You will also need to preheat your Dutch oven while the oven is warming up, everything needs to be hot!
How To Make The Bread
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The Ratios Of Sourdough
Youll hear people saying things like 100% hydration or 85% hydration when talking about sourdough.
What they are talking about when they say this is the ratio of flour to water. So, if a loaf is 100% hydration, then the ration of flour to water is 1:1.
I would recommend not getting too caught up in hydration ratios. I mostly ignored them while I learned all about sourdough, and that works well for me. The only time I really refer to them is when talking about my starter, which I feed with about 100% hydration. All this means is that youre feeding 1 part starter to 1 part water to 1 part flour.
Gluten-free flours vary far more widely in absorbency than traditional all-purpose flour does, which means its more important to look out for the right consistency in gluten-free sourdough starter, rather than precisely the right ratio. Many times with my gluten-free flours, I find I need more water than flour because the flour is so absorbent.
How To Refresh Your Starter From The Fridge
Unfortunately there is no hard and fast method to refreshing your starter from the fridge, it relies on a variety of factors:
- What flour you use to feed it .
- The climate you are in .
- How established your starter is .
Over time you will get to know exactly how much to feed your starter and how long before baking you should take it out of the fridge. It’s usually about 24 hours prior to baking. If I am planning to bake my bread on the Saturday then I will take my starter out of the fridge on Friday morning. It may need 1 or 2 feeds to get fully active enough for using for a bread recipe.
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Gluten Free Sourdough Starter Feeding Schedule
I recommend feeding your starter every 18 hours for the first 2-3 days, to see how it behaves. If it stays the same with little activity than wait up to 24 hours before next feeding. If the starter develops bubbles quickly and rises up in the mason jar then reduce the time.
Beyond those 3 days if the starter bubbles becomes quite active, rises and falls well before each feeding, then you need to feed it more often . If is not falling before you feed it again, then you can extend the time between feedings. It all depends on the temperature in your kitchen, adjust the time accordingly.
What Does This Gluten Free Sourdough Bread Taste Like
In a word, earthy in such a good way! This gf sourdough bread is texture rich due to the seeds/grains, has a mild oaty flavor, and a chewy interior thanks in part to the binding power of psyllium husk powder, with a nice crisp crust .
Because this bread is gluten free, egg and dairy free , mostly whole grain, free of fillers and large quantities of starches, youll notice the interior is moist/tacky to the touch. So, it needs to be toasted to bring out its best texture. Sometimes Ill double toast for breakfast toast, aka, avocado with egg toast.
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The Importance Of Temperature
During this process, try to keep both your starter and the dough around 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit. 75°F is the ideal fermentation temperature for the yeast and bacteria to stay active and happy. During warmer months you can usually keep everything out on the counter. However, cooler winter conditions lead to less active sourdough and also an increased chance of mold in the starter. Excessively warm conditions will make the dough rise more quickly, but could also lead to over-proofing or deflating.
I highly suggest using a thermometer in the immediate vicinity of where your starter and dough are hanging out. We like to keep this ambient thermometer on the kitchen counter for easy monitoring. Going by feel isnt always reliable. For example, our house feels very comfortable to us humans at only 65F, but that is a bit too cool for your dough baby.
A couple options to provide warmth to your sourdough are to keep it near a warm appliance, use an electric heating pad or seedling heat mat nearby, or to wrap the container/bowl in classic holiday lights. I emphasize classic lights because newer LED lights do not get warm. Last but not least, our favorite easy way to keep both sourdough starter and the proofing dough warm is to keep it inside the oven with the oven OFF, buttheoven light on! It creates the perfect cozy home. It if gets too warm in the oven, keep the door cracked open slightly.
Can Oat Flour Be Used In Sourdough Starter
Rice , oat flour as well as millet , quinoa and sorghum typically take longer nstead for a starter.The process of getting things started should take 5-7 days.You will not find them to bubble up as much as you would like them to.Upon arrival at the starter, there are traces of bubbles on top of the gas that is bubbling.
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Gluten Free Sourdough Baking Tips & Tricks
Baking Temperature For Gluten
Over the past few years, Ive baked many bread recipes at 450°F. Ive also experimented with hotter temperatures, at times reducing the heat for the second half of the baking.
Baking at 425°F works well too. Keep in mind that your bread may have to bake for longer if you lower the temperature.
When baking bread, I try and keep the process as simple as possible. If you were a baker at a bakery, you probably wouldnt have time to fiddle with baking temperatures. You would find the ideal baking temperature for the specific bread recipe in your environment, kitchen and season and stick with it.
Are the bottoms of your loaves too dark? Pay attention to where you place your loaves in the oven. Is your oven hotter than you think? Test the actual heat with an oven-safe thermometer. Consider reducing your oven temperature for your next bake. Also, test the doneness of your loaf with a digital food thermometer. It might be ready sooner in your oven.
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Make Or Prepare The Gluten Free Sourdough Starter
If you decided to make your own gluten free sourdough starter, you have 3 options:
For all 3 methods you need mostly filtered water, flour, and the same amount of time .
Im using method number 3 with a sourdough culture because it gives me the peace of mind that it wont fail. I have a post showing how to start a gluten free sourdough starter, how to maintain, store and troubleshooting tips with pictures and video.
So once its ready, or if you already have an established starter that sits in the fridge, here are the next steps: