Vegan Gluten Free Sourdough Bread Without Dutch Oven
You dont need to invest in a dutch oven to make this gluten free sourdough bread. And even if you have one I dont recommend using it, because the dough is not stiff enough to hold its shape without walls of a loaf pan. The walls keep the rising upwards and not on the sides.
The best thing I found for easier gluten free sourdough bread baking is this adjustable oval baking frame or tin without a base. It has no bottom so its easy to remove while baking. And since it extends in and out easily it works well for any bread size if you decide to bake a larger loaf than anticipated.
Another great option is a high wall non-stick loaf tin, you dont even need parchment paper for this.
Picking Your Flour Blend
These are the flours I use most for my gluten-free sourdough bread! I switch these up often, and I recommend you experiment with them as well, taking notes to see which combinations you prefer. Ill go into a bit more detail about this in the recipe itself.
You can also use other flours, like buckwheat flour, teff flour, oat flour, and Im sure others I havent mentioned! Ive yet to experiment adequately with these to be able to speak to them, but I will update this post as I know more about those flours and how they perform within this recipe.
What Size Should Your Starter Be Kept At
The size you keep your gluten-free sourdough starter at isn’t terribly important. This recipe suggests feeding the starter at a ratio of 40g starter: 40g flour: 40g water. Therefore your mother starter will be kept at a weight of about 120-130g .
We keep the amount of starter low as gluten-free flours are expensive and there is a lot of discard in maintaining a larger starter. Plus a fairly newish starter takes a couple of good feeds before it is ready to start baking and you don’t want to be feeding it a mound of flour every time.
Sourdough recipes can require anything from between 50g-250g starter per recipe, therefore when you want to bake with it you might need to feed your starter with more flour + water to increase the weight and make enough suitable for your recipe
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Can You Make Gluten
Yes, you can make gluten-free sourdough starter. In fact, the process, like other gluten-free baking, is relatively simple and very similar to making a traditional sourdough starter. The way you make a starter is quite easy. Basically, you stir the gluten free flour with water in a jar, cover it, and allow it to sit at room temperature for a day before feeding it with more water and flour.
The wild yeast and bacteria in the environment cause the starter to develop over time. Then, that process is continued until the starter doubles in size and is active enough to use in your bread recipes. You can find my Gluten-Free Sourdough Starter recipe here, which you can make before preparing this sourdough bread recipe.
Step 6 Bake The Bread
Transfer your dough onto a sheet of baking paper, dust off the excess flour to avoid burning, and score your bread as you like. Then transfer the dough with the baking paper into the hot dutch oven. Be careful not to touch it with bare hands!
Place your bread into the oven, lower the temperature to 450F/230C and let it bake for 40 minutes. After that take off the lid, lower the temperature to 425F/215C and bake for additional 40 minutes.
Let the bread cool completely before cutting into it! Waiting will help you avoid gummines and will ensure your bread doesnt dry out too soon!
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What Affects The Time It Takes The Leaven To Peak:
HOW TO MIX YOUR LEAVEN -VIDEO
STEP 2: MIX YOUR LEAVEN
SUMMARY GLUTEN FREE SOURDOUGH LEAVEN
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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The Ultimate Guide To Gluten Free Sourdough
Learn everything you need to know about sourdough bread including: how its made, how to make your own, and how we use it as a base in all of our bread.
Nothing compares to the chewy, rustic flavor of a loaf of sourdough bread. With its thick brown crust and rich, deep flavor, its the perfect pairing for a steaming bowl of soup or a pat of fresh butter.
Unfortunately, sourdough bread is not something youre likely to find in the gluten free aisle at your local grocery store. You can, however, make it yourself at home if youre willing to put in the time and effort. For an easier and even more delicious option, try any Schär breads, which are made with a sourdough base.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about gluten free sourdough.
Tips For A Successful Bake
Fresh Ingredients Combining the freshest flours and starches will help create the best flavour and rise in a gluten-free sourdough bread recipe. If you have access to organic ingredients, try it out to compare the difference!
Water As mentioned earlier, adding the best source of water in a bread recipe is key. Try not to use chlorinated tap water. Filtered or spring water is great. Room temperature to slightly warm water is ideal.
Sea Salt Dont forget the salt! Its not an ingredient you want to skip. It does help with the flavour and texture of the crumb.
GF Sourdough Starter Aroma If you dont like how your starter smells you wont necessarily like the bread you make with it! My favourite gluten-free sourdough starter smell a little yeasty, sweet, and shouldnt be too sour .
Be Patient Dont rush the process! Baking sourdough is not a fast project but a rewarding one. Forgetting about your starter and rising dough can sometimes work to your advantage. Have fun and with practice you will figure out which tricks work well in your baking environment.
Room Temperature If your kitchen is freezing cold in the winter months, the process might feel slower than on a hot summer day. Let your environment lead you, again dont rush the process.
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Equipment Suggested To Create Gf Sourdough Bread At Home
- Digital scale:This one is really a must for GF baking as ingredients can vary so much. But if not possible, I will include a version of the recipe that uses standard measuring sizes.
- Glass or ceramic bowl: I use the biggest one from this set. Metal can negatively react with the dough causing it to not rise well.
- Banneton Basket: Optional but recommended in the long term. I have a kit like this.
- Dutch Oven: Personally I think a dutch oven gives the best crust. I have used a regular loaf pan and had good results. But the crust can get fairly tough without a cover to help trap the steam.
- Dough Scraper: plastic is best, once again because of the chance of reacting with the dough. This comes in handy when scraping the counter or your hands when kneading the dough. It will get sticky. One is included in the Banneton Basket kit.
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.
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How To Make Gluten
If you have gluten-free flour and water, you have what you need to create your own sourdough bread starter!
Before starting, special note: There is some misinformation online about any sourdough being okay for people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. There is no research that supports that. While the natural bacteria may make it easier to digest, it doesnt render it gluten-free.
If you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, be sure that you use gluten-free flour for the starter and gluten-free ingredients for all of the baked goods you plan to use your gluten-free sourdough starter in.
Optional Step: Score The Dough
Before hitting the hot pan, you may want to score the top of your loaf. Scoring is the process of using a bread lame to create a slit in the top of your dough, along with optional fancy designs. It isnt required, but it does help give your loaf a place to naturally expand as it rises. Without scoring, a loaf will likely split open haphazardly during baking.
The loaf will expand and split open the most where you score it. Deeper scores are used for directing that rapid expansion. It may even create a nice little lip on your loaf. Bakers call this the ear. Smaller, shallow scoring can be used to create beautiful designs. Move quickly here so your loaf doesnt start to go flat on you!
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Other Important Starter Tips:
- As important as it is to properly build your starter, storing it is probably just as if not more so. Your best bet is to use a container with a lid like a stoneware crock or a half-gallon mason jar and keep it in the fridge.
- Always pull out your starter from the fridge the night before you plan to use it. Once at room temperature, feed it again. In an ideal situation, your starter should be fed and allowed to sit for 12 hours before you use it. After using the starter in your recipe, feed your starter again and return it to the refrigerator.
- Always remember to feed your starter weekly, even if youre not using it.
Baking Gluten Free Artisan Sourdough Bread
Once youve scored, or slashed, your bread, you need to get it into the oven quickly. If using a Dutch oven, open the oven door and carefully lower the bread, parchment and all, into the Dutch oven. Be careful not to burn yourself. Immediate cover it with the lid and close the oven door.
If using a baking steel and shallow pan, quickly place the loaf, parchment and all, onto the baking steel and pour hot tap water into the shallow pan. Shut the oven door.
Bake the sourdough in the Dutch oven with the lid on for 40 minutes. Remove the lid and continue baking for another 20 minutes. If using the baking steel, bake the bread for one hour.
Remove your beautiful loaf of sourdough from the oven and allow it to cool completely before cutting.
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What Is An Active Fed & Bubbly Starter
Active means that the starter has been fed with gluten-free flour and water and had time to transform into wild yeast. A GF sourdough starter will display many happy bubbles throughout when its at its peak of activity.
The photo above is a great example of a starter that I would call ready to use in a bread recipe. Using the starter when its lively will help to create the best rise at the proofing and baking stage. Note that a gluten-free sourdough starter doesnt necessarily double in size.
Whether you use brown rice, sorghum or a different GF flour, the look of your starter could vary. If it separates a little, at the top or bottom, thats ok too! It doesnt mean its bad.
The clearest sign of a starter gone bad is the smell and if you see mold. Otherwise, its probably fine and will revive after one or a few feedings.
How Long Will This Gluten Free Sourdough Bread Take To Rise
This rise takes quite a bit of time. In all of my recipe testing, Im yet to see a rise that took less than 3 hours.
But this bread dough is much less likely to overproof and take on that pock-marked appearance than bread made with conventional yeast. If youre unsure about whether or not the bread has proofed enough, allow it to keep rising.
Ive even allowed the dough to rise for 8 hours. It still hadnt overproofed. Overproofed dough like this tends to have little dimples on the surface. That takes a lot longer to happen here.
That means that you can feed your active starter tonight, and leave it out on the counter, loosely covered. Then, when you wake up tomorrow morning, make the bread dough and set it to rise during the day. When youre about an hour away from dinnertime, bake the loaf and enjoy.
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Form The Gluten Free Sourdough Loaf:
- To the active starteradd the rest of ingredients: the flours , water, salt and maple syrup . You can use the exact ingredients provided in this recipe but you can also customize it by trying a variety of flours with higher nutritional quality in terms of fibre, vitamins and minerals. Like buckwheat, amaranth, quinoa, oat, flax seed, sorghum etc. Make sure to read below about the best flour to use in gluten free sourdough bread baking.
- If youre using 2nd recipe version, where I added more ground flax seeds and psyllium husk youll need a little bit more moisture so I increased the amount of water to 2 cups. First you combine the starter with water and psyllium husk, mix to combine, so it can expand a little bit. And then you add the rest of ingredients.
- Mix. The dough should look like a thick batter or like a brownie batter. No kneading is required.
Making vegan gluten free sourdough bread.
How To Refresh A Gluten Free Sourdough Starter
Refreshing a gluten free starter keeps it healthy and strong. I refresh mine at least every other week, once a week if I remember, when stored in the fridge, but always 8-12 hours before Im ready to mix the sourdough. Also, I keep the starter in a glass jar with a rubber band around the starting level so I can track its progress as it develops.
To refresh your gluten free starter:
- First, in a clear jar youll add part of your sourdough starter . Then youll whisk in the water and add the flours. Mix well until the flours are hydrated.
- Next, loosely lid and wrap a rubber band around the jar at the height of the starter. This will give you a visual indication of how much the starter has grown as it grows to double in size.
- Last, allow the starter to develop at room temperature for about 8-12 hours. The time will vary due to ambient temperature.
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Is Sourdough Bread Ok For Gluten Intolerance
While sourdough bread made with wheat flour is unsafe for people diagnosed as celiac, it may be ok for those with a gluten intolerance.
Unlike celiacs, people with a gluten intolerance may be able to consume longer fermented sourdough breads or those made with lower gluten flour like rye.
If someone with celiac disease eats food containing gluten, an auto immune response is triggered and their system attacks its own body tissue. If someone who is gluten intolerant eats gluten, they may get short term bloating and belly pain – but it will cause long term damage.
You can read more on the differences between diagnosed celiac disease and gluten intolerance here.
The long fermentation of sourdough bread breaks down the gluten and will allow some gluten intolerant people to consume it without issues.
If you are celiac, you will need to make a gluten free sourdough starter to make gluten free sourdough bread.
You will need to exercise caution with sourdough discard recipes as some of these will contain unfermented flour which could cause issues for gluten intolerances and gluten sensitivities. You can read more about how to decipher sourdough discard recipes here.