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Sourdough gluten free bread – the journey begins

November 13, 2010

I have decided that I really need to get serious about the gluten-free and dairy free thing again. I can’t keep letting greed dictate. Ofcourse this is a serious challenge for my sourdough bread making. Who can resist a freshly baked loaf, still warm from the oven and slathered in butter? Not me, usually. But this week I have managed to resist. I even resisted the olive and rosemary loaves I made, which are normally quite a favourite. Instead I am turning my energies towards creating a decent sourdough gluten free bread. Decent enough to make me want to eat it.

I made my first atttempt at it this week. It wasn’t 100% gluten free as I started with a couple of tablespoons of my normal (wheat based) sourdough starter. I used mainly brown rice flour, quinoa flakes, buckwheat flour, polenta flour and a little chickpea flour. I added a little xanthum gum to it – something I have not used before. It is supposed to act a bit like a gluten replacer in cakes, breads, etc. I even made a few olive and rosemary rolls as you can see in the picture.

And the end result? “Promising” best describes it. The starter loved the gluten free flours so I think there should be no problem to create a gf version by feeding it only gf flours for a few weeks. Still may not be 100% gf as it will retain ‘traces’ of wheat, but definitely good enough for me since I am not coeliac. The texture was ok too – not dry and crumbly or dense like most gf breads you can buy. It had a slightly bitter taste with the first couple of bites I took, which I have to admit was less than pleasant. But after those first few bites, I could not taste that bitterness at all. Even the next day! It toasted up ok and stayed moist for a few days.  So definitely a good starting point to work from. I will experiment some more and post up exact quantities, etc when I have a result I am happy with. I have also stocked up on some more gf flours like millet, potato, etc which should make for some interesting experiments.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. November 13, 2010 7:39 PM

    Good luck with the experimentation! And I’m sure many GF eaters will applaud your efforts! 🙂

  2. November 13, 2010 9:42 PM

    Looking forward to the end results, keep us posted!

  3. November 14, 2010 4:54 PM

    It certainly looks promising! I’m stumped as to why the starter is responding – I thought it needed the gluten like regular yeast. Curiouser and curiouser, can’t wait to see where your experiments lead you! 🙂

    • spiceandmore permalink*
      November 19, 2010 9:20 AM

      I am with Jo – I think the starter just needs ‘food’ and it will take it in the form of protein or carbs…and although gluten free flours are mostly lower in protein (apart from the chickpea and quinoa which are probably higher), they still have some…which might be good enough (?)

  4. November 16, 2010 7:30 AM

    There is quite a lot of info about gluten free sourdough on The Fresh Loaf if you haven’t had a look over there already. I remember reading quite a few posts over there. People using stuff like chia gel, whatever that is and all sorts of fascinating posts and stories, well worth a browse….

    I think starters just want calories to eat i.e. carbohydrates, complex sugars, simple sugars, they’re not that fussy, though I think some grains are easier to keep stable than others, rye for example is always preferred to wheat by the wild yeasts. From what I remember reading it’s quite hard to keep a brown rice starter happy but it can be done, I don’t think they have the longevity and stability of the rye and wheat based cultures, but I could be wrong, I’m talking off the top of my head here 😉

    • spiceandmore permalink*
      November 19, 2010 9:18 AM

      I had not heard of that Jo so thanks heaps for the link. I will definitely check it out. No need to reinvent wheels…. 🙂

  5. November 17, 2010 8:16 PM

    This looks like a really good gluten free loaf – it actually looks appealing! I think it is definitely a good starting point 🙂

    • spiceandmore permalink*
      November 19, 2010 9:18 AM

      Thanks Susan, it was an ok start to the experimenting.

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