Crazy Beautiful Gluten Free Sourdough
Here I am after all my little thinglets have gone to bed “while visions of sugarplums dance in their heads,” waiting to see if after a month’s worth of flops have I finally come up with the perfect loaf of gluten free bread?
If you have ever tried it you will know what I’ve been through! If you have never tried it I would not recommend it! My quest has proven quite expensive and time consuming, not to mention a complete flop as of yet. The last two attempts were very similar to a real live brick! Before that a beautiful crust filled with something like pancake batter goo. I’ve tried mixes and recipes even made up my own and nothing seems to work. One of my recent attempts came from a fellow gluten free blogger. In the picture her bread looked amazing, I followed the steps to a t and to my dismay another one to the dogs!
Baking without gluten poses an especially challenging problem. The wheat gluten is the very thing that causes bread to rise and achieve that wonderful texture so in order to get something similar without it you have to be quite a magician. I think gluten free baking is also more affected by elevation. Just as soon as one person gets it right with the pictures to prove it, I try it up here and the thing is completely unrecognizable.
I have recently learned that sourdough starter can be made with 1 cup rice flour, 2 tsp yeast, a teaspoon of sugar and 1 cup potato water (I boiled potatoes and used that water). It works if you bake rice flour loaves or bean flour based loaves. The night before last I made sourdough starter so today will be my first attempt at sourdough bread since going gluten free goofy. Strange stuff I might add, it smells like there is no way it could be edible but the proof is in the bread pan.
My most successful loaves started from recipes in Bette Hagman’s cookbook The Gluten-Free Gourmet. If you purchase it and follow the recipes exactly, you will need many specialty flours but the results have proven worth it. I tell everyone now that I’m using “exotic” flours instead of generic wheat flour. It makes me sound so mysterious!
Bummer again! The loaf came out about an inch tall. Tasty but hard to spread butter on. I guess I will have to try again soon. Stay tuned for more.
I have been making progress with my new sourdough “pet” and have other posts you can check out. I learned that the commercial yeast and potato water are not actually necessary to make good sourdough, in fact not as desirable. Distilled water and the freshest flour possible will work just fine for a successful sourdough. I am still learning about how to keep and bake with sourdough. You might find that pioneer style pancakes hit the spot or perhaps some sourdough biscuits.