Thursday, 10 October 2013

Baking A Gluten Free Sourdough Loaf: Putting Theory To Practice.

The process of sourdough from start to finish is a long road but it is a road well worth travelling for the outcome is rewarding and satisfying. Cataloging every step has left me with many questions to the gluten free sourdough process so there is much more baking to be done yet I was not disappointed. Some techniques used in regular sourdough need to be trialed for gluten free sourdough but for now this is process I tried and share with you to put into practice.

Gluten Free Sourdough Starter:


You will need:
100g of gluten free flour (I used a blend of wholegrain flours and measured out equal amounts of sorghum, buckwheat and millet)
100g of filtered room temperature water
A large jar
A piece of cheese cloth
A elastic band
A whisk or fork

Whisk flour and water in a small bowl. Pour this into the jar. Cover with a cheesecloth securing it around with elastic band and let sit for 12 hours at room temperature.
After 12 hours, whisk the starter and add 50g flour and 50g water, mix together. Cover and let sit for 12 hours at room temperature. Continue adding 50g flour and 50g water every 12 hours for up to a week.

24 hours

48 hours

72 hours

96 hours
There's more detail about creating and maintaining your starter here.

The starter should be “spongy” in appearance with maybe some foamy bubbles on top and some air pockets in the mixture. It should have a slight sour smell. Your starter is now active and is ready to be used.

Gluten Free Sourdough Bread Recipe:


Mix in the bowl of a stand mixer until a gel forms:
350g spring water at room temp
20g psyllium husk
10g ground flaxseed

Add:
300g starter 100% hydration
300g gluten free flour blend (60g each of sorghum, millet, buckwheat, tapioca and potato starch)
24g sugar
1 tsp salt

Mix everything until well blended.  Scoop dough out and form into an oblong shape and set to rise on parchment paper in a loaf pan.  Cover the top with plastic touching the surface of the dough.  Put the whole pan in a plastic bag and let rise 4-12 hours.  The longer it rises the more sour it will be but the less oven spring you will get.

Shaped dough

Dough before rise

Dough after rise

Preheat oven to 200°C (390°F) with a heavy baking sheet or pizza stone inside.  Score the bread, brush with water, cover with a tin foil tent cover and open at the ends then carefully place it in the hot oven. Bake until when the loaf is tapped it sounds hollow, about 40 minutes. Remove the tent foil and bake until the crust feels crisp on top, about 10 minutes.  Let cool several hours before slicing.




As you can see this recipe creates a good sourdough loaf with even crumb and a chewy but not tough crust. What you can't see is the flavour which I can tell you is delicious!
There is other techniques and methods with regular sourdough I would like to try with this process, that gluten free sourdough may still benefit from. 
So there will always be a jar with a starter living in it on my kitchen bench, ready to be used. I would like to know how everyone else gets on and what techniques you may try and the outcomes.
Now go, get started and dedicate some well worthy time to making your own gluten free sourdough bread!