Gluten-Free Sourdough: Experiments in Yeast Breads and Long-Fermentation

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Whole Grain Gluten-Free Sourdough Boule, before rising and baking.

I first started dabbling in wheat sourdough four or five years ago. I was really in it for the easier-to-digest bread, but we soon fell in love with that sourdough flavor. Soon we were cranking out whole wheat sourdough boules, muffins, and other tangy and tasty treats.

Eventually someone in our family was suspected of having a wheat sensitivity, so I gave up sourdough and we turned to gluten-free grains soaked in cultured dairy. These make delicious pancakes and muffins and quick breads, without any additional binders, but that elusive slice of sourdough toast from a “real” loaf of bread was also something we missed.

With all of the recipes I have been developing and testing lately using the brown rice sourdough starter, the yeast breads are most exciting. If you’ve baked gluten-free then you know it’s a whole different beast. But over the weeks I have discovered that souring these gluten-free goodies has not only improved their digestibility, but also their texture.

Here’s a peek at what’s been coming out of our kitchen.

This dough looks so wet, it is hard to believe it becomes Gluten-Free Sourdough French Bread.

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See the transformation below, after an overnight rise and a hot oven?

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And these guys below are Fluffy Gluten-Free Sourdough Dinner rolls.

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Like so many other recipe tests I’ve done with gluten-free baking, I was incredibly surprised by these. When I put the batter together in the evening I thought for sure we’d be feeding them to the chickens the next day. I baked them up for breakfast and they were incredible.

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But it hasn’t been all rainbows and fluffy dinner rolls. There is an art and science to gluten-free baking that I am still learning. The smallest tweak of a recipe or incorrect ratio of ingredients transforms your beautiful loaf (as seen above, before rising… and spreading) into an accidental foccacia.

What I’ve loved about finally getting it right with these recipes is that we can ferment them for as long or as short as we want to, once we get the ratios exactly right. And I am finding that the longer fermentation period produces some of the best loaves and rolls.

Now it’s your turn! Tell me, what is your experience with gluten-free sourdough baking?

Shannon

Shannon is a mama to four small children, homesteader, freelance writer, and picture-taker. She lives with her husband on their off-grid homestead where they make and eat kefir, kombucha, sourdough, and fermented vegetables.

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Comments

  1. sherri says

    do you have recipes for your GF breads? they look great and I need a solid recipe and replacement for bread in our GF house. thanks so much!

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