This gluten free sourdough is entirely vegan, it's moist and holds together, and it only contains real ingredients. That's a whole lot of wins.
It's finally here! I know I teased about this a couple of months ago, but then my camera took a nosedive and things got pushed behind. So my apologies to anyone who was waiting! But here it is—gluten free sourdough that doesn't suck! Hooray!
Let's be real. 99% of the time gluten free sourdough (or bread for that matter) is:
- Gross and has either the taste or texture of cardboard. Sometimes if you're really unlucky, it's both.
- Often jammed packed full of eggs and butter. I once worked at a bakery and their g/f bread was basically cake and so unhealthy.
- Finally, it's usually full of weird gums and thickeners many of us would never want to put in our bodies
This gluten free sourdough loaf is different, though. It's entirely vegan, it's moist and holds together, and it only contains real ingredients. That's a whole lot of wins.
While I don't eat a gluten free diet, I have enough friends who do that I want to have a good repertoire of treats and goodies I can make for them. While my go-to gluten free loaf has always been the Unbelievable Bread, I've wanted to blend my love of sourdough and alternative flours together for a while now.
If sourdough bread baking is new to you, or something that scares you, no fear—I have this extensive DIY that will hopefully answer any of your bread and starter questions.
- Gluten-free starter
- Psyllium husk
- Rice flour
- Sorghum flour
- Millet flour
- Buckwheat flour
First off, the most important thing you'll need for this gluten-free sourdough bread is a starter. As I explained in the other sourdough post you can either make your own or get an established wheat started and over the course of a week or two, transition it to become gluten-free.
Once you have your starter, it's basically just a little mixing and some waiting before you'll be digging into your own loaf.
The simple combining of naturally occurring yeast (from the air) along with water, flour, salt, and time, results in the best gluten-free bread I've had.
The methodology behind this loaf isn't far off from my glutenous loaves. In all honesty, it's actually much less work since you don't have to fold and stretch it to make the gluten more elastic.
Let's just add another check to the win column. As someone who isn't a fan of gums and thickeners, I turned to my favourite gluten-free hero, psyllium husk. Psyllium husk is a dietary fibre that is often taken to help elimination but also makes an amazing food binder.
Here it replaces the gluten found in wheat. Nothing else can be substituted with the same results, so don't even try to skip it. You can often find it in the bulk section of health-food stores, or in the bagged flour section ( I know Bob's Mill sells it). In Canada, you can even find it at the Bulk Barn.
As for flours, I didn't want to add too many weird varieties. From my experience with gluten-free baking, more variety often makes for a better end product. I opted for my two favourites, buckwheat and millet.
Plus I added some sorghum which is newer to me, but one I've had good results from. Finally, I used some brown rice flour because it's easy to find and great for structure.
I feel like these flours could easily be played with a bit. You could use three instead of four, or maybe using oat instead of sorghum. But for now, I'm pretty happy with the results.
- 1 tablespoon gluten-free starter
- 30 grams flour to feed the starter (either rice, sorghum, millet, and buckwheat)
- 30 grams psyllium husk (not the powder)
- 8 grams of salt
- 575 grams of water (plus 30 grams to feed the starter)
- 460 grams of flour ( I like to use 115g each rice flour, sorghum flour, millet flour and buckwheat flour)
- Feed your starter! The morning of your mix, take out a tablespoon of your starter from the fridge and feed it about 30 grams of flour (I used millet) and 30 grams of room temperature water. Cover and let ferment for around 12 hours. Ideally, this would happen at 7 a.m.
- After the starter is nice and active, measure out 70 grams of it (you'll probably have a smidge more) along with the rest of your ingredients. Gather together a bowl for mixing and either a parchment-lined loaf pan or a lightly greased bowl.
Making the Loaf
- To assemble the loaf, add the 575 g water to the bowl along with the starter. Using your hands, move the starter around to help it dissolve into the water. Add the flour, salt, and psyllium husk and work the dough together really quickly. Once the psyllium hits the liquid it will jell up, so you want to mix all the ingredients together before that happens. As there is no gluten in this bread, you don't have to worry about over-mixing. Ideally, this mixing would happen at 7 p.m. if you fed the starter (step 1) at 7:00 a.m.
- Next, move your dough to either a parchment-lined loaf pan (for a sandwich loaf) or a greased bowl (for around). Cover with cling film or a damp towel and let rest on the counter for about 12 hours.
Baking the loaf
- The next morning: If you're baking a loaf pan, preheat your oven to 260 C (500 F). Once the oven is preheated, uncover your loaf and pop into the hot oven. once the loaf is in the oven turn down the heat to 230 C (450 F) and bake for about 50 minutes, or until hollow sounding when tapped. Carefully remove the loaf from the pan and let cool on a rack.
- If you're baking around, take one of the racks out of your oven to create space. Place your Dutch oven in the oven and preheat it to 260 C (500 F) (or as hot as your oven can go, up to 500F). After the oven has come to temperature, let it heat for another 30 minutes to get the Dutch oven fully heated. After the 30 minutes is up, gently invert the dough onto a piece of parchment paper that is large enough to lift your bread into the Dutch oven. Working fast, take your Dutch oven out of the oven carefully. Remove the lid and gently lift the parchment and bread into the pot, being super careful not to touch the sides. Cover the pot with the lid (be careful, it’s hot!) and put the entire dutch oven back into the oven. Turn down the heat to 230 C ( 450 F ) and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes is up, gently take the lid off of the dutch oven (be careful of steam) and bake for another 20- 25 minutes (I like mine a little darker, personally).Once cooked, remove the pot from the oven and gently lift out the loaf by lifting the parchment paper.
- Both loaves will be moist (much like a rye loaf), so I recommend letting it cure (or rest) on the counter for one day before slicing. It can be sliced the same day but will be a little softer. Like all gluten-free bread, I recommend toasting this loaf for optimum flavour and texture. Once sliced, it freezes and toasts from frozen great!
I like to use 115g each rice flour, sorghum flour, millet flour and buckwheat flour, but feel free to play around with what you have at home.