Sunday, May 17, 2009

Gluten Free Sourdough Bread Recipe

Success at last!

Shortly after we found out that two of our family has celiac disease, I found a decent sourdough bread made by Food For Life. It was pretty tasty considering our requirements. It had to be free of corn, milk, gluten, soy, and yeast.

Yeast was the hard one to avoid, but just as important.

First we were able to get this bread at our local Krogers and Whole Foods. Then both stopped carrying it. I guess it just didn't sell enough to be on the shelves. I spoke with managers at both stores asking if they could special order it for me. I would even pre-pay if necessary. I was told that they could not do it because the computer would not recognize it because it's not a "stock product." I guess they can't do anything manually with paper and pencil.

Anyway, the ladies at a small, local health food I frequent, graciously agreed to special order it for me.

But, Food for Life recently changed manufacturers of the bread. We were unable to get it for over 3 months. In that time we made do with rice cakes and a biscuit recipe I came up with.

When it did finally become available again, the price had jumped significantly. Due to the change of manufacturers and rising inflation. And the size of the loaf decreased by several ounces. Currently I am paying over $100 for 12 loaves of bread. (Each loaf is 28 oz) OUCH!

So, I started researching how to make my own bread. I found several online, but they still had some things in them that I couldn't have, so I tweaked several recipes. I haven't sat down to figure if this is cheaper. Probably is, but availability is a huge factor. In the coming days, I plan to sit down and see if I can bring the prices down by purchasing the ingredients in bulk. I'll share what I find.

Here's the recipe:

Brown Rice Sourdough Starter

Prep time: 5 minutes
Fermentation time: 3-4 days

Brown rice flour
Goat's Milk Kefir

Start with one cup of brown rice flour and put it in a glass bowl. Pour in one cup of water and whisk smooth. Add 1-2 tablespoons of goat's milk kefir and whisk again. Cover with a dishtowel. Leave it on the counter away from drafts or extreme temperatures.

Feed the starter every 8-12 hours, 2-3 times a day, for a total of four days, with equal amounts of rice flour and water (1/2 cup of each) whisking smooth and covering.

After two days put the starter in a clean bowl and continue feeding. After about 48 hours the starter should show signs of viability. If you don’t see any bubbles or hilling you can add another tablespoon of kefir.

By the third day you should see small bubbles especially during stirring.

By the fourth day you may see bubbles of different sizes and there may be a hissing, bubbling sound when they come up from the bottom of the bowl. It should take about 4 days for a brand new starter to be ready for cooking. It may take less time in warm weather and more time in cold weather.

You can store a small amount of starter, ¼ - ½ cup, in the refrigerator for next time. Feed it every 2 weeks by taking it out of the refrigerator, letting it come to room temperature, feed it with a small amount of flour and water, whisk and refrigerate again. If you plan to make sourdough products a few times a week you may want to use an ongoing starter kept at room temperature on the counter. When you’re ready to cook/bake, remove a small amount ¼ - ½ cup of starter and put it in a clean bowl. Feed 2-3 times a day with roughly equal amounts of flour and water and whisk smooth. Cover and set it aside to continue fermenting. This will be your starter for your next batch. Proceed with your recipe with the remaining starter.

Gluten Free Brown Rice Sourdough Bread

Prep time: 30 minutes
Rise time: 12-24 hours
Baking time: 55-65 minutes

1 cup Brown Rice Sourdough Starter (see above)
1 ½ cups room temperature filtered water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup potato starch
3/4 cup tapioca flour

Oil loaf pan. Measure flours into a bowl and whisk together. Measure starter into mixer bowl. Add water and salt, stir a bit to dissolve salt. Add flour mix to starter mixture and mix for 15-30 seconds until spongy. Do not overmix. With a spatula gently put dough into oiled loaf pan.

Let rise 12-24 hours in cool oven or other warm place without drafts. Bake at 325 for 60-75 minutes. At 60 minutes test doneness with a knife or skewer. It should come out mostly clean and not sticky. It will not hurt the bread to bake another 5-10 minutes if you believe it is not quite done. I use a clear pyrex loaf pan so it's easier to see when the bread becomes browned and done on the bottom. Cool the bread in the pan on a rack. Remove from pan after at least 30 minutes. The finished bread is moist. It is best toasted (except right out of the oven. Store it wrapped in wax paper in a hard plastic container. It can be frozen this way.

The best part is this bread recipe is using the traditional soaking grains method found in the Nourishing Traditions cookbook. The soaking method releases natural enzymes and probiotics in the grains and your body will assimilate more of the vitamins and minerals in the organic grains.


theMom said...

I have not ventured into kefir yet. Do you think one could use homemade raw cows' milk yogurt instead of kefir? I've never done sourdough before, but have been eager to start fermenting my baked goods but haven't found any GF instructions before.

Thanks for the tips.

theMom said...

I forgot to ask in my first comment, I notice you don't use xanthan or guar gums or gelatin. does the bread hold together without any of these binders?

the main reason I've been loth to try soaking Gf breads was not knowing at which step to add the xanthan gum. Perhaps I don't even need it?

Thanks for any advice you have.


Calina said...

I used the kefir because it contained the added probiotics. I had also been wanting to try it because I've heard about all the wonderful properties of it. This was the first time I was able to find it made from goat's milk.

You could probably try yogurt, but we all have milk allergies, so I have no personal experience using it.

The bread was comparable to the Food For Life sourdough bread that we have been buying at over $10/loaf. It is GF/CF, corn, soy and yeast-free. If you are not used to eliminating these things, this bread will probably taste repulsive to you. LOL!

I thought it tasted great when it was hot, not as good when cooled down. But still comparable to the other. It was kind of crumbly sometimes, so I think I will revise it. Maybe less potato starch, and use potato flour?

If that doesn't work, I'll try xanthan gum.

When making sourdough bread, you would make your starter first. Feed it for several days until it ferments, then when you add your additional flours, you can add a binder of choice if you like.

I'll keep posting my trials and errors!