Monday, September 21, 2015

Basic Gluten Free Sourdough Bread Recipe

My basic whole grain, tender and sour gluten free sourdough bread recipe. 

Basic Gluten-Free Sourdough Bread Recipe
 You will need a scale to measure the flours accurately for this recipe.
I bought mine at Fred Meyers but this one is very similar, the large flat surface works easily to allow a bowl of flours to be weighed without mess.
- Gather your oven proof pot (cast iron is preferable) with lid 
*  see more information at the end of the post about pots
and a bowl slightly smaller for forming.
Using a scale for accuracy measure into a bowl for your mixer:
150 grams potato starch
150 grams tapioca flour
140 grams sorghum flour 
35 grams sweet rice flour
30 grams sugar
10 grams salt
20 grams xanthan gum
10 grams guar gum 

Add 1500 grams of cultured sourdough starter (hooch stirred in) and 1/2 cup of water. I sometimes use a bit more water when I want a tender thread but you have to monitor the loaf more to make sure it comes out well.  At 1/2 cup, it always does. 

Beat together for 5 minutes on high in a stand mixer to create the bubble structure for the bread.  You will be able to see the bread change from a mass of soft dough to one with a bit of bounce.  The dough will create a effect of strands on the bowl sides then gather on the beater.  In this picture, I picked up a bit of the dough and rolled it into a soft ball.

Forming Boule:
Place 1/2 bread dough on a square of parchment paper using a spatula to smooth and shape the dough into a ball.
Repeat with the second half of the dough or follow the below instructions to create 2 baguettes.
Lift the paper holding the ball and place it into the bowl a bit smaller than your pot to rise.  Nestle the second ball along side.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place into oven with oven light on but no heat. 
Let rise for 4 hours or till doubled.  If you want to be able to walk away for a bit longer, just pop the bread in the fridge instead.  It can rise there as long as 12 hours.
Bring the bread to room temp while preheating your pot and oven.
Remove the dough balls from the bowl using the paper as a lifting aid.
Cut slashes 1 inch into each loaf using your sharpest knife, a razor blade or if you own one a lame
Be decorative, these are the areas of lighter white that you see on artisan loaves.  I typically slash two parallel lines on either side of the ball, turn the loaf 90 degrees and slash two more parallel lines to form a square on the top of the loaf.  These slashes will allow for oven rise, the extra lift that happens as the bread is put into a hot oven.
Put your pot into the oven and preheat both to 450 degrees.
When the oven is fully preheated, carefully remove the pot from the oven.  Watch out, this is where it is easy to burn you!
Remove the lid, then lift the bread dough into the pot, using the paper as a lifting aid.
Sprinkle with coarse sea salt if desired, replace the cover.
Put the pot into the oven and set your timer for 35 minutes.
Grab an instant read thermometer and a cuppa tea.
Relax for the half hour or so.
When the timer goes off, use the instant read to check the internal temperature of the bread.  It should be 190-200 degrees when done. 
If the bread is fully browned, just put it on a cooling rack. 
If it could use just a bit more browning, remove the bread from the pot (again using the paper as a lifting aid) and place on the oven rack for 5 minutes more.
For the Baguettes:
With the other half of the dough, either repeat for a second boule or form into 2 baguettes.  

To form into baguettes: use a piece of parchment paper or silpat sprinkled with sweet rice flour since it gives a crisp crust, but millet is nice too for a softer crust.
Taking one half of the dough you have, place it on the parchment paper in a long log.
Sprinkle with a bit more sweet rice flour. Using the paper, extend and roll the bread dough into a long baguette shape. Roll it onto your baguette pan
 and repeat with the final dough.  

Pull out a long piece of plastic wrap and use it to wrap the entire baguette pan to hold in the moisture while rising.  Let rise at room temperature 4 hours or till doubled.  In my cold kitchen in winter, it can take up to 6 hours if I don’t put it in the oven with the oven light on but without any additional heat.
If you want to be able to walk away for a bit longer, just pop the bread in the fridge instead.  It can rise there as long as 12 hours.
Bring the bread to room temperature before continuing.
Once you have the plastic wrap off of the pan, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
Using a pastry brush, spread a bit of water on the bread. Don’t soak it but get it good and damp.The combination of hot oven and damp dough creates a dense, crisp crust.

Slash 3-4 evenly spaced diagonal slashes on the baguette using your sharpest knife, a razor blade or lame to insure a good place for the oven rise to occur.  Oven rise is bakerese for the expansion of the water in the dough when it is in the hot oven.  This is separate from the yeast bubble carbon dioxide rise.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Once ready, put in the baguette pan and let bake for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 400 degrees, rotate the pan and continue to bake for 15 minutes more before checking the temperature.
Temp on instant read thermometer should be 190-200 degrees.  If the baguettes are brown enough, remove and cool.  If not, keep them in the oven for 5 minutes more.

And if this isn't enough to inspire you, head on over to Yeastspotting and check out their archives. They have lots of fun bread recipes to play around with and convert to gluten free.

* a word about pots.  Jeanne reminded me to tell you all not to go out and buy the most expensive cast iron pot for this bread, it simply isn't needed.
I have a lovely Lodge pot like this one
 that works very well and can also be taken on camping trips.

A class attendee used her canning kettle with excellent results as well, hers was a 11 quart model

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