This recipe is a work in progress, but I am very pleased on how it turned out for the first time. I really wanted to have a much rounder, higher gluten free sourdough bread at the end, but in transferring it to the baking pan, I was afraid it would rise too much. So, I spread it out a bit. Though I used cornstarch in this recipe because I am allergic to tapioca, I believe it will result in a fluffy, higher risen bread by using tapioca flour/starch instead. Though cornstarch has more flavor.
This bread is very sour, if you allow the gluten free sourdough starter to develop gray liquid (hooch). Therefore, be careful to follow the instructions in my starter recipe.
We’ll never be able to reproduce that flavor by using gluten free flour. It’s just not the same. However, this recipe did satisfy my cravings for sourdough bread. I had used 1 teaspoon of salt, but it was not nearly enough. Try starting with 1 1/2 teaspoons and increase from there the next time you make it. I plan on making this again using tapioca flour/starch and 1 teaspoon sugar for my husband, just to see how different it turns out. I’ll update this post then. Meanwhile, enjoy this crusty wonder! By the way, it’s egg-fee, dairy-free, and sugar-free, too!
Gluten Free Sourdough Bread
A very crusty gluten free sourdough bread that has the texture of real sourdough bread, and actually tastes sour!
- 1 cup cornstarch (see tips below)
- 1/2 cup potato starch + more for dusting
- 1 Tablespoon xanthan gum
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 2 cups thick Carla's Gluten Free Sourdough Starter, at room temperature (See "Update in recipe under Instructions and Tips sections.)
- 1/2 cup water, warmed to 110°F
- 1 turkey sized oven roasting bag, 19 x 23 1/2-inches (comes 2 per box)
- Preheat oven to lowest temperature, 170 - 200°F.
- In a small bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients.
- Add the sourdough starter to the bowl of your mixer, then the flour mixture, and mix on low speed until little pebbles form.
- Add warm water, increase speed to high, and beat for 3 minutes. (The dough will be very soft.)
- Liberally dust a flat, clean work surface (silicone baking mat works well) with potato starch.
- Transfer the dough to the starch dusted surface; liberally dust the top of the dough with potato starch and shape into a french bread loaf. Pick the dough up by folding it in half, and transfer it to a sheet of parchment paper lined baking sheet, 16 - 17-inches long. Reshape the dough into a French loaf. It will not double in size when risen, therefore, do not make the dough too low. The appropriate height is illustrated in the second photo below.
- Turn the oven off; place dough in the oven; close the door; allow to rise for 20 - 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven; preheat oven to 400°F.
- Transfer the dough and its parchment paper into a large turkey size oven roasting bag; place the bag on a half sheet baking pan; if you have something oven proof that you can stand along side the loaf to prevent the oven bag from touching most of the bread this ideal. If not, if you floured it well, it should be alright. I used a cone shaped metal mold used to form pastry horns. You can use a metal funnel. Fold the open end of the bag downwards to seal and tuck it underneath the tip of the bread. I tried taping it, as you'll see in the photo below, but that did not last. See tips for other suggestion. You should see the bag begin to steam up. (Shape the dough higher than pictured below.)
- Bake for about 85 minutes, or as dark as the color of walnuts. It's better over baked than under baked.
- Remove from oven and from bag. The crust should be very hard. Transfer the loaf to a cooling rack until completely cool. In this step, the loaf continues to bake inside. Slice with a serrated knife once cool.
- Once sliced store at room temperature with something against the end to prevent it from drying out. I turned mine upside down onto a chopping board, propped up by my coffee grinder. Do not store in a bag or sealed container unless you are freezing it. You can slice the loaf and freeze it.
Instead of tucking the bag underneath, you may consider using a paper-wrapped twisty-tie (not plastic wrapped), but make sure you twist it loosely, as you want some of the steam to escape.
At least once through the baking process, open the bag to allow moisture in, and then close the bag to return to baking, though not mandatory.
If you do not have a turkey sized oven bag, you may wish to experiment with a thin paper bag, the weight of a lunch bag, not a heavy grocery paper bag. Just be careful it doesn't touch any of the hot elements.
Because this bread turned so sour, almost too sour, I plan on decreasing the starter to 1 cup next time and replacing it with 1/3 of water and 2/3 cup either flour (sorghum, brown rice, or millet) or starch. When I try it, I'll update you on this page.
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