Rye bread is made of rye grains, which contain gluten. However, the flavor of rye bread mainly comes from seeds like fennel and caraway seeds, which both contain the flavor of anise (black licorice). There are a few version of rye bread, including sourdough. You can read about regional favorites here. In this gluten free sourdough mock rye French bread, you will taste the same flavors of rye bread with a slight sourdough taste. Its crunchy crust and chewy texture is just like traditional French bread.
Links You’ll Need:
Step-by-Step Video – How to Make Gluten Free Sourdough Mock Rye French Bread
In this recipe, I use a smaller version of my gluten free sourdough starter to make just one loaf. However, you can make a full version of the starter so that you can save some to make within the next month or two. You should feed a refrigerated starter at least twice per week.
You’ll find that warmer your house is, the shorter the fermentation time. Mine only took about 1-1/2 days this time. It is also a smaller amount of starter. Therefore, this may have had some effect on the speed of fermentation as well.
Gluten Free Sourdough Mock Rye French Bread
For the Gluten Free Sourdough Starter:
- 3/4 cup brown rice flour
- 3/4 cup water heated between 80 – 110°F
- For Feeding:
- 3/4 cup sorghum flour or certified gluten free oat flour, plus more for dusting (or half and half)
- 3/4 cup water heated between 80 – 110°F
For the Wet Mixture:
- 1/4 cup neutral-flavored oil
- 2 tablespoons unsulfured molasses or more brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar packed (or more molasses)
- 1 teaspoon instant dry coffee
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
For the Dry Ingredients:
- 1-1/2 cups potato starch or more cornstarch
- 1/2 cup cornstarch or more potato starch (the last choice is tapioca flour)
- 1 tablespoon xanthan gum or guar gum
- 1 tablespoon gluten free unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2-1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
- 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground fennel seeds
- 2 large egg whites* at room temperature
- 1 large egg at room temperature
For the Optional Garnish:
- 1 egg white
- 1/2 teaspoon water
- 1/16 teaspoon salt
- 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons sesame and/or poppy seeds for garnish
Make the starter using the above amounts after reading about the Gluten Free Sourdough Starter Recipe. Remember, you’re starting with 3/4 cup of rice flour and 3/4 cup water.
Feed the starter every 4 waking hours (about 15 – 16 hours on and 8 – 9 hours off, using 2 tablespoons sorghum flour and 2 tablespoons warm water, keeping the starter in an 80°F environment. If it’s summertime, your house may suffice, but if not, consider using a bread proofer (see the above link for the Brod & Taylor folding proofer/slow cooker that I use from my affiliate.)
Once the starter is nice and bubby, either begin the below steps or loosely cover and refrigerate. Then, when you’re ready, bring the starter and all other ingredients to room temperature.
Line a French loaf pan with parchment paper; set aside. Place a pan with 1 cup of water on the lower shelf; and place another shelf in the center of the oven; preheat the oven to 200°F.
In the bowl of your mixer, beat on low until the sugar dissolves the following ingredients: starter, oil, molasses, brown sugar, and instant coffee to the bowl of your stand mixer; mix until sugar dissolves.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the potato starch, cornstarch, xanthan gum, yeast, salt, baking powder, caraway seeds, and ground fennel. Sift in the cocoa powder and set aside.
Add the egg whites and whole egg; beat on medium speed just until combined.
Add the dry mixture all at once and blend on medium-low speed just until ingredients are combined. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 4 minutes. The dough is thick so be sure to lock your stand mixer in place.
Turn off the oven.
Oil a 1-gallon zipper storage bag and scoop the dough into one corner. Seal the bag shut and snip off a 3-inch wide corner piece.
Pipe the dough onto the prepared pan. Sprinkle with water, dip a silicone/rubber spatula in water as needed, and smooth out the top of the dough.
Transfer the dough to the prepared pan, sprinkle with water and smooth out the top using a silicone spatula.
If using seeds, whisk together the garnish ingredients: egg white, 1/2 teaspoon water, and salt. Baste it on top of the dough and sprinkle the top with seeds of your choosing. Alternatively, sprinkle the top with seeds and using moistened fingers, use the back of your fingers to press them into the bread. However, the use of egg white creates a crunchier crust.
Place the pan on a baking sheet and then on the center rack of your oven; allow to rise until the dough is the size of a French loaf, about 35 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and preheat to 400ºF.
Once preheated, bake 37 minutes. Tent with aluminum foil if the top becomes too dark or begins to burn.
Immediately remove the loaf from the oven and its pan; return to the oven and place directly on the rack for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to completely cool 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
Slice using a serrated knife. Whatever you do not use that day, slice the entire loaf and freeze in a zipper storage bag. To defrost, microwave on low or cover with a microwaved dampened paper towel until soft. You can also toast this bread. Just be sure to thinly slice it.