I had just gotten baking bread down (you can see some of my recipes here and here) and came up with a mean thin crust pizza recipe when I had to go gluten free. Baking gluten free bread is a whole other world that I wasn’t prepared to step into!
I had been buying Rudi’s Gluten Free Bread on the rare occasion I needed bread – until I also had to cut egg whites out of my diet. Baking gluten free bread without eggs made the surmounting challenge even more difficult.
Since I have recently gotten really into properly soaking and fermenting grains, I decided I wanted to go down the sourdough starter path rather than messing with gums (I’m glad I made that decision after reading this article).
I have discovered that there are two methods you can attempt when making a sourdough starter. The first is using a brown rice sourdough starter. We live at an altitude of about 7,000 feet, which is a challenge for baking, and I haven’t had much success with this method.
I found that the starter sours very fast! You have to feed a gluten free sourdough starter at least 3 times per day to keep it from souring. I wasn’t feeding mine enough, so I had to dump it out and start again.
I learned the second method in The Art of Gluten Free Baking, which uses brown rice flour and water kefir as a base. I am still working through the recipes to find methods that work for me, but I am definitely having more success using the starter boosted with water kefir.
The only recipe I have perfected is the pancake recipe from The Art of Gluten Free Baking. They are great as pancakes, but you can also make a big batch, stick them in the fridge and then toast them for sandwich bread. Kaylee and I have been enjoying them pretty much daily.
However, making these pancakes takes a long time (a few hours in front of the stove for a decent sized batch), so I decided to try baking the mix and then cutting the flatbread into squares.
Success! I lined a baking sheet with parchment paper, greased the sides of the pan with palm shortening and poured a thin layer of batter in the pan (maybe ½” thick). I baked the sourdough flatbread at 350° F for 20 minutes and then let it cool completely. If you pour a thicker layer, it may need longer to bake.
After the sourdough flatbread cooled, I cut it into 12 pieces. The inside is nice and spongy! I am so excited that I found a way to make the flatbread that doesn’t take a half a day every week!
I’m excited to continue experimenting with gluten free sourdough baking. I’ll be sure to share any more successes I have here. In the meantime, check out the sourdough supplies from Cultures for Health and be sure to subscribe to email updates so you can follow along on my gluten free sourdough baking journey!