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 gluten free 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!