Easy Gluten Free Sourdough Bread Recipe
Look, Gluten Free baking kind of sucks. It's trial and error, its touch and feel, it's hit and miss. My mum, who spent the better part of a decade baking GF bread, even occasionally makes a dud loaf. If you've ever baked with GF flour before, you are probably all too aware of the feeling that a giant door stop is lurking in your oven. It smells great, but it has the density of a Stephen Hawking book, and it's as chewy as the bits left in your mouth when you eat Celery.
However! The fact that all of this is true makes the successes all the more sweet. This recipe is by no means a fail-proof one. No Gluten Free bread recipe is, no matter what the blogger claims. You have to know your flours, know your oven, and know your atmospheric situation, as well as knowing your sourdough inside and out. Know how hydrated it is. Know how aerated it is. If you have a gooey mush that looks as bubbly as a 5 year old can of coke, you're not going to have great results no matter what you do. Nowhere else is it more important in Sourdough baking that you have a very active, very bubbly, very eager starter.
Now, because this is Easy Gluten Free Sourdough Bread Recipe, and because you are time poor and do not treat cooking like a science (like myself), I am not going to urge you to weigh and calculate the hydration of your starter. Who cares right? Life is too short. As long as it isn't runny, that it coats the back of a spoon when you dip it in (if it falls off the spoon that is perfect! A nice drop though, not a runny one), and it is very bubbly and puffy, you are good to go!
A quick note on ovens. My oven is about as hot as Kim Kardashian without makeup. So I have to add 10 minutes to cooking time to get a decent result. Pre-heat your oven, make sure it is pre-heated. Then, when 40 minutes passes, check your loaf for a number of things. Firstly, it should sound hollow when you tap it. Secondly, it should be solid and not break apart when you lift it. Thirdly, if you have a thermometer, check the internal temperature is around 95 degrees celsius. And finally, give it a very very slight bend in the middle.. If it come apart nicely, with a slight propensity to crumble, you've nailed it!
Also, I do not use Xanthan Gum in this recipe. You may use it if you wish, but if you have your flour mix correct you won't require it.
Easy Gluten Free Sourdough Bread RecipeTime: 9 hours (20 min prep, 8 hours rise, 40 minutes in the oven)
2 Cups Active Sourdough Starter (Nice and bubbly!)
2 Cups Gluten Free Flour Mix (I used 3/4 cup Tapioca Starch, 1/2 Cup Sorghum Flour, 3/4 Cup Glutinous White Rice Flour. Remember: A third needs to be a starch of some kind, like Corn, Tapioca or Potato, and 2/3 can be any flour you desire, with the exception of Coconut, which requires more liquid)
1 Tsp Salt
2 Tbs Sugar
2 Tbs Olive Oil
1 - 1 1/2 Cup of Warm Water
1. Prepare a loaf pan or other vessel in which to cook your bread, greasing it with butter or lining it with Baking Paper. Combine your flour mix and the salt and mix well, ensuring it is well incorporated.
2. Add your Sourdough Starter to the flour mix, and add the Sugar and the Olive Oil. Mix until just combined, or the mixture resembles big chunk bread crumbs
4. Pour the Dough in to your prepared tray, cover with a damp tea towel, and leave in a nice warm place to rise for 8 hours. It should almost double in size. You don't want it to rise too high, or it will collapse. If you find it isn't rising, place it in a warm over, or microwave a mug of water and place the bread in the microwave, the steam will help it to rise.
5. Pre-heat your oven to 175 Degrees Celsius, 155 Fan Forced, or 350 Degrees Farenheit. Place the Dough in the middle of the oven and cook for around 40 minutes.
6. Check at 40 minutes. If the internal temperature is at least 95 Degrees Celsius (200 F), when you tap it, it feels hollow, and the top is nicely brown, remove it from the oven. If it isn't done yet, bake it for 5 minute intervals, checking every 5 minutes until done.
7. Turn out on to a rack and allow to cool completely until you attempt to slice it.
8. Slice it VERY CAREFULLY! If you are too rough with your Gluten Free Sourdough Bread, it will crumble, and your dreams of a lovely farmhouse loaf will be shattered..
Store it in the fridge for up to a week, or freeze it for 3 months.
If you want to make a traditional sourdough loaf with just flour and water, you can easily omit the oil and the sugar, and just add a couple more tablespoons of water to make up for that loss of liquid.