When I baked a rye loaf last week, my daughter mentioned how much she loved rye bread and missed that flavor since eliminating gluten from her diet. I had researched some processes and recipes for gluten free sourdough starter, but they were all very different and it only confused me.
The basic premise is that even though you are making a starter from gluten free flour, the wild yeast in the whole grains has time to “respirate” and develop flavor. The longer you do this and provide consistent fuel, the more developed the flavor gets. I tried a four day gluten free starter last week and it was too sour for my daughter’s taste. Maybe since the flour is ALL whole grain flour, the wild yeast content is higher and the flavor develops more quickly?
So I tested a 12 hour starter on a gluten free caraway loaf and it met with her approval! She thought I had used rye flour and made me promise I didn’t as she didn’t want to risk a reaction. Nope, you can trick your taste buds with a few flavorful additions and a quick gluten free starter.
Gluten Free Caraway Sandwich Bread
In a small bowl, mix together:
1/2 cup distilled water, filtered water or mineral water (room temperature)
1/3 cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup buckwheat flour
1/3 cup gluten free oat flour
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon honey or molasses
Mix your starter well and let sit out, loosely covered for 12 hours. I mixed mine the night before and baked the bread in the morning.
This process is not really a “true” starter, where you allow plenty of time for wild yeast to grow and use no or very limited amounts of commercial yeast. This is known as a sponge, or a pre-mixing flavor booster starter alternative.
When starter is ready, in a large bowl mix together:
2 cups packaged gluten free multi-purpose flour; OR 1 cup brown rice flour, 3/4 cup potato starch and 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 teaspoons xanthan gum (leave out if your flour mix already contains xanthan gum)
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon ground caraway seed (buy whole, toast and cool then grind)
Gluten Free Starter (process outlined above)
1/2 cup warm water
2 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large eggs, room temperature
Mix by hand or with mixer until ingredients are well combined and no lumps remain. This dough will be thick. Cover with greased cling wrap and set aside to rise for 30 to 45 minutes.
After the rise, gently transfer the dough to a 9 inch loaf pan that has been greased and lined with parchment. Even the surface out with a spatula dipped in cold water. Cover with greased cling wrap and let rise another 30 to 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. When oven is ready, remove cling wrap and place loaf in the oven. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes. Tester should come out with just a few moist crumbs on it.
Remove loaf from oven and carefully lift the loaf out of the hot pan by the parchment ends. Turn the loaf on it’s side and let it cool that way on a baking rack. Slice when cooled completely.
If you look closely at the photos, you’ll see I over-proofed my dough (look along the top side of the slices, there is a little gap along the top crust). Watch this dough when rising, I got distracted during both rises and nearly had “the dough that ate Atlanta!”