Sourdough Starter (Gluten Free)
In my past life before Celiac, I loved baking homemade bread. The soft, pliable, tender dough. The challenge of a successful proof and rise. Accomplishing the perfect, soft airy inside as well as a crispy, chewy crust. Oh, that it wasn’t poison to my body…
Yet, I still love making homemade bread. Now of course, it is sans gluten. There are still great fun challenges to meet: not ending up with a brick OR sand. Not having bread that tastes like clay or powder. Creating a loaf that is referred to not as “alright” but “good!”. I know I have landed it when I see a non Celiac family member eating a sandwich or piece of toast that is gfree, of their own free will.
They’re are definite obstacles, but also sweet success to gluten free bread making. My sourdough starter is one of those sweet things. It feels very reminiscent of my previous life (before diagnosis) and adds the “moment” back in my bread baking. Not to mention the added probiotics and good bacterias. It lends amazing flavors to what can tend to be very bland breads, since gluten free breads are held together primarily with starches and gums…not too much flavor there.
You can use it for pancakes, crackers, pizza dough, pretzels, muffins and oh…bread. Enjoy!
Look at those beautiful bubbles. This is how I find it before feedings.
brown rice flour
To begin: Whisk 1/4 cup brown rice flour and 3 tablespsoons filtered water in a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for twelve hours.
Twelve hours later and throughout the next seven days: whisk in 1/2 cup flour with 1/3 cup filtered water and continue adding 1/2 cup flour and 1/3 cup water every twelve hours for one week until your starter is bubbly and tangy scented. You should notice a slightly colored liquid form on the top (see photo above). This is called hooch, it is perfectly fine. In fact, I find it is almost unavoidable in gluten free starters. Each time you “feed” your starter, be careful to aerate well. You will achieve best results if you are faithful to this task. Just make sure you have everything thoroughly combined, creating what should look like pancake batter.
Maintenance of the sourdough: After the week is complete, your sourdough should be sturdy enough to store.
If you are not a frequent baker (if you bake less than once a week), it will be most convenient to store your sourdough in the refrigerator. Before using: bring it to room temperature and feed it well about twelve hours before you plan to bake.
If you bake more frequently, (every day – a few times a week), store your sourdough at room temperature and feed it with 1/2 cup flour and 1/3 cup filtered water once a day.
- If a brown liquid appears floating on top of your sourdough starter, simply pour it off. It is called hooch and it is harmless; however, it often signifies that you fed your starter too much water in relation to flour or have let your starter go too long between feedings. As I mentioned above, I find it at almost every feeding in my free starter, (I rarely saw it in my traditional starters).
- I find gfree starter to be very easy and much less finicky than traditional glutenous starters. The need to “baby” them is so much less.
- JARS: make sure you choose that factors all the feedings. I like a jar that will be about 1/2 full considering pulling for usage and adding for feeding. If you find your jar getting too full of starter, pull/pour some off and use it in sourdough biscuits, sourdough pancakes or sourdough crackers, etc.