Delicious gluten free bread does exist. Here’s a simple artisan-style gluten free sourdough bread that you can make for yourself at home.
- 140 grams active sourdough starter (*see note)
- 110 grams water
- 80 grams brown rice flour
- 20 grams psyllium husk (like this)
- 245 grams slightly warm water
- 1 tbsp honey (or sugar or maple syrup to keep it vegan)
- 110 grams sorghum flour (like this)
- 130 grams buckwheat flour
- 100 grams tapioca starch (like this)
- 1 and 1/2 tsp salt
- To make the preferment: mix together 140 grams of active starter, 110 grams of water, and 80 grams of rice flour. Cover and place in warm place overnight (ideal temperature = 75-78’F)
- In the morning, in a large bowl, whisk together psyllium husk, honey, and 245 grams water. Allow to sit for 5 minutes to gel.
- Meanwhile, in another bowl whisk together sorghum, buckwheat, tapioca, + salt.
Scape preferment into psyllium husk mixture and gently mix to combine. Add in dry flours and stir with a wooden spoon until it starts to comes together then knead by hand until dough is smooth and elastic and pulls off the sides of the bowl nicely. Dust with a bit of extra sorghum flour if it feels too sticky. If it feels too dry, wet your hands while kneading to help bring the dough together.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and continue kneading for about a minute, shaping it into a smooth ball. Transfer dough ball to a tea towel-lined soup bowl dusted with flour (about 6-7 inches in diameter), fold towel over and place into a plastic bag. Place in a warm area to rise for 3-4 hours until dough has noticeably increase in size and feels and dough springs back a bit when touched. It will not double in size.
Thirty minutes prior to baking, preheat oven to 450’F. Place large Dutch oven with lid into oven to preheat. (*see note if you do not have a Dutch oven)
Once dough has risen and oven and Dutch oven is HOT, gently turn dough out onto a piece of parchment paper. Dust the top with flour, wiping off excess with your hand. Use a sharp knife or razor to score the top of your loaf.
Carefully remove preheated Dutch oven from hot oven. Gently lift loaf with the edges of the parchment paper, place into Dutch oven and put lid on. Bake for 25 minutes covered. Remove lid and bake for another 25-30 minutes, until bottom is brown and loaf sounds hard and hollow when tapped with a wooden spoon.
Cool on a rack for 4 hours or overnight before slicing. Cooling sets the crumb. Slicing bread before it is cool can affect the texture. It’s worth the wait, I promise.
Be sure that your starter is active before making your preferment. I like to feed mine twice before using it, meaning I feed it in the morning. Then before dinner time, I feed it again. I then wait about 3 hours until the starter is nice and bubbly to make the preferment. (example: Feed at 8am. Feed again at 530pm. Make preferment at 830-9pm.)
If using darker store-bough buckwheat flour, the dough may feel dry. You may need to add a bit more water to the dough.
I have found that if I grind my own buckwheat flour from hulled buckwheat grouts, I get a much lighter and better tasting flour. It’s super simple to do. Just grind the groats in a food processor until you get a nice flour, about 2 minutes. Store-bought buckwheat flour will have a darker appearance and will have a stronger flavor. If that’s what you have, it will still be absolutely delicious.
Don’t forget to be patient with yourself when baking bread. It’s part science + part art. It won’t always turn out the same. Sometimes the weather will be different. Sometimes your starter will be thicker or more runny. It’s all part of the process.
I prefer to bake bread in a Dutch oven with a heavy lid. My bread always turns out better. If you do not have a Dutch oven, you can bake bread in a large cast iron skillet, adding another smaller cast iron skillet or baking sheet (do not use glass) on the bottom shelf for water to create a bit of steam. When preheating oven to 450’F, place large skillet and smaller skillet (or baking sheet) into oven. Once ready to bake, remove skillet from oven, lift parchment paper and loaf onto skillet and place back into oven. Remove smaller skillet (or baking pan) from oven and quickly add 8-10 ice cubes to it. Place back under bread loaf. Close oven quickly. Bake for 20 minutes then remove lower skillet with water. Bake for another 25-35 minutes, until loaf of golden. Each skillet and oven are different so you will have to experiment with the ones you have.