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My Gluten Free Sourdough

 
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I've made wheat-based sourdough in the past, but I've become more sensitive to wheat lately, even when it's fully soured spelt. I miss the sourdough flavor and the health benefits that I noticed while eating it, so I'm diving in to gluten free sourdough. Some accounts say it's finicky and molds easily. Others say it's as easy to maintain as a wheat-based starter, but baking with it is a big learning curve. I have a "let's wing it" attitude, even with something as calculated as baking, so here we go.

Most gluten free starter cultures that can be purchased are rice based, but I can't eat much rice. Imported yeast would have to acclimate to my environment anyways, so in my mind, it seems like starting with wild yeast is the way to go. Besides rice, there are a number of blog posts about using sorghum, teff, buckwheat, or a combo of them as the starter. Many of them also give a boost to their starter with kefir, yogurt, apple cider vinegar, commercial yeast, or sugar. I settled on muscadines, a type of wild grape. They're supposedly covered in the yeast that will love my sourdough, so maybe it'll be a good way to "seed" it.

I used freshly ground sorghum flour, enough water to make it a little thinner than pancake batter, and a few muscadines from a nearby vine. I don't know how sound my logic is, but a thinner batter sounded easier for the microbes to move from the muscadines to the flour mixture. I covered the jar with cheesecloth and waited.

~ 18 hours later - I removed the muscadines, added more sorghum flour to make the batter a little thicker, and set the jar in front of an open window for a couple of hours.

I continued to feed the starter every 12 hours or so. Many sources say that gluten free starters need to be fed more frequently than wheat-based ones, 3 times per day instead of the usual 2. More often than not, I forget the midday feeding and just do morning and evening. I also never measured the flour or water, adding a small scoop of flour and enough water to stir it well. I started with a few tablespoons of starter, discarding a bit each time to keep the amount manageable until I was ready to use it.

I welcome tips, advice, or recommended recipes!
.
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Picked a few muscadines for the first day of fermentation
Picked a few muscadines for the first day of fermentation
 
Nikki Roche
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By the fourth day, it was bubbling well. I started baking with the discard at this point and made soft granola bars. I used quick oats which pretty much disappeared into the sourdough batter, so it was more like oatmeal bars than chewy granola bars. They were edible but bland. Very little sourdough flavor, and I went light on the sweetener.

For the sake of the 1 Gallon of Sourdough for the PEP BB of the Food Preservation badge, I'm going to keep track of how much ferment I use. The granola bars were 1.5 cups, since I let the oats ferment for a few hours with the discard before adding the rest of the ingredients.
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Day 4 of fermenting
Day 4 of fermenting
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1.5 cups of ferment - oats and sorghum flour
1.5 cups of ferment - oats and sorghum flour
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Oat bars with dried cranberries
Oat bars with dried cranberries
 
Nikki Roche
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Next, I baked waffles and hamburger buns. The waffles were dense but nicely soured. I let the batter ferment for a few hours with a combo of sorghum, oat, and buckwheat flour. While the sourdough flavor was fine, it was missing something. Maybe too much sorghum and not enough of a stronger flavored flour. Or maybe I'm not yet used to less sweetened waffles.

I've decided to add homeground buckwheat flour to the feedings. Sorghum is a rather neutral flour, which is fine for some things, but I want flavor. For now, I'm feeding the starter with approximately 2/3 sorghum and 1/3 buckwheat.

For the buns, I somewhat followed this recipe from Fermenting for Foodies . The buns turned out really heavy with not much rise, but they had a good texture. The flavor was different. Not really good or bad. Not something I thoroughly enjoyed but not something that I trashed, either. I've never used psyllium husk, so that flavor may have thrown me off. The starter was also after the first feeding with buckwheat flour, and I likely used more buckwheat than sorghum for that first one.  I wonder if that affected the yeast enough to change the flavor that they contribute. I like buckwheat, so that's not what I was tasting. It was an unfamiliar taste and smell (my husband jokes that sense of smell is my superpower), so that leaves the yeast or psyllium.

I forgot to take photos of the buns, so I won't be adding that to my total.

Total ferment used:
1.5 cups for oat bars
1.5 cups for waffles
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1.5 cups of ferment for waffles
1.5 cups of ferment for waffles
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Sourdough waffles
Sourdough waffles with some bites missing
 
Nikki Roche
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Looking at the PEP guidelines, I realized I never posted a photo of my ingredients before fermenting, so that's the first photo -- homeground flour, a few muscadines, and boiled water. A few sites recommended boiling tap water to  remove chlorine, while others skipped the tap and used bottled water. I found out after the fact that my county uses chloramine, not chlorine, in the water. Chloramine is chlorine mixed with ammonia, making it more stable than plain chlorine. Chloramine can't be boiled out. I'm in the middle of researching water filters now. The one we have was provided by our plumber, and he claimed it was great. "It's what I use for my house," he said. I finally looked at the fine print, and it's far from great.

I used some discard to make a small batch of pancakes. Since the discard had been in the fridge for a few days, I assumed it would be extra sour. I added baking soda to the batter to counteract some of the sourness, and people are right when they say baking soda sweetens. I couldn't even tell the pancakes were made with sourdough. I like the addition of buckwheat.

Total ferment used:
1.5 cups for oat bars
1.5 cups for waffles
.5 cup for pancakes
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Ingredients to begin ferment
Ingredients to begin ferment
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Ready to make pancakes
Ready to make pancakes
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The finished pancakes after taste testing
The finished pancakes after taste testing
 
Nikki Roche
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I put the sourdough starter in the fridge for a few weeks while waiting for my grain mill to arrive. The Vitamix just didn't grind finely enough, and baking with coarse grain was frustrating me.

I fed the starter a couple of times while it was refrigerated. Both times, there was a purplish color on top. Not hooch, but a discoloration of the actual starter. An internet search alleviated my concerns, and I learned that buckwheat flour often leads to multicolored starters. I still scraped the top off whenever I fed it.

I wasn't a fan of the starter's flavor or odor at first. It's a lot better now that it's matured some in the fridge. I still remember what wheat-based starters smell and taste like, and the gluten free version is certainly different from that. I prefer wheat-based, but I'll take what I can handle at this point.

I made a nontraditional pecan pie using dates and invert sugar syrup instead of corn syrup. The sourdough crust complimented it well. My husband said, "that is NOT pecan pie," but my daughter and I thought it was delicious. The broken crust is where we taste tested before it had cooled enough to cut.

Total ferment used:
1.5 cups for oat bars
1.5 cups for waffles
.5 cup for pancakes
.5 cup for pecan pie crust
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Dough for the crust, with 1/2 cup sourdough starter
The finished pecan pie
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Pecan pie ready to bake
Pecan pie ready to bake
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The finished pecan pie
Dough for the crust, with 1/2 cup sourdough starter
 
Nikki Roche
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My starter was neglected in the fridge. I fed it once over the last month or so, and it smelled strongly of vinegar when I pulled it out this week. I rinsed the top of it with water, scooped it into a new jar, fed it, and left it at room temperature. I discarded some at the next feed since it still had a vinegar odor.

My homeground gluten-free baking mix is millet, buckwheat, and sorghum, so I've been feeding the starter with that this time around. So far, I like the addition of millet.

The starter was bubbly and smelling good by the third day, and I made a half-batch of sourdough lemon muffins with the discard (1/4 cup).

I looked at these 2 recipes for inspiration: The Pantry Mama and Then Feed Them. I didn't end up following a recipe and just added what seemed right with what I had to work with. They were a little dry the second day, but the flavor was good. Lemony and sweet/sour.

Total ferment used:
1.5 cups for oat bars
1.5 cups for waffles
.5 cup for pancakes
.5 cup for pecan pie crust
.25 cup for lemon muffins
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Thick starter
Thick starter
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Mixing the muffin batter
Mixing the muffin batter
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A couple of finished muffins - I baked these short for toddler-size
A couple of finished muffins - I baked these short for toddler-size
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Inside of a lemon sourdough muffin
Inside of a lemon sourdough muffin
 
Nikki Roche
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I added extra flour to some discard and let it sit overnight so all of the flour in my pancakes would be soured. The next morning, I added other ingredients (eggs, coconut oil, cinnamon, vanilla, etc.) until I reached the desired consistency and flavor.

Total ferment used:
1.5 cups for oat bars
1.5 cups for waffles
.5 cup for pancakes
.5 cup for pecan pie crust
.25 cup for lemon muffins
1 cup for pancakes
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1 cup of discard + flour
1 cup of discard + flour
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Pancake batter
Pancake batter
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Cooking a pancake on cast iron
Cooking a pancake on cast iron
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Some finished pancakes
Some finished pancakes
 
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Can you give us an update on your overall level of happiness with the process and product? I did a pure buckwheat sourdough ferment for a while a few years ago but I'm the only one in the family that really likes the flavor of buckwheat. The texture of the ferment was very different, and it was more temperamental than wheat, but I did enjoy it while it lasted.
 
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Some people find chickpea flour added to flour mixes gives the whole thing a beany taste, but I've never noticed that. If you don't mind chickpea flour, you might want to try adding some in. It really helps bind other flours and bakes into a pretty fluffy texture.

I think the flavour of soured chickpea flour pancakes is outstanding. I don't think I've fermented the batter (just chickpea flour and water, with a tiny bit of kala namak and baking powder added just before cooking) for longer than 36 hours, so I don't know how it would be in a perpetual starter. If you ever try the chickpea flour pancakes and decide you like the flavour of those, it might be worth experimenting with, though. I don't know if the pancakes need baking powder, but I put some in just in case.
 
Nikki Roche
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Jan, I've thought about trying chickpea flour but haven't yet. Good to know that it helps things stick together! I've had chickpea pasta and wondered how they were able to make it with nothing but chickpeas, but with the sticking power you described, it makes sense now.

Ezra, I've learned that I like some buckwheat, but I don't like it as the dominant flour. I haven't made bread yet, as I don't feel like I've quite got the flavor and texture of starter that I want for bread. I recently began adding millet flour to my starter mix (my mix of sorghum, buckwheat, and sometimes oat flour). I don't know if it's the millet or if my starter's microbial activity is finding a balance, but the smell has mellowed and become more like what I remember sourdough should smell like. When it was predominantly sorghum, I wasn't a fan of the smell or flavor, but it was also a really young starter at that point.
 
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I’ve had good luck with oat-based starters, myself, but haven’t gone in and tackled full-on sourdough boules with it. Tortillas, pizzas, and flatbreads all worked well though.

I received the Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day book for Christmas, and I’m looking forward to diving into that and seeing how that goes. It’s not quite the same as sourdough but it’s nice to have solidly-tested recipes for structured gluten-free bread. I’ve had real problems with internet recipes being hit-and-miss on that front.
 
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Hi Leanne,

Welcome to Permies.
 
Nikki Roche
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Leanne Opaskar wrote:I’ve had good luck with oat-based starters, myself, but haven’t gone in and tackled full-on sourdough boules with it. Tortillas, pizzas, and flatbreads all worked well though.



When you use oat-based starters, do you use just oat for the rest of the flour, or a combo of flours? I've tried a handful of non-sourdough recipes that were only oat flour, and they all turned out gummy or too crumbly. I'm wondering if the souring process would change the final texture of oat flour.
 
Leanne Opaskar
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Nikki Roche wrote:When you use oat-based starters, do you use just oat for the rest of the flour, or a combo of flours? I've tried a handful of non-sourdough recipes that were only oat flour, and they all turned out gummy or too crumbly. I'm wondering if the souring process would change the final texture of oat flour.



I use multiple GF flours and usually xanthan gum, sometimes psyllium husk. There’s no gluten in oats. There’s a similar compound in them called avenin, but it has much less stretch power than gluten, so you really do have to use something in addition to help it stick and not crumble.

I had hopes for all oat flour sourdough tortillas, but alas. They tasted great, but did crumble. I had much better success using various GF flour blends (Bob’s Red Mill, King Arthur, and one I cobbled together from internet recommendations) with a bit of xanthan gum.
 
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I've never noticed a taste, in psyllium husk, only texture, so I'm inclined to think the odd flavor/ scent was likely the yeast. Nikki, if you were to start this process over again, what would you do differently? What would you do the same?
 
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I've found that sticky rice (short grain sweet rice) (I like sho-chiku-bai, from koda farms) adds some body in my gf-free mix. I also use tapioca flour and chia seed. I don't like gums for eating regularly. I grind my own mix.

I've been making sourdough loaves for years. The problem is the batter is loose and needs support while baking. I use a dutch oven for boules using mark bittman's method, and ceramic loaf pans for loaves.

Where are you sourcing sorghum? I've only been able to find sorghum flour not grain. The USA has restricted sorghum grain imports due to invasive insect contamination. Flour imports are ok (the bugs are killed in the milling process). I've looked for US grown but haven't found any for sale for human consuption.

I encourage all to go beyond gf sourdough flatbreads. It's easier than regular breads, no kneading.
 
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I only bake yeast based breads etc with sour dough starter, and we are mostly paleo. While we do eat rice on some occasions, we don’t use any other grains in our household. I have severe celiac disease and so does 2 of my kids, and we find that with the exception of rice, non of use tolerates grains very well.
My paleo starter started life 2 years ago as a rice starter. It took me 2 years but I eventually figure out that to get the rice starter to accept cassava flour, you need a pinch of sugar once a week for the first 2 weeks. Yes, in the beginning it did want 2 feedings a day, but now I only feed it once a day. It doesn’t like tap water though, so I use filtered and it needs to be warm.
Here is my recipe if you ever want to try it.
I will add some photos to show you what I have made using this dough.

Paleo Sour dough bread

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup of warm water
1 cup of sour dough starter
1 1/2 cups of cassava flour
1 tblsp husk
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 cups of almond flour
3/4 cups sweet potato starch
6 tbsp. collagen powder
1 tbsp. Gelatine
1 tbsp. sugar/honey/marble sirup
1 tsp. salt
4 eggs

Instructions:
Mix the dry ingredients first. Then add the water and sour dough starter. Mix the water and starter with a cup of the dry ingredients mix and let it sit for 5 minutes before you continue. Last you add the eggs, and quickly mix it together. The dough will sticky texture like very thick cake dough.
Prepare a Dutch oven with piece of baking paper. Scrape the dough into the Dutch oven and smooth the surface with wet hands. Let it sit on your counter for 2 hours, then transfer it to your fridge and let it raise for 8-12 hours.
After raising in the fridge for 8-12 hours, remove it from the Dutch oven and let it sit in your counter for 2 hours. The dough is now firm enough that you can score it. While the bread warms up on the counter, turn the oven on to 425F and place your Dutch oven in it. Let the Dutch oven heat for at least 45 minutes.
Transfer the bread to the Dutch oven and place it in the oven lid on. Bake for 45 minutes, take off the lid and let it bake for an additional 15 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven, and let it cool for 2 hours before cutting and eating.
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sourdough crackers
 
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What temperature do you keep your starter at? I gave up on my store bought gf starter after 2 solid weeks of 2-3 times daily feedings and stuck it in the fridge. My starter is from azure standard and I’ve been using spelt to feed it along with filtered water. After the first week I added a little raw kombucha but it never bubbled and never expanded like I keep reading about. It also never developed the yeasty smell I associate with an active ferment either.

I have a reverse osmosis water filter system from home master that goes under my kitchen sink that I love. We’ve had it for about 4 years now and it has been great!
 
Ulla Bisgaard
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Lexie Smith wrote:What temperature do you keep your starter at? I gave up on my store bought gf starter after 2 solid weeks of 2-3 times daily feedings and stuck it in the fridge. My starter is from azure standard and I’ve been using spelt to feed it along with filtered water. After the first week I added a little raw kombucha but it never bubbled and never expanded like I keep reading about. It also never developed the yeasty smell I associate with an active ferment either.

I have a reverse osmosis water filter system from home master that goes under my kitchen sink that I love. We’ve had it for about 4 years now and it has been great!



A sour dough starter is a long term commitment, and it will take a while before it’s ready to use. When you are ready, buy  a gluten free starter from culturedfoodlife instead. Get the dried stuff, unless you are in SoCal, then I can share. Follow their directions if you are just making a gluten free starter. If you want paleo, you do this instead.
Follow the directions, but use cassava flour instead. Keep it on your counter at all times. In the beginning feed it 1/8 of a cup of flour and warm filtered water twice a day. On day 3 add 10 grains of sugar (I know it’s very little, but too much and it will explode on you. Continue feeding it twice a day 1/8 cup of for another week, then add another 10 grains of sugar. If it’s now bubbling, increase the flour and water to 1/4 cup twice a day. Once you can see that it’s active and raises between feedings, you can start using it for bread. After another month, you can cut the feedings down to once a day. Keep an eye on it. If you see brownish liquid on top, a few hours after you feed it, you didn’t feed it enough. Increase the feeding to twice a day if that happens. It’s often because the kitchen is hot. The colder you kitchen is, the slower it ferments, so the less flour it will need. It’s winter here now, so the temperature in my kitchen stays around 72F. In the summer, when temperatures in my kitchen can get to 80F, it will ask for more food aka create brownish liquid on top.
Don’t be discouraged by it. It took me two years to make a good starter. It needs to be babied a bit in the beginning, but once it’s grown up, it only needs a daily feeding.
Also, don’t add kombucha to your sour dough, it’s two different cultures. Your starter will naturally catch wild yeast from the air. You can see it on top of your starter once you get to the stage where you only feed it once a day.
The top will dry and on top will be the yeast.
Good luck, you will love it, once it works, just have patience with it.
 
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Alfrun Unndis wrote:I've found that sticky rice (short grain sweet rice) (I like sho-chiku-bai, from koda farms) adds some body in my gf-free mix. I also use tapioca flour and chia seed. I don't like gums for eating regularly. I grind my own mix.

I've been making sourdough loaves for years. The problem is the batter is loose and needs support while baking. I use a dutch oven for boules using mark bittman's method, and ceramic loaf pans for loaves.

Where are you sourcing sorghum? I've only been able to find sorghum flour not grain. The USA has restricted sorghum grain imports due to invasive insect contamination. Flour imports are ok (the bugs are killed in the milling process). I've looked for US grown but haven't found any for sale for human consuption.

I encourage all to go beyond gf sourdough flatbreads. It's easier than regular breads, no kneading.



I ran into the same problems. I solved them by adding husk and xanten gum. Those two will add the support, without it being heavy.
 
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interesting stuff everyone! This is my first time actually posting. I think... I've been creeping on the permies for a few years now! Lol

I've learned so much.

I've just started growing my starter a couple of weeks ago. I'm following a couple of gf sourdough groups in Facebook and on Reddit. I also work with someone who is an expert so I try to absorb what they have to say. I'm currently using the bakerita method... Although when I started my brown rice flour I did grate a little apple into it the first time... So for the first few days it smelled sweeter than it does right now. According to what I read, it'll take a couple of weeks for it to become who it needs to be, although I've had good bubbling and a healthy look from the beginning. I fed twice a day for the first week, and am now discarding 1:1:1 currently. They're not fully doubling in rise right now. I read that that's normal in the beginning, what is your experience?

My house is colder than many, so I am using a seed mat under and over my starter jars, and I keep a jar of my well water next to the seed mat so that it is room temperature or a little warmer. I change my jars out every couple days, and I wash them in the dishwasher. I don't sterilize them in the oven and all of those things... I figure if 49ers and cowboy cooks kept sourdough alive and healthy it certainly wasn't under sterile conditions.... Lol I've attached a picture of Chubbs, and his little friend Harry... Because Spare... It just had to be.
PXL_20230126_034009064.jpg
Chubs and Harry Sourdough Starter
 
Ulla Bisgaard
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Cheryl Woodswoman wrote:interesting stuff everyone! This is my first time actually posting. I think... I've been creeping on the permies for a few years now! Lol

I've learned so much.

I've just started growing my starter a couple of weeks ago. I'm following a couple of gf sourdough groups in Facebook and on Reddit. I also work with someone who is an expert so I try to absorb what they have to say. I'm currently using the bakerita method... Although when I started my brown rice flour I did grate a little apple into it the first time... So for the first few days it smelled sweeter than it does right now. According to what I read, it'll take a couple of weeks for it to become who it needs to be, although I've had good bubbling and a healthy look from the beginning. I fed twice a day for the first week, and am now discarding 1:1:1 currently. They're not fully doubling in rise right now. I read that that's normal in the beginning, what is your experience?



From my experience that’s normal. It took me a month to get mine to where it doubles in size, and I still need more starter than most use, plus I let mine ferment a little before I add the eggs. As I have never made a starter with anything but cassava flour, I am not sure though. It would depend on how bioavailable the sugars are in the starch. White rice flour has starches that are more ready available for the yeast to access.
Good call on the apple. I add a few grains of sugar instead to get mine started. I also never change the jars. I clean them outside, and wipe the inside clean after I feed the starter, but that’s just so I can see how much it raises. I didn’t know it was common to change jars. When a ferment is happy in a container, I don’t usually change it, you never know how it might react to a new environment, but that’s just my opinion.
 
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I have not worked with gluten free baking much outside a cake I made for my sister with celiac disease. I do have the sourdough book by Mary Jane Butters and she offers a wide variety of recipes for both traditional flour as well as gluten free options (rice and quinoa come to mind but I don't recall if there are more). I found her overall method accessible for a beginner with loads of info on the process of creating your own starter just using the chosen flour and water. I have really enjoyed the book and have expanded my own bread baking skills so I thought I would suggest it as an option of further information. Again, I've never used the gluten free flours for bread, but a friend of mine has and had positive feedback about her experience with the books instructions. So interesting to see the variety of ways that people make bread.
 
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I, too use a seed-starter mat, for the same reason. Good idea on the water, too! Thanks.
 
pollinator
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This is basically sourdough buckwheat bread.
It takes 48 hours but is not labor intensive at all.  Delicious double toasted as she suggests.  It is the first gluten free bread I have made that I am actually happy with.
https://youtu.be/8IQuDDOLoyI
 
Nikki Roche
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Alfrun Unndis wrote:
Where are you sourcing sorghum? I've only been able to find sorghum flour not grain. The USA has restricted sorghum grain imports due to invasive insect contamination. Flour imports are ok (the bugs are killed in the milling process). I've looked for US grown but haven't found any for sale for human consumption.



I buy Shiloh Farms organic sorghum grain. I find the one pound bags online at Vitacost and am looking for ways to buy larger bags. But last year, the quality wasn't as good as past years. I emailed Shiloh Farms, and they said the husk was harder to remove that year. I'm waiting for new stock before I try ordering a larger amount.
 
Nikki Roche
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I finally ventured into making something that needed the rising power of sourdough yeast. I made dairy free, gluten free pizza, using this recipe from Fermenting for Foodies.
Carla was right, and the odd flavor earlier was the immature starter, not the psyllium husk. The pizza crust recipe calls for 3 Tbsp of psyllium, and I didn't notice a different flavor from it compared to my non-psyllium baked goods.

I wasn't a big fan of the strong buckwheat flavor in the pancakes when I didn't have enough sorghum flour. I realized I would like to add buckwheat to some things, but I don't want that flavor every time. To feed the starter, I've begun substituting amaranth for the buckwheat. Occasionally, I add a bit of oat flour. It seems to do fine no matter what grain it gets, and the smell and flavor are much more similar to traditional wheat-based sourdough than it was a month ago.

The crust recipe made a batter instead of a dough. I stirred it together, refrigerated it overnight, spread it on parchment the next day, and let it rise for an hour before baking. It turned out great. The only change I would make is to spread the batter thinner, as it rose more than I expected.

I topped the pizza with tomato sauce, pepperoni, and leftover roasted veggies (onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, and zucchini).

Total ferment used:
1.5 cups for oat bars
1.5 cups for waffles
.5 cup for pancakes
.5 cup for pecan pie crust
.25 cup for lemon muffins
1 cup for pancakes
1 cup for pizza crust
PXL_20230205_162534730.jpg
Stirring the bubbly sourdough before measuring a cup of starter
Stirring the bubbly sourdough before measuring a cup of starter
PXL_20230205_162710885.PORTRAIT.jpg
1 cup of sourdough starter
1 cup of sourdough starter
PXL_20230205_164946913.jpg
Mixing the crust ingredients
Mixing the crust ingredients
PXL_20230206_230014230.jpg
The finished pizza
The finished pizza
PXL_20230206_231011528.jpg
The inside of the crust
The inside of the crust
 
Nikki Roche
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I baked gluten free sourdough bread, and it turned out better than I had hoped. Admittedly, my hopes weren't high since I've tasted and baked a number of disappointing gluten free breads.

I used this recipe from Healthy Taste of Life.

This one was made from homeground flours -- millet, sorghum, oat, and amaranth -- with no starches or gums. Ground flaxseed and psyllium husk were the binders. The photos look like the bread was a little dense since it sunk in the middle as it cooled (partly because I cut it while it was still hot), but it was actually soft and fluffy. The flavor was awesome, and the crust was crisp. My only complaint was that the inside had a wet texture, even after it had completely cooled. It was fully baked but moist, which I imagine is from the flax and psyllium holding onto the moisture. I experienced the same thing when I made a similar gluten free loaf with commercial yeast instead of sourdough. I toasted the slices, and that helped with the texture.

I made a few changes to the recipe, so the wetness could easily be from that. I didn't want to use that much flaxseed, so I reduced it to 1/3 cup, increased the psyllium husk to 2 Tbsp, added a couple extra Tbsp of oat flour, and reduced the water.

Anyone have thoughts about the moist texture? I certainly don't want a dry, crumbly loaf, but is there an in-between option?

Total ferment used:
1.5 cups for oat bars
1.5 cups for waffles
.5 cup for pancakes
.5 cup for pecan pie crust
.25 cup for lemon muffins
1 cup for pancakes
1 cup for pizza crust
1 cup for loaf bread
PXL_20230208_145737456.jpg
The dough rising in the loaf pan
Mixing the dough with help from Roo
PXL_20230208_180300269.jpg
Dough rising in the pan
Dough rising in the pan
PXL_20230208_195503906.jpg
The finished loaf, with a piece sliced off
The finished loaf, with a piece sliced off
PXL_20230209_163542568.jpg
Eating a slice of gluten free sourdough bread
Eating a slice of gluten free sourdough bread
 
Nikki Roche
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A friend with multiple food allergies said she used pancakes in place of bread for sandwiches because they were so quick and easy, and she could make a large or small batch. I haven't made a sandwich with them yet, but it does appear that pancakes are my go-to when I want something quick and bready.

Total ferment used:
1.5 cups for oat bars
1.5 cups for waffles
.5 cup for pancakes
.5 cup for pecan pie crust
.25 cup for lemon muffins
1 cup for pancakes
1 cup for pizza crust
1 cup for loaf bread
1 cup for pancakes
PXL_20230215_215721680.jpg
1 cup of sourdough starter
1 cup of sourdough starter
PXL_20230215_222009482.jpg
Pancakes cooking on cast iron
Pancakes cooking on cast iron
PXL_20230215_223124360.jpg
Leftover pancakes
Leftover pancakes
 
Lexie Smith
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I’m SO excited! I started a homemade gluten free sourdough starter and made my first batch of discard brownies and they are wonderful! I started on the 23rd of February and it is doubling nicely every day. I used nothing but spelt and water. I bought a starter and tried so hard to get it going for over a month without success. I watched a video that Melissa Norris does and she explained how to do it in detail and well, it worked in just 3 weeks. Yay!
 
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Lexie Smith wrote:I’m SO excited! I started a homemade gluten free sourdough starter and made my first batch of discard brownies and they are wonderful! I started on the 23rd of February and it is doubling nicely every day. I used nothing but spelt and water. I bought a starter and tried so hard to get it going for over a month without success. I watched a video that Melissa Norris does and she explained how to do it in detail and well, it worked in just 3 weeks. Yay!



Yay! I love seeing others catch wild yeast for starters. I like a lot of Melissa Norris's stuff, and brownies sound amazing! I haven't tried sourdough brownies yet, so that will be added to my list to bake eventually.

FYI for others seeing this in the future, if anyone needs to eat gluten free for health reasons, spelt is not gluten free. However, many people find it easier to digest spelt than wheat.
 
Lexie Smith
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Ah yes! I forgot about that! I’m fairly sensitive to flour but the ancient grains deal me far less misery.
 
Nikki Roche
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I baked scones for the first time. It's something that I'd like to try again, with some tweaks to my recipe.
I used this recipe from Waltraud Unger as my starting point and made a half batch. I used ghee instead of butter and vinegar + homemade oat hemp milk instead of the lemon juice and almond milk. I used my homeground blend of flours that's mostly millet and sorghum with oats, amaranth, and a bit of buckwheat. I also added an egg yolk.

I wanted savory scones, so I nixed the sugar, vanilla, and chocolate chips. I added a couple tablespoons of nutritional yeast and a teaspoon of garlic powder. I included a spoonful of psyllium husk to replace the xanthan gum that I assume is in the premixed flour of the original recipe.

The flavor was fantastic! I wish I had tried one fresh from the oven, but I baked them too late at night. By the next morning, they were more dry than I wanted to eat plain. I had been craving biscuits with sausage gravy, so I used the scones in place of the biscuits.

I don't know what my tweaks will be, yet. I need to look up other gluten free biscuit and scone recipes to compare, and I hope the next batch won't be as dry.

Total ferment used:
1.5 cups for oat bars
1.5 cups for waffles
.5 cup for pancakes
.5 cup for pecan pie crust
.25 cup for lemon muffins
1 cup for pancakes
1 cup for pizza crust
1 cup for loaf bread
1 cup for pancakes
.5 cup for scones
PXL_20230217_204733357.jpg
Mixing the dough
Mixing the dough
PXL_20230218_000034832.jpg
Shaping the scones - they were sticky!
Shaping the scones - they were sticky!
PXL_20230218_010443383.jpg
The finished sourdough gluten free scones
The finished sourdough gluten free scones
PXL_20230218_133005733.jpg
Breakfast of a scone topped with sausage gravy
Breakfast of a scone topped with sausage gravy
 
Nikki Roche
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Loaf bread, take 2

I used the same recipe as the first loaf with a few tweaks. I used roughly 1/4 cup pecan meal, 1/3 cup buckwheat flour, 1/2 cup oat flour, and made up the rest of the flour amount with my blend of millet, sorghum, and amaranth. I still reduced the flaxseed to 1/3 cup and increased the psyllium to 2 Tbsp. I decreased the water a bit, added a spoonful of gelatin and a spoon of beet powder. The pecan meal, buckwheat, and beet powder made it a darker loaf, but it's not burnt. The pecan meal gave it more of what I consider a whole grain texture. I liked that attribute, but if I was baking it for others who weren't used to so much whole grain, I wouldn't use pecan meal.

I added 1.5 Tbsp of maple syrup and 1/2 tsp baking soda to reduce the sourness, since my family isn't keen on very sour sourdough. The flavor was great, and I made French toast with a few of the slices. I baked the loaf until the center reach a temperature of 205-210F. Between the decrease in water and oat flour and making sure I baked it to the right temperature, the wet gummy texture nearly disappeared. The slices held together well without being crumbly, so this is definitely a recipe that I'm saving!

Total ferment used:
1.5 cups for oat bars
1.5 cups for waffles
.5 cup for pancakes
.5 cup for pecan pie crust
.25 cup for lemon muffins
1 cup for pancakes
1 cup for pizza crust
1 cup for loaf bread
1 cup for pancakes
.5 cup for scones
1 cup for loaf bread
PXL_20230218_143548335.jpg
Mixing the dough
Mixing the dough
PXL_20230218_181905154.jpg
Rising in the loaf pan
Rising in the loaf pan
PXL_20230218_202655849.jpg
The finished bread, with an end sliced off because I didn't wait for it to cool before taste testing
The finished bread, with an end sliced off because I didn't wait for it to cool before taste testing
PXL_20230218_202704032.jpg
Inside the loaf of gluten free sourdough bread
Inside the loaf of gluten free sourdough bread
 
Nikki Roche
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Lexie had me craving sourdough brownies!
It was my daughter's 2nd birthday last weekend, and I made meringue cookies instead of a cake. That left me with lots of leftover egg yolks, and I wanted something special just for her (and me) since the meringues were meant to be shared with family coming for her party.

I used this recipe from Spicy Tamarind, but as usual, I made tweaks.

I didn't have baking chocolate, so I subbed it with 1/2 cup cacao powder. Instead of butter, I used 1/2 cup coconut oil, and I used a heaping 1/2 cup of sourdough starter instead of measuring 3/4 cups. I used 4 egg yolks instead of whole eggs.

I considered melting and adding cocoa butter to make up for the difference of subbing the baking chocolate, but 1/2 coconut oil seemed like enough fat and the consistency of the batter was what I expected.

Then I messed up. After I put the pan of brownies in the oven, I got distracted in another room where I couldn't hear the oven timer. It overcooked a few minutes, so the edges were fairly dry. The middle was just right, like fudgy dark chocolate with a hint of tanginess. My daughter and I loved them, and I'm definitely saving the recipe.

My gluten-eating husband said, "You can't expect a brownie when you eat it, but it's good."
My sister is sensitive to gluten and dairy but eats a standard American diet, and she said, "What did I just eat? The flavor was...unique." She's not used to sourdough and much prefers milk chocolate instead of dark chocolate.

Total ferment used:
1.5 cups for oat bars
1.5 cups for waffles
.5 cup for pancakes
.5 cup for pecan pie crust
.25 cup for lemon muffins
1 cup for pancakes
1 cup for pizza crust
1 cup for loaf bread
1 cup for pancakes
.5 cup for scones
1 cup for loaf bread
.5 cup for brownies
PXL_20230219_221755368.jpg
Stirring the sourdough starter
Stirring the sourdough starter
PXL_20230220_142909029.jpg
Leftover sourdough brownies
Leftover sourdough brownies
 
Nikki Roche
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I baked sourdough snickerdoodle cookies, and they were a big hit with my whole family, including those who eat gluten and aren't big fans of sourdough.

I used this recipe from Cultured Food Life with modifications to make it gluten free. I used my current go-to homeground flour mix of millet, sorghum, buckwheat, and amaranth (roughly a 4:4:1:1 ratio). I added a tsp of psyllium husk and an egg yolk as binders, and I used regular sugar instead of coconut sugar.

I had to bake them longer than other cookies. More like 16 minutes than the 12 minutes that the recipe called for. When slightly underbaked like we usually like, they were super crumbly. Baking at 16 minutes and allowing them to fully cool before eating, they were crumbly but much less so.

The coconut oil did impart a slight coconut flavor, but there were no complaints about it. The cinnamon, sugar, and sourdough were stronger flavors than the coconut.

Total ferment used:
1.5 cups for oat bars
1.5 cups for waffles
.5 cup for pancakes
.5 cup for pecan pie crust
.25 cup for lemon muffins
1 cup for pancakes
1 cup for pizza crust
1 cup for loaf bread
1 cup for pancakes
.5 cup for scones
1 cup for loaf bread
.5 cup for brownies
.5 cup for snickerdoodle cookies
PXL_20230228_220853715.jpg
Gluten free sourdough snickerdoodle cookies
Gluten free sourdough snickerdoodle cookies
PXL_20230228_191435273.jpg
Balls of cookie dough
Balls of cookie dough
PXL_20230228_142856817.jpg
Mixing the cookie dough
Mixing the cookie dough
 
Nikki Roche
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The starter has an enticing fragrance now. I open the container sometimes just to smell it and anticipate what I might bake next.

I baked another loaf of bread and followed nearly the same process as the last loaf, except I forgot the maple syrup and I ran out of flax seed. Of the 1/3 cup of ground seed, about 1/3 was flax and 2/3 was ground chia seeds. The loaf still tastes good, but the texture is slightly different. I've been wondering what difference flax vs chia would make. I found I needed to add extra water with the chia seeds to achieve the same consistency of sticky, floppy dough. The baked bread was moister, not gummy like the first loaf but a bit wetter than the second loaf. I baked it until the interior reached 208F. I also subbed finely ground almond meal for the pecan meal, and that removed the grainy texture.

When looking online at sandwich bread recipes, it seems like the gold standard is when slices are fully flexible like conventional white bread. This is not that bread, at least not with my modifications. I never tried the original recipe exactly as written. But I'm not looking for a flexible bread. My main desires are a whole grain bread that tastes good and slices that won't fall apart with a thick sandwich. I've succeeded with those 2 things.

When we were ready to try a slice, I told my daughter Roo, "Hold on, let me take a picture." She kept her hand on that slice and waited for me to finish, but she wasn't going to give up the first hot piece! We didn't wait for the bread to fully cool like it's recommended.

Total ferment used:
1.5 cups for oat bars
1.5 cups for waffles
.5 cup for pancakes
.5 cup for pecan pie crust
.25 cup for lemon muffins
1 cup for pancakes
1 cup for pizza crust
1 cup for loaf bread
1 cup for pancakes
.5 cup for scones
1 cup for loaf bread
.5 cup for brownies
.5 cup for snickerdoodle cookies
1 cup for loaf bread
PXL_20230228_194643527.jpg
Roo claimed the first slice
Roo claimed the first slice
PXL_20230228_174453500.jpg
Waiting for the sourdough bread to rise
Waiting for the sourdough bread to rise
PXL_20230228_130538896.jpg
Mixing the bread dough
Mixing the bread dough
PXL_20230228_125438051.jpg
1 cup of sourdough starter
1 cup of sourdough starter
 
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I have been following this thread because I would love to develop a gluten-free sourdough starter. Y'all have lots of good ideas!

One thing I would like to share in terms of clarification is that all grains have gluten. Also, some seeds can cause a gluten-mimicking response in the body. I encourage y'all to read what Dr. Osborne has to say about this... https://www.glutenfreesociety.org/gluten-mimicking-foods/

After cutting all grains out of my diet, I have experienced an amazing transformation in my body: way less pain and inflammation, way more energy and clarity!
 
Nikki Roche
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I baked more brownies, following the same recipe and tweaks from my previous post, except I used whole eggs this time instead of just yolks and made sure that I didn't overbake it. I called it dark chocolate cake, and my family and I loved it. I imagine using baking chocolate instead of cacao powder would have produced a fudgier brownie texture instead of the cakey texture.

Total ferment used:
1.5 cups for oat bars
1.5 cups for waffles
.5 cup for pancakes
.5 cup for pecan pie crust
.25 cup for lemon muffins
1 cup for pancakes
1 cup for pizza crust
1 cup for loaf bread
1 cup for pancakes
.5 cup for scones
1 cup for loaf bread
.5 cup for brownies
.5 cup for snickerdoodle cookies
1 cup for loaf bread
.5 cup for brownies
PXL_20230302_003636300.jpg
Mixing brownie ingredients
Mixing brownie ingredients
PXL_20230302_004337920.jpg
Mixing more brownie ingredients
Mixing more brownie ingredients
PXL_20230302_031751303.jpg
The finished cake-like brownies
The finished cake-like brownies
 
Nikki Roche
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I baked sourdough chai fig muffins, and they tasted amazing!
My go-to muffin recipe is this Cardamom banana bread from Christopher Kimball of Milk Street Kitchen. I've adapted it to make a variety of flavors, including spiced pear parsnip muffins and winter squash gingerbread. This time, I made these changes:

1 cup sourdough starter
1 cup homeground flour + .5 cup oats (instead of 2 cups flour)
1.5 cups fig puree (instead of 2 cups mashed banana)
.5 cup sugar (instead of 3/4 cup)
Melted ghee instead of brown butter
.5 tsp baking soda (instead of 1 tsp)
1 tsp chai spice blend and .5 tsp cinnamon (instead of cardamom)
Omit the baking powder

My current flour blend is millet, sorghum, amaranth, and buckwheat, with a rough ratio of 4:4:1:1.

Total ferment used:
1.5 cups for oat bars
1.5 cups for waffles
.5 cup for pancakes
.5 cup for pecan pie crust
.25 cup for lemon muffins
1 cup for pancakes
1 cup for pizza crust
1 cup for loaf bread
1 cup for pancakes
.5 cup for scones
1 cup for loaf bread
.5 cup for brownies
.5 cup for snickerdoodle cookies
1 cup for loaf bread
.5 cup for brownies
1 cup for chai fig muffins
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Adding the sourdough starter
Adding the sourdough starter
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Mixing the batter
Mixing the batter
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Some of the finished muffins
Some of the finished muffins
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Inside of a sourdough chai fig muffin
Inside of a sourdough chai fig muffin
 
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