Well, there it is. The first gluten-free sourdough bread we made. After stirring the ever-funkier starter for several days complete with cabbage leaves and apple skin, my son was not feeling too confident about actually trying the bread. To be honest, neither was I. I really had no idea if the starter we’d made was going to work because it wasn’t ever as bubbly as I expected it to be, but we both were pleasantly surprised. The bread is pretty good!
As you can see from this picture, it did not rise much though. I am guessing as the starter sits for a few more days there will be more yeast activity, and we will try again on Wednesday to make another loaf. My son thought the bread was more than “pretty good” incidentally, probably because he helped make it and felt ownership in it. That loaf is a blend of teff flour, millet, brown rice and tapioca and he pointed out that the hard crust tasted like cereal and he was right~ it really did. Next time I might do less teff and try gluten-free oat flour for a lighter loaf~ more trials to come!
My son needed a science project and I needed a reason to try to make the sourdough starter recipe I’ve been eyeing for months, so we decided to work together and see what happens. The recipe we are using is from Jennifer Katzinger’s Gluten-Free & Vegan Bread. I’ve wanted to make sourdough starter for a long time now, ever since I read about it being a more easily digested bread than other types with single strands of yeast, but the recipes I read always seemed too complex and involved too much planning. Once I read Katzinger’s version which was already gluten-free I started thinking I could do it. Except I didn’t. There was still that planning part that got in my way, until my son’s science fair came up and I thought, we could do this~ we have a week and a half, plenty of time to get the starter going and then to try to bake with it a couple of times, with enough time even for a failure or two. We will actually use the starter later today for the first time, but actually making the mother was easier than I expected, so in case you are feeling daunted by the idea yourself I thought I’d share the steps so far. First, get a gallon size glass jar and put in 1C teff flour and 1C water.
Then add two purple cabbage leaves and the skin of half an apple.
Mix well again and then let it sit in a warm spot for 12 hours before stirring and adding more teff and water. After 48 hours (with 12 hours in between stirrings and adding more flour and water) it should be bubbling with yeast activity.
It is then time to take out the cabbage leaves and apple skin and put it in the fridge. It is ready to be used.
Now it’s time to test if this has worked. There is starter resting on my kitchen counter right now warming up with fresh teff and water for 4 hours and hopefully creating some yeasty activity. Crossing my fingers that we will have fresh sourdough bread by tonight. We’ll see!
These biscuits taste as traditional as a gravy-dipped southern morning. Thank the wonderful cooks at Jovial for this recipe, and try their Einkhorn versions too. I used gluten-free oat flour, brown rice flour, sorghum flour and tapioca starch, but feel free to experiment, or just use up what is in your pantry. These are made with kefir which is chock full of those oh so very important probiotics, so once you use some in this recipe, you can add the rest of the bottle to smoothies, mix it with flavoring like cinnamon or chocolate (or both!) or drink it straight. The only thing about these biscuits is I find them hard to cut in half without a lot of crumbling action, which also means they are a bit hard to toast. The broiler works best, but they are also just good straight out of the fridge where I am storing them. Here’s the link: Jovial’s recipe for biscuits.
Saturday I made gluten free biscuits from the Flying Apron Cookbook replacing the berries with 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. As much as I love the berries, we were running low on them and my son has been drinking smoothies in the mornings lately so I saved them for him. Mothers are always sacrificing! But the cinnamon is delicious actually, so it was a good experiment. I’ve been daydreaming of what goodies I am going to make my gluten intolerant friends for Christmas. It is so nice to know other gluten intolerant people with whom to share food! It can be so lonely when you are the one and only at a meal, party, or any other gathering where food and drinks are served. Since I have never really liked meat, I was always the odd one at meals as a child, so honestly by now I should be used to it, but it still bums me out. In fact, Thanksgiving has long been my least favorite holiday, considering I’ve never liked any of that kind of Turkey-ish food, and for last few years I’ve known I can’t eat the bread-ish food (unless I make it). This year I am determined to make it a festive inclusive meal, and since we are hosting that should be relatively easy. I’m putting together the menu this week and I’ll post what I come up with. Really there are such great ideas floating around I’m sure I’ll have more than enough ideas to keep me busy!
What exactly is the deal with oats? I’ve heard they do not have gluten but do have a protein similar to it. And there are those labels on some oaty products that say ‘gluten free oats”. I’m beginning to think oats that are not labeled gluten free are yet another food to add to my do not eat list…sigh. I made granola the other night with plain old bulk oats and it turned out yummy, but the next day I felt bad. It could possibly have been remnants from the other granola I ate, but I have a feeling it is the granola I made so I am going to give it a few days and eat just a tad again to double check. Although, once I associate feeling bad with a food I really have no inkling to try it again, but I do feel like figuring out the truth. Right now I am baking a gluten free bread from the Flying Apron cookbook and I’m so excited to try it. It is the first bread recipe I’ve tried and it smells delicious. I made biscuits the other day and those tasted especially good and not gf-ish at all. I added a little brown sugar and cinnamon on top of those and it really tasted like biscuits made from scratch that I used to eat growing up in Kentucky. Although, to be honest, I ate far more biscuits from a can than from scratch! It is so fun to bake again. I worked at a bakery one summer while in school and really enjoyed waking up in the early mornings and making delicious foods. There is something so fulfilling about cooking, but baking especially is such an interesting combination of chemistry experiment, homey-smells, sweet treats and comfort foods. Twenty more minutes until I can try this bread…I so hope it turns out well. I am imagining a delicious veggie sandwich for lunch tomorrow which is something I haven’t had in many years. Ah, food.