Tips For Making Great Gluten-Free Sourdough Bread
If you eat a gluten-free diet, then buying or receiving a gluten-free sourdough kit is sure to be exciting. When prepared and baked well, gluten-free sourdough is some of the best gluten-free bread you can find. The kit should come with instructions, which you can follow to make your own loaf. However, making sourdough is not easy and is a bit of an art. Here are some tips that will help you make even better bread.
Feed the starter with whole-grain flour.
Your kit will probably have you prepare and feed your starter a few times before you bake bread. This gives the starter time to strengthen and become more active. Make sure you're using whole-grain flour when you feed the starter. Whole grain flours have more complex carbohydrates for the starter bacteria and yeast to eat, which will help strengthen your starter and give it a more complex flavor. Buckwheat flour, brown rice flour, and quinoa flour are all good gluten-free options. (Yes, buckwheat is gluten-free, despite having a similar name to "wheat.")
Use dechlorinated water.
Most tap water contains chlorine, which will slow down the growth of your starter. Normal sourdough starters may be able to tolerate this, but gluten-free sourdough starters sometimes can't. Filter your water before feeding your starter. Or, alternatively, you can use bottled water to feed your starter.
Keep your kitchen warm.
Once your starter is ready to use and you start making bread, keep your kitchen warm. This will allow the bacteria and yeast to replicate and feed more quickly. If you don't want to turn the heat up in your whole home, you could turn the oven on, warm the kitchen up a little, then quickly turn it off before it gets too hot. Let the bread rise inside the slightly warm oven instead of in your chilly kitchen. Or, just wait and make your sourdough bread on a summer day and turn the AC off for a few hours.
Don't rush the rest.
Sourdough bread dough often needs to rest and rise for multiple hours before it's ready to shape or bake. Don't rush this, especially with gluten-free bread. Those rests are what give the bread texture, and gluten-free bread needs all the rest it can get.
With the tips above, you should have better luck turning out delicious, gluten-free bread. Good luck, and enjoy the baking process.
Visit a local food supplier to learn more about gluten-free sourdough kits.