The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Gluten-free Sourdough Progress

Gluten-free Gourmand's picture
Gluten-free Gourmand

Gluten-free Sourdough Progress

I just joined TFL this year and I've already learned so much.  I've been tagging along looking at responses to basic questions to figure out some of the technical things I need to know.  My goal is to develop some gluten-free sourdough recipes for my blog Gluten-free Gourmand.  I've been making progress and wanted to share some of the ideas I had as well as pose a few questions.  Here's a photo of one of my better loaves.

As you can see I'm still trying to perfect my scoring, and unfortunately I haven't gotten much closer since I started.  This boule was made with a 100% hydration starter.  I use my own blend of flours for both feeding the starter and making the bread.  I have tried several things for feeding the starter with only one or two types of flour at a time, with minimal success.  Teff flour has beenthe only thing that has worked, but it wasn't quite right every time so I'm still playing with it.  Sorghum flour by itself hasn't worked well.  If anyone has a suggestion for a single flour or a blend of two inexpensive flours I'd be happy to hear it.  If you're looking to make your own gf bread flour blend, check out my blog post on it:

http://glutenfreegourmand.blogspot.com/2013/02/Make-your-own-gluten-free-bread-flour.html

Recently I've started trying a firm starter that I adapted from the starter on Ars Pistorica's blog.  I've been able to get a more sour, flavorful loaf from this starter without using as many dough enhancers.  The last loaf I did was a little off, probably due to an experiment I did with changing the starter formula.  I'll be trying that recipe again tonight with a new generation of starter that I hope will be better.  

Here is the most current version of the recipe I'm working on using the firm starter.  This makes a small boule.

Mix in the bowl of a stand mixer until a gel forms:

210 g warm water

14 g Psyllium husk (this is the binder I prefer for bread)

Add:

150 g firm starter

125 g gluten-free flour blend

1/2 tsp salt

(sometimes I also add 12 g sugar - still trying to figure out if this is necessary)

Blend with the paddle of the stand mixer until homogenous.  Form the blob of dough into a rough ball and try to gather it so there's a smooth side and seam side. Let rise in a banneton or floured bowl, seam-side up, for 16-24 hours.  1/2 hour before baking, heat a dutch oven in the oven at 450 F.  Shape the boule seam-side down by gently tucking the sides underneath all the way around until it's tight on top and all the edges are gathered underneath.  Brush the top with water.  Let rest for 1/2 hour while the oven heats.  Cook inside the dutch oven for 25 minutes or until it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Notice I am shaping the boule 1/2 hour before baking.  I am getting good oven spring from this method, but I have noticed that traditional sourdough recipes have you shape the boule long before the bench rest.  What is the purpose of this?  If you recommend it, when should I try it?

I'd love to hear any other suggestions on how to modify my process or recipe.  I have created this recipe from nothing but some knowledge gained here and my own experimentation.  I've left out many things I see in other recipes under the theory that they were primarily for gluten development.  Since I have no gluten to work with I seem to be okay.  However, there's often some other reason besides gluten development for some of these steps so if anyone sees some technique they think might improve my loaf I'd love to hear it.  

I'm especially looking for thoughts on how to make the crust look nicer.  The white spots aren't flour - they are dry dough.  I have tried various techniques I've seen suggested here without much improvement: finishing off the baking with the lid off or on the rack, brushing it with water several times, etc.  Nothing seems to work.  Cooking it longer doesn't deepend the color like it would for regular bread.

Any thoughts are welcome!

 

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

You do have nice looking loaves.  Dried flour eh?  

Well browning is a Maillard reaction and occurs when humidity drops and temps get over 150°C.  Sugar is involved.  

Is it posible to sweeten, perhaps spray the loaf with a thin mist of honey water before baking?  

Reduce the humidity near the crust, have you tried rolling a loaf in seeds or chia or nuts or a thin outside skin of dough containing a very absorbent seed or crushed seed, something with oils? 

Just brainstorming here....

Have you tried browning using a kitchen torch?  

 

Gluten-free Gourmand's picture
Gluten-free Gourmand

I have tried oil, which makes the crust brown alright but tastes... well, like burnt oil.  I'm trying to go for a more traditional, "lean" loaf, so it wasn't an ideal solution anyway.  I actually have tried a kitchen torch!  It just made black patches on the white parts of the crust.  It didn't look pretty. 

I'm baking another loaf tonight.  I'll try the sugar/honey water idea and report back!

clazar123's picture
clazar123

I am fascinated by gluten free bread but have not much real world experience but some of the science concepts of baking might apply well.

I concur with Mini on spraying the crust with some form of a dilute sugar for browning. Even a light spray with milk would probably work (unless there is a milk issue). That is one of the tricks of the trade, I believe, to get a nice even browning.

Gluten or gluten free baking share a need to trap gas formation from whatever source (yeast or chemical) in a structure that provides some, but not too much , resistance. The matrix that traps it has to be thick enough to chew but not tough or gummy. With most gluten loaves,you want to shape (which tightens the gluten) but then allow the gluten time to relax so that it can expand with the gas. I imagine with gluten free, this is not an issue. However, I concur,also, that you may want to "dry" the surface so that it becomes impermeable to escaping gas bubbles and allows them to be contained and raise the loaf from the inside. As for browning, use the light sugarwater spray and see what happens.

I believe gluten free baking concepts are closer to baking with 100% rye and you heard from an expert (MiniOven) on that. Just have the fire extinguisher on the ready if you decide to use the torch method. :)

Mini-you just gave me my first laugh of the day-Thank you!

 Your ingredients will affect the crumb texture and that is a different question-well beyond my capability but it looks like you are well on your way there-lovely crumb on that loaf!

clazar123's picture
clazar123

Can the baking temp be involved? Glutenfree dough is generaly thicker and wetter-like whole wheat. Could baking at a reduced temp-400F-be hot enough to provide a quick rise and bake through but cool enough to brown without drying the crust. You do get some nice browning in the slashes.

 

Gluten-free Gourmand's picture
Gluten-free Gourmand

I haven't tried baking this shape at 400.  That's something to think about.  I've been assuming that the slashes are getting browner because they are a little less dry, but maybe it's because they don't get hot as fast.  After all, when I spray the loaves or brush them with water several times the crust still doesn't brown well, and the end result gets kind of chewy.  I've tried higher heat to start out, but not lower heat.  I'll do some experimenting.  Thanks for the suggestion!

Laura T.'s picture
Laura T.

This looks great! I'm working on various gluten free breads for my blog and I also use psyllium as a binder. I noticed you don't use rice flour, but I'm wondering if maybe the rice flour I buy is different to what's available to you? I've had good results using it. I'm going to be working on a sourdough next I think, so I'll let you know if I get any good starter results.

Gluten-free Gourmand's picture
Gluten-free Gourmand

Laura T., I am glad to know that someone else is playing with psyllium husk!  I think it works the best of everything I've tried for holding a bread's form.  As for rice flour, I haven't had good results using it for bread.  To qualify that statement a bit, I haven't had good results using stone-ground white or brown rice flour for making bread.  I bet that a sweeter, more finely ground asian-style rice flour might work for bread.  What have you had work for you?  I'd love to compare notes sometime.

Laura T.'s picture
Laura T.

It is THE best thing, definitely. None of these weird artificial gums are as good. A lot of decent commercial gf bread in the UK contains it.

So far, I've worked primarily with white breads, so it's white rice flour I've been using. It is finely ground. I'm lucky enough to live near 3 very good Asian grocery shops, as the town I live in has a large population of Chinese students, so I get my flours, psyllium, etc from there. I haven't tried teff flour yet but I've placed an order with one of the shops and should be getting some in the next day or 2. :) I've also been using cornmeal (certified gluten free, of course) but I'm trying to steer away from this as I know a lot of people who are gf are also corn-free.

I've got an experimental sourdough starter on at the minute whice is white rice : millet : water at the ration 2 : 1 : 2 which has developed a lot of bubbles,but it is early days, so we'll see if it sours well. If so, I'll document it here as well as on the blog..

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

and your post comes just att the right time - 

I have been asked yesterday to provide some gluten-free bread!

How is the shelf live / keeping quality of a teff sourdough bread?

Thank you,

Juergen 

Gluten-free Gourmand's picture
Gluten-free Gourmand

Juergen, Sourdough bread definitely keeps longer than regular bread.  You probably already know that gluten-free bread doesn't have the best shelf life.  A sourdough will last much longer, though I haven't had them last as long as I hear that regular wheat-based sourdough will last.  I'm still working on the recipe though.  It seems the more sour the bread, the longer it will last.  I live in a slightly humid climate, and things tend to mold quickly here, but some loaves of sourdough have lasted about a week at room temperature.  Hope that helps!

Gina

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Hi Gina,

Thank you for your prompt reply. 

I made GF bread once, about 3 years ago (I am not gluten sensitive). I used a recipe from "Bread Matters", and it went stale within a day. Several days - up to a week - of shelf life is fantastic. And your breads (here and on your website) look better than any GF products I have seen so far. You got me hooked.

Juergen

Laura T.'s picture
Laura T.

I really hope that one day we can have breads that just happen to be gluten free, that everyone enjoys for their health benefits and flavour, instead of the prescription house-bricks that no non-celiac would touch. Bloggers are making it happen :)

Gluten-free Gourmand's picture
Gluten-free Gourmand

Thanks Laura T and Juergen for the comments!  I feel like gf baking is making great strides these days.  Having delicious gluten-free bread for everyone should happen sooner rather than later!

grind's picture
grind

I'm especially looking for thoughts on how to make the crust look nicer.  The white spots aren't flour - they are dry dough.  I have tried various techniques I've seen suggested here without much improvement: finishing off the baking with the lid off or on the rack, brushing it with water several times, etc.  Nothing seems to work.  Cooking it longer doesn't deepend the color like it would for regular bread.

 

Rice malt, also known as rice syrup, might be worth a try.

 

 

 

 

Laura T.'s picture
Laura T.

I baked a sourdough today. Not 100% happy flavour-wise (it's close though) but got a good browning on the crust by brushing with a 50/50 agave water mix before baking.

Couldn't get a very good picture on my phone but it had the nice reddish tinge I used to get from wheat breads. It was mainy white rice, so it is quite dark for that.

Laura T.'s picture
Laura T.

I sort of forgot to score this because I was really tired/distracted then panicked after it was in the oven and tried to sort if out, hence the odd shapes on the top haha.

grind's picture
grind

You're making great strides with GF bread baking.

Laura T.'s picture
Laura T.

Thanks :)

Gluten-free Gourmand's picture
Gluten-free Gourmand

This looks great!  I'll have to play with brushing the crust again.  I tried it once and it was okay, but not this nice.  Every once in a while the crust comes out looking nice without doing anything.  I think it might have to do with an extra-warm bench rest next to the oven while it's heating.  Still experimenting.  Have a loaf rising right now!  This looks amazing though.  I'm eager to see your recipe once it's ready to post on your blog!

Laura T.'s picture
Laura T.

I'm sure I'll bake another over the weekend, I've definitely been bitten by the baking bug in a big way! I should mention I also baked on a pizza stone with a tray of water in the bottom of the oven. I'm sure mine had nothing to do with a warm rest since I'm in the UK haha. Thing is, I haven't tried this loaf without brushing, so I don't know if that's the main factor!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Beautiful outcome!   Remember to write that down!  How many minutes into the bake did you score?

Might want to try different sugar mixtures until you get what you like. 

Other ideas...  egg yolk/oil   mayonaise   cream   whole milk    oil  melted butter

sodium carbonate solution --> baked baking soda disolved in cold water (1:6) and brushed on before baking.  

Laura T.'s picture
Laura T.

Oh just a couple of minutes. GF Gourmand's is so much better than mine. I must work on scoring! I think I'll try a few different combos and maybe see if I can get a better brown on my baguettes as well, since although they're lovely they're super pale. I do like the flavour the agave leant to the crust though. 

I have take to writing everything I bake down these days. I constantly have notepad open on my laptop and there is a long running text titled "bread" haha.

Gluten-free Gourmand's picture
Gluten-free Gourmand

No worries, I forget to score all the time :P

Laura T.'s picture
Laura T.

Made a good, quick (2hr initial prove, shape, 30 minutes bench, 25 mins in oven on stone w/ steam at 225c) boule today using some of my sourdough starter. I'm pretty happy with it. I increased the psyllium so it was more sturdy than my last one, which was a little flat! Any thoughts on the crumb, etc? I brushed with the agave/water mix again, with about 75/25 water/agave. The colour was good although my picture's aren't so good. :/ Actually remembered to score this time and ended up with little ears haha.

Gina, how did the loaf you were making go? Would love any more insight into your fabulous bread adventures!

Gluten-free Gourmand's picture
Gluten-free Gourmand

Laura, those loaves look really nice!  The crumb looks nice and open and fluffy.  The holes are open and round instead of smashed-looking as they sometimes do with GF bread.

My bread came out with more the flavor I was looking for - more sour, like San Francisco Sourdough.  It's maybe not quite that sour, but approacing it.  I was reading another thread here on TFL about how to make your bread more sour:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/6815/how-develop-sour-flavor-sourdough

I decided to try some of the ideas.  It seems true that I can get a loaf with very nice flavor and lots of oven spring - like yours - with a high hydration dough and rising for about 4 hours.  This loaf is a lower hydration and rose for about 11 hours.  It was more sour but of course more dense with less spring.

 

Laura, how much psyllium husk are you using for what amount of flour?

Laura T.'s picture
Laura T.

That looks great :) I wish mine had been more sour! Will check those ideas out. I'm still experimenting with the psyllium but on that one I used 15g and there was 425g flour in total. Does that sound similar to what you use? Also, did you brush this loaf with anything?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

but is it possible to get more psyllium into the outside layer, dust the loaf or form with a mixture of flours or wrap the dough in a layer of drier dough that contains more psyllium or chia to create an exoskeleton for the dough?  One that browns easier?  

Gluten-free Gourmand's picture
Gluten-free Gourmand

Laura,

I have one of my formulas posted above, but I've been tweaking things.  I use 14g psyllium for 225g flour.  I've started thinking maybe it's too much.  You're using quite a bit less!  Maybe that gives you the open hole structure.  Do you use any other binders in addition or just the psyllium?

This loaf I posted above I did brush with some honey and water after cooking it for 15 minutes.  It did seem to help.  The next loaf I brushed it with the honey mixture before putting it in the oven and again after 15 minutes.  That browned more evenly, but I could taste the honey after cooking which I wasn't sure about.

Mini, I think your idea would work with chia, flax, or other seeds but I'm not sure about psyllium.  I think that would have a weird texture.  It's extremely high in fiber so it would be gritty, I think.  Doing a seeded loaf would look nice, but I'm trying to figure out how to get a nice natural-looking browned crust.  I think your idea about the honey water is  more the way to go for the end result I'm looking for.  I just need to figure out the best way to apply it.

I'm stubborn in that I have a specific idea of how my bread should be - feel, taste, texture, crust - and then I try until I get it.  I've been working on this sourdough bread for a year!  If I can't get the crust to brown how I want I'll probably just flour it.  I have had a few crusts come out brown, though, so I think I can get it.  I'm very close now.... 

Thanks for your help you two!

Gina

Laura T.'s picture
Laura T.

I only use psyllium and I find that the less I use the more open it is. I used as little as 10g psyllium for a boule with good results. If I add a lot I find the texture a little too solid and spongey, although it's good for a non-holey sandwich loaf. I think the best browning result I've had is to brush with agave/water mix, flour with rice flour, slash then bake. I baked a large loaf today at 230c for 15 mins followed by 220c for 25 mins, which had a good redish brown crust. I think it's definitely acheivable in gf bread! I also steamed the oven with a tray in the bottom containing only about a cup of water, so that after about 15 mins, the oven started to become dryer.

Gluten-free Gourmand's picture
Gluten-free Gourmand

I find that the amount of psyllium needed is also related to the flour mix.  If you have more starch in the flour, then you need more psyllium.  The less psyllium use, though, the more difficult it is to shape the boule.  Well, I'm looking forward to seeing your recipe once it's on your blog!

Laura T.'s picture
Laura T.

I just made 5 sourdough baguettes and am pretty happy with the result. I made one plain and then played around with flavouring for the others (tomato & pesto, rosemary, seeded and cocoa & tahini). I'm pretty happy with them. Brushed with water/sugar mix this time, not as nicely browned as when using water/agave mix. I used an overnight prove in my cold kitchen to develop the flavour, but they were still not notably sour, or not as I'd like. I'm going to start some today for a 2-day method.

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Hi, 

I am getting my gluten-free ingredients together, and I also looked into the labelling policies here in the UK. I am trying out which of the GF materials ferment well; I have started a millet/buckwheat sourdough and raisin yeast-water. Things are brewing...

About the crust: Sometimes I got white spots on my 100% rye breads, especially when I forgot to steam.

But since about 3 Months I apply a schmear of thin roux (cornstarch or potato starch boiled with a lot of water) just before and after baking. This brings out the color very nicely and the white spots have disappeared. I haven't tried this with GF bread yet.

Laura T.'s picture
Laura T.

Sounds an interesting way of geting colour. I'll try it as I'd rather not have the sweetness that sugar/water mix adds. I'm in the UK too. Where did you get gluten free buckwheat? I've been wanting to try it but all the ones I've seen are contaminated :(

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

of investigating GF baking and I am not intolerant - at the moment I am just looking at processes.

From the legislation I understand that there is a lot to learn and watch out for - I am baking at home, but might have several potential customers. Sourcing the ingredients is one thing I will need to sort out - the other is avoiding cross-contamination in my kitchen.

I understand that millet can be problematic, too?

Thank you for your comments, let me know how the roux worked for you.

Juergen

Laura T.'s picture
Laura T.

It just depends on the factory in which they are milled/packaged. Particles of flour can stay in the air for up to 24 hours. When sourcing flour, most products will say in the allergy info 'may contain traces of gluten' if there is a possibility of contamination. Buckwheat is what I've found hard to find. I expected doves farm would stock a gluten free one, but no such luck. They are good about the labelling though and explain what is and isn't suitable. The millet I buy doesn't mention possible cross-contmination but I don't worry too much as although I have celiac disease I am not extremely affected by such things and I tend to only use small amounts of millet.

Unfortunately if you are using the same equipment and surfaces for gf and non-gf baking, it's unlikely you'll be allowed to say any of your products are suitable for celiacs, although people who are just intollerant should be fine. I think they'll make you say "no gluten-containing ingredients" as "gluten-free" requires really strict guidelines.

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

I thought that "no gluten-containing ingredients" would be as good as I could get.

Once I have a bread to offer I would make sure to use separate equipment - except for my hands and my oven.

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Hi Laura,

Does this look good to you?

http://www.healthysupplies.co.uk/buckwheat-flour-organic-500g.html

Infinity's is just around the corner from where I live

Laura T.'s picture
Laura T.

Looks good although that is very expensive for flour! Not sure I could afford to make bread from that haha. Thanks for pointing it out though. I may buy a bag just to add small amounts to my flour mixes.

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

I'll go to Infinity's this afternoon and check the prices.

Laura T.'s picture
Laura T.

Cool. I'm quite happy with my rice/millet starter thankfully, which is not too expensive to maintain :)

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

2.44 for 500g buckwheat flour. sold out. my buckwheat/millet starter was a bit of a random shot as these were the grains i had in stock. coming along nicely. iLl attempt a bake tomorrow. i'll also order a retail catalogue from infinity. 

did you ever calculate the cost of your bread?

 

Laura T.'s picture
Laura T.

Shame about the buckwheat :(

I only went 100% gluten free a month or so ago (was experimenting with a gluten free diet for elimination diet purposes before that), so I haven't had much time to experiment - at the moment I'm using a different formula every time I bake (every day or two)! When I first started I bought small bags of flour, so the cost was likely high, but I just bought 5kg rice flour and I'll likely do the same for the other flours and starches when I run out of those in future. I couldn't even guess at the cost at the moment unfortunately. I got the rice & teff flours (I've switched my starter over to teff now but I keep getting the names mixed up and saying millet haha) from an asian grocery. The rice flour was £7 for 5kg and the teff was about £1.80/kg. I think the potato starch I buy is £3.00/kg. I really need to shop around more to find out if these are reasonable though.

Gluten-free Gourmand's picture
Gluten-free Gourmand

I have had a hard time getting GF buckwheat in the US too.  It seems like it's not just an issue with the packing and milling facility, as I found a souce here in the US that just does buckwheat, and it still had traces of gluten when I tested it.  My solution now is to buy hulled, white buckwheat groats and grind it myself.  I bought a flour mill to do this but it can also be done in a small coffee grinder.  This produces a really great off-white color flour.

Buckwheat groats are at least a little popular here in the US, so it's easy for me to find.  Where I can't find the whole groats I can ususally find the "cereal" version of it where the groat is broken down into smaller chunks to make a boiled dish like oatmeal.  I don't know if you could find this in the UK, but if so it's worth looking into.

Laura T.'s picture
Laura T.

I kow they sell buckwheat (the kind you add to stews, etc) in Tesco (major supermarket) here, which I assume is the same thing. I haven't checked if they're gf though. I'm aware that buckwheat is often grown in a crop rotation with regular wheat, so perhaps that's the problem?

Gluten-free Gourmand's picture
Gluten-free Gourmand

Yes, I think that growing wheat alongside (or rotated with) the buckwheat is probably the source of the cross-contamination.  Most buckwheat growers clean or sort the grain, but it seems like some wheat still gets through.  Since the buckwheat I use is hulled it comes through cleaner.

Gluten-free Gourmand's picture
Gluten-free Gourmand

I got a loaf of sourdough to brown pretty nicely today but I forgot to take pictures before giving the loaf away to my mom (who is also gf) for Mother's Day.  I didn't use anything but water.  There were still a few white spots, but not nearly as bad as usual.

All I did was brush the loaf with water after kneading and cover the loaf with plastic while rising, letting the plastic touch the surface of the loaf the whole time to trap the moisture.  I feel like this allowed the loaf to rise a little better too because the crust didn't toughen.  I think I did this on accident a few times before and that's why I was occasionally getting nice-looking crusts.

Laura, those baguettes look really good!

Juergen, your roux idea sounds like it would work really well for helping the crust brown.  If you want some ideas for how to come up with a mix of flours for your bread, I have a blog post about it here.  It sounds like you've already put some thought into it and you're have a lot of good ideas on your own.  I'd love to hear about your results!

Laura T.'s picture
Laura T.

That's sounds like a good technique. You'll have to try again to see if you get the same result. Hope your mum enjoyed the bread! Mothers' Day here is earlier in the year, so it's already been. I wasn't having much success with baking then so I didn't make my mum anything :/

I'll try your technique when I bake the dough I'm trying out at the moment and see if it imroves my browning without adding sugar :)

Laura T.'s picture
Laura T.

I finished off my longer-process baguettes today and I am so happy with them. They tasted icely sour and were so light. I'm really happy with the crumb. Also used just water before dusting this time instead of water/agave and acheived a pretty similar level of browning without the sweet taste. I'm going to write a blog post about these but they took a day and a half to make so I'm too tired to write anythig that in depth right now haha (it's 21:40 here). Thought I'd post a pic to show you guys the result though :)

Laura T.'s picture
Laura T.

The browning:

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Thank you all!

This is made with Buckwheat, Millet, Potato flour, Tapioca flour, Psyllium husk, salt and water.

It needs some fine-tuning - starter, timing and amount of Psyllium, but I am very pleased.

The cornstarch roux glaze (applied before and after baking) worked very well to bring out the colors - this would work with any starchy flour.

I'll create a blog post once I am happy with my adjustments.

Thanks again,

Juergen

Laura T.'s picture
Laura T.

Looks good Juergen! How was the flavour?? I may try that glaze next time also.

Samantha M's picture
Samantha M

That's a stunning loaf!!! Well done!

I look forward to your recipe and method so I can have a go!!!

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Samantha, This loaf is a starting point. 

I am learning tons of things every day.

At the moment I can't dedicate as much time to baking as I would like, but the quest goes on.

I know that my starter underperfrmed, and that the hydration was not right. I'll report about my experiments shortly, and hopefully come up with a good formula for you to try out!

Thanks again,

Juergen

Samantha M's picture
Samantha M

Well keep it up! I love the rise you got from your loaf and thats my down fall at the moment, I'm creating nice tasty and textured bread but not much rise.

I look forward to when you can share your formula and I can try!

Gluten-free Gourmand's picture
Gluten-free Gourmand

You guys, those loaves look so good!  I'm impressed!

I tried the plastic-wrap method again with results that are not quite as good.  Somehow the surface dried out a little anyway.  I might try Juergen's roux though.  It seems like a good solution and that loaf is so beautiful!

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

although the looks and taste are great. 

Thank you, Laura and GF Gourmand!

The crumb looks like an over-wet under-proofed 100% rye. This gives me some ideas.

I will try reducing overall hydration and Psyllium. Crazy stuff, the Psyllium.

I kind-of regard Psyllium as something like the Pentosan content of rye and try to apply my rye knowledge. 

Juergen

Laura T.'s picture
Laura T.

That makes sense. It is strange stuff! Where do you get yours from by the way??

I find that with my gf loaves, they are a little tacky and wet inside if I don't let them go completely cold before cutting into them. Odd.

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

they need to set. Rye can take more than 24 hours to set properly.

Here in the South there are lots of good food shopping possibilities.

I get Psyllium and other unusual herbs and teas from Neil's Yard (London Covent Garden or Brighton branches). Maybe there is a branch near you.

Holland & Barrett stock the "Neil's Yard" brand of grains (e.g. Buckwheat), but have Psyllium only in some kind of intestinal health mix. But they have Chia seeds.

Laura T.'s picture
Laura T.

Oh damn I didn't try Neal's yard! I only know there is one near by because my friend mentioned it jokingly (my husband's name is Neil), but there is one here in Newcastle. I was in H&B today and noticed their psyllium had other weird stuf in it. It's also pretty expensive! I order mine from theasiancookshop at the moment but could do with a local place to buy when I run out half way through making bread (happens far too often!).

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

I think, my 100g of Psyllium were around £2.50. I usually go there to get nettle, rosehip and things like that.

Laura T.'s picture
Laura T.

Ah yes, my friend who mentioned it mixes her own tea blends, so she buys nettles etc from there also. £2.50 is ok, but it's only £1.60 on that website. But then you have to pay for delivery if you order is under £25, so it's only cheap if you need to buy other things also!

The psyllium in Holland and Barrett was about £13 for 300g or so!! Ridiculous!

Red5's picture
Red5

Could you tell us about the firm starter you used/created? I saw the different formulas you posted for the flour blend but didn't see anything abou the starter. 

 

Quote:
210 g warm water

14 g Psyllium husk (this is the binder I prefer for bread)

Add:

150 g firm starter

125 g gluten-free flour blend

1/2 tsp salt

 

Gluten-free Gourmand's picture
Gluten-free Gourmand

The mention of the starter was somewhere else in that first long post.  I used the Ars Pistorica method of getting a starter going.  Ars developed it for use with rye and whole wheat, but I found that it works well for 100% dark teff as well.  Here is that link: 

http://arspistorica.blogspot.com/2013/02/creating-starter.html

I'll write a blog post soon since I've just had the best GF sourdough loaf I've ever made today!

Gina

Laura T.'s picture
Laura T.

Wrote a brief blog post about my recent baguette on here:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/33470/overnight-sourdough-rice-teff-baguettes

It'll also be up on ditsykitchen.com tonight :)

Samantha M's picture
Samantha M

Whats the difference between a wet starter and a firm starter???

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Water quantity(proportion of water to flour) is the difference.

Many people probably think of a wet(or liquid) starter as being at least "batter like" on up to really being liquid. These wet starters typically have as much water, by weight, as flour.

Firm(er) starters are typically more "dough like" in consistency and have less water, by weight, in relation to the flour in the starter.

I keep a firm(er) starter. It contains half as much water, by weight, as the flour. The starter, as I keep(store) it contains .4 ounces(about 22 grams) of water and .8 oz(about 44 grams) of flour. Since it has half as much water as flour, it is also described as a 50% starter. Starters can be even firmer, to the point of almost being dry.

Most wet starters have at least as much water, by weight, as flour. When there are equal amounts of flour and water, by weight, the starter is called a 100% starter. Starters can be even more liquid, ie., contain more water than flour.

Easiest to keep a 100% starter because it's easy to know exactly how much water and flour it contains, because half of the weight of the starter is water and half is flour.

It's also pretty easy to out a 50% starter also. Starters of other percentages(water to flour ratios) can be more difficult to figure out how much water and flour they contain.

So, as you can see, it's much better for all concerned, when the starter is described by percentage(%), rather than potentially vague descriptions of firm, wet, etc.

Good luck! (and hope you have a scale to weigh your ingredients).

Samantha M's picture
Samantha M

Great explaination thank you! Most easiest to understand as far as I have read after trying to google it, lol!

I have a scale most definitely! I love my scale! Most accurate way to bake espcially in the gluten free world! I now get thrown when I see recipes using volumes eg cups etc and I think oh I cant do that recipe now! There's to much uncertainty, I have downloaded a rather good convertion chart of different gluten free flours measured how many grams per 1 cup but you dont know whether the recipe creator has spooned the flour into the cup or scooped the flour from the bag which have significant difference.

 

Right off to learn more on sourdough baking in the gluten free world!!!

Laura T.'s picture
Laura T.

In literal terms, one has more water than the other but honestly I know very little about it haha ^^ is a much more comprehenisve answer ^^. Just sent you an email Sam :)

Samantha M's picture
Samantha M

Thanks Laura!! You know more than I do!!!

Gluten-free Gourmand's picture
Gluten-free Gourmand

I finally got that brown crust I was going for.  While the bread was rising for the last 4 hours or so, after I had formed the boule, brushed it about three times with water and covered it so there was plastic wrap touching the surface.  I left wrinkles in the plastic so that the loaf would expand normally, and it did.  I brushed for the last time right before scoring (this might be why my scores aren't that great looking.)  No white spots! 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

:)  beautiful browning!

Samantha M's picture
Samantha M

That is stunning!!! Well done!!!

Now share share share!

Mind you I think I'm along way off from knowing anything about sourdough, eg. you mentioned 'While the bread was rising for the last 4 hours or so'......seriously 4 hours? Is that what happens in sourdough baking? I'm still trying to master a good sandwich bread with rise and stamina!

:-)

clazar123's picture
clazar123

I'm glad to see Mini following this because I wonder whether GF dough would be considered to behave like a 100% rye dough? Does it really need scoring for expansion or just for decoration? But studying the picture of that greatlooking loaf, there is some oven expansion.I think you have mastered the browning!

Great looking crumb,too! I am so glad you are writing this thread.

Gluten-free Gourmand's picture
Gluten-free Gourmand

Thanks everyone!

Clazar, I do score the loaves.  Sometimes I get good oven spring, sometimes I don't.  The photos I posted at the top of this thread are some of my best examples of oven spring with SD.  This last loaf didn't get as much as I thought it would.

GF bread can act a bit like rye, but it depends on the flour blend.  I use more starch so the crumb isn't too dense.  There are a lot of different ways to blend flours for different textures.  Rye bread is probably the best analogy though.

Samantha, this loaf rose for 12 hours!  Tomorrow I'm going to try for less, though.  My bread is starting to turn out a little too sour.  It's like a dream come true! Or, maybe I messed up my starter.  Not sure yet.

Laura T.'s picture
Laura T.

These look really imressive Gina :)

I get reasonable oven spring mostly with the gf breads, although it's far less predictable than my old wheat breads were. :/

MariaU's picture
MariaU

Hi,

Thank you for the recipe, I am going to try it with buckwheat starter, that I make now, meanwhile it rises well.

Gluten-free Gourmand's picture
Gluten-free Gourmand

Hi all, it's amazing to see that I started this thread almost a year ago!  I thought I almost had the GF SD thing down.  Well, I've come a long way since then.  I am getting great browning consistently on my loaves now.  Also, in the last year I've figured out how to create a sorghum starter in just three days.  I posted it on a new thread but I thought I should post it here too since I promised to keep you all updated.

http://glutenfreegourmand.blogspot.com/2014/03/sourdough-starter-in-3-days.html

I'll have the bread recipe posted on Monday - I'm doing some tests over the weekend tweaking some really minor points.  Here's the bread that's fermenting now: 

And here was the last loaf I baked:

I was anxious to get the bread to brown without any oil or sugar washes.  I did figure out how to do that more consistently. I think the problem was that the psyllium husk, as well as the GF grains in general, dried out in the proofing.  Also, if you don't let it rise long enough on the first rise, you don't get the enzymes cultivated that are responsible for browning.  My browning method now is to:

  • Keep the dough covered with plastic on the first rise.  A long first rise helps in browning later.
  • Pre-form the boule for the second rise, and place seam-side down in a bowl.  Spritz with water and cover loosely with plastic wrap touching the dough.  Cover the bowl with more plastic wrap.
  • After putting the bread in the Dutch oven, spritz more water inside the DO right before putting the lid on.
  • After 15-20 minutes of baking at 450, take the lid off the DO and cook for another 20 minutes or so.  The bread should already look browned, if only lightly.
  • Place the bread on the rack and bake further at 375 for even more browning.

Full recipe to follow soon!

Gluten-free Gourmand's picture
Gluten-free Gourmand

I finally posted my sourdough bread recipe!  It has changed quite a bit from when I first started baking SD, but it ended up being pretty traditional. 

http://glutenfreegourmand.blogspot.com/2014/03/gf-24-hour-sourdough-bread-recipe.html

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

A great looking loaf too!  Wow!

Gluten-free Gourmand's picture
Gluten-free Gourmand

Thanks for the compliments Mini!

chris319's picture
chris319

What is the role of sugar in your recipe?

Gluten-free Gourmand's picture
Gluten-free Gourmand

Chris, I have tried the recipe without sugar, and it does work and it tastes about the same.  However, I get better volume on the first and second rises as well as better oven spring when I add sugar.  My theory is that gluten-free flours - or maybe just my blend of flours - isn't as easily converted to sugar as wheat flour is.  The sugar seems to boost yeast production, but I think it all gets eaten up by the yeast before baking.  The sugar does not make the bread sweeter.  So, while I tried to make this recipe as simple and traditional as possible, I think that my bread benefited enough on rising from the extra sugar that it was worth keeping it in.  GF bread can use all the openness it can get in the crumb.

I recently came across an old family sourdough recipe and was surprised at how close it is to the recipe I came up with.  I was surprised that it contained sugar and baking soda, another thing that some GF breads use to improve rise.  

Sourdough Bread Recipe

This is the sourdough bread my dad used to make when I was a kid.  The recipe came from some farmer friends of my grandparents.  The bread was very good, and really nice and sour.

chris319's picture
chris319

It makes sense that the yeast would feed on sugar. Since you're not using baker's yeast, you might try regular corn syrup or honey, both of which contain more maltose than table sugar.

Gluten-free Gourmand's picture
Gluten-free Gourmand

I've been using granulated sugar for economy, but I've also heard that honey can make the crust chewier or softer vs. sugar.  I should try it to see if there's an advantage over the yeast, now that I've got my crisp crusts figured out.  Thanks for the idea!

Sourdoughty's picture
Sourdoughty

There is a Dan Lepard recipe for gluten free bread, on the BBC website's recipe finder (only recipe with psyllium husk). Uses pure cornflour. It's yeasted, but should adapt well to sourdough.

Sourdough takes longer to work than (domesticated) yeast, so forming the boule half an hour before baking won't be long enough to get the best rise, or big bubbles, probably not full sourdough tang either. If you shape the boule longer before, is it relaxing too much and losing spring? Dutch oven, or high temp + steam is surely likely best way to develop crust?

Have tried a bread in the past that used a 3 day sort of pre ferment of chickpea (gram) flour. It was vigorous and lively. Seems a good source of yeasts.