The Fresh Loaf

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Gluten Free Sourdough Sandwich Loaf

HeiHei29er's picture

Gluten Free Sourdough Sandwich Loaf

With my daughter that's gluten sensitive back from college, I decided to see if I could come up with a sourdough GF loaf.

I started by creating a brown rice starter.  I cheated though and used scrapings from my AP/WW starter.  My first mix was the scrapings left over from a refresh of the AP/WW.  Best guess is there was less than 1 gram left in the jar.  To that, I added 25g of brown rice flour and 25g of water.  After 24 hours, it was quite bubbly and showing at least 50% expansion.  So far for me, the rice starter doesn't go much beyond that for expansion no matter how long I leave it.  Subsequent feedings were 1:5 (water:flour) at 90% hydration.  After the 4th feeding, the wheat flour in the starter was below the limit for a 1kg loaf to be determined GF.  On all subsequent refreshes, the mature starter has a wonderful aroma that's somewhere between fruity and buttery.  It is a sweet smell that doesn't remind me of sour at all.

This recipe uses two GF flour blends.  Why...  I had both brands in the pantry and wanted to use up one before opening the other the first time I tried it.  Had reasonable success and didn't want to mess with it.  :-)   The hardest part is getting the consistency right.  My guess is this will work just fine with other GF flour blend brands.  You'll just have to play with the hydration until you get that heavy cake/brownie batter consistency.

I'm not sure how long you can safely ferment a dough with egg whites in it, so I've been adding a bit of ADY to the final mix to make sure the final proof moves along.  I't been getting done in 2-3 hours.  Need to do some digging to see if the ADY can be dropped further and extend ferment/proofing out to 3-4 hours.



142.5g Domata 1-for-1 GF flour blend

178.1g Water

20g brown rice flour starter culture

Ferment 12-16 hours at 70-72 deg F


Final Dough:

285g KAF GF flour blend

47.5g Bob's Red Mill GF Oat Flour

239.9g Water

9.5g Pink Himalayan Salt

26.1g Salted Butter (room temp)

60-65g Egg Whites (2 large eggs) (room temp)

1.2g Active Dry Yeast

16.6g Honey



Combine final fours and salt then mix with a whisk

Rub room temperature butter into the fours using a fork until butter is evenly distributed.  (Flour will get something like a coarse sand look to it.)

Combine final water and honey.  Warm to 80-85 deg F and then activate the ADY in that mixture.  Set aside for 5-10 minutes to let ADY wake up.

Whip room temp egg whites slightly until they get a little aerated and bubbly on top.  I haven't been going all the way to fully whipped.

Create a well in the center of the flour/butter blend.

Add activated ADY/water/honey mixture to the levain and mix thoroughly.  Pour mixture into well and add whipped egg whites.  Slowly stir mixture with a spoon and gradually incorporate flour to it.  Thoroughly mix and make sure any lumps are broken and batter is smooth  It should have the consistency of a very heavy cake or brownie batter.

Spoon batter into a buttered/GF floured loaf pan and smooth top with a wetted spatula.

Put loaf pan in a sealed bag (I use a large clear plastic bread bag I got from Amazon) and put in final proof at 81 deg F.  Let rise until center of the loaf is approximately 1" above the pan rim.

Approximately 30 mins prior to final proof finishing, pre-heat oven to 350 deg.

When dough has finished rising, GENTLY spread melted butter on top of loaf.  (I use a silicone bristle BBQ brush)

Oven set-up: Cookie sheet on very top rack shielding upper element.  Cookie sheet on very bottom rack shielding bottom element.  Pizza stone on rack one slot above bottom rack. 

Bake for 30 minutes at 350 deg F with steam (I put in GW roaster pan) and then 30 minutes without steam.  After the 60 minutes, I remove the loaf from the pan and place it directly on the baking stone for another 15 minutes.  Final internal temp is usually about 210 deg F.  

Turn off oven and leave loaf in the oven with the door cracked for another 10 minutes.  Let loaf fully cool on a wire rack at room temp before putting in a bag.


Egg whites


Levain/Water/Honey/ADY/Egg Whites combined in flour well before mixing


After removing lid.  Good oven spring!


Benito's picture

Not having gluten sensitivity or Celiac I have never tried baking a gluten free anything.  If you hadn't said it was gluten free, I'm not sure that I would have known it was gluten free.  Your loaf looks great Troy.


HeiHei29er's picture

Thanks Benny.  It's a work in progress, but getting close to the final version.  Last step will be dropping the ADY amount to see if I can still get a good rise and if if my daughter still likes the flavor.  You know me...  I like to experiment, so this has been a great project.  :-)

clazar123's picture


I am curious in how the flavor came through. Is it sour? Yeasty?

I used to make GF bread for a friend who wanted to avoid gluten but was not at all sensitive. I used Vegemite to add a yeasty flavor and it really was quite tasty but is not GF. If you live in the UK or Australia, there is now a GF version of Vegemite available. If you live in the US, it is available from Amazon but is quite costly. I'm not sure if Marmite has a GF equivalent.


Does it have any bend/spring to it or does it crumble?

I have found that the rules for rye are very good to use for GF. The final proof is the trickiest-SO easy to overproof and deflate when it is put in the oven.

Nice looking loaf!

HeiHei29er's picture

At this point, I would say it's more yeasty than sour.  The starter itself has to go well past it's initial dome before it gets any hint of a sour aroma.  It starts off very sweet/fruity.  I think I could make it more sour by extending the ferment time on the starter refresh and/or by reducing the amount of ADY in the final mix.  My next iteration will probably be reducing the ADY down to maybe 0.3-0.5g and seeing if I can get the rise time from 2-3 hours up to 3-4 hours.

Texture is very nice!  The bread does not crumble, and it almost has a creamy texture when used for grilled cheese or other grilled sandwiches.  We usually refrigerate it after 3-4 days, and like all breads, it gets harder after refrigeration.  However, it softens up very well and comes back to its original texture when making grilled sandwiches.  When I finish the bake, the crumb still has a bit of moisture/stickiness to it when inserting my temperature probe.  The slow cooldown in the oven and then leaving the loaf out to fully cool seems to help the crumb set some.  The loaf is still quite heavy though, and I'm still trying to get the end of baking time nailed down a little better.  Since most of our bread is used for toast or grilled sandwiches, I tend to err on the side of too moist.

justkeepswimming's picture

Oh my, I hadn't thought about Vegemite in years!! A long time ago, I lived in Oz for the better part of a year. It was love at first bite, lol. I may have to splurge on an Amazon purchase. 


HeiHei29er's picture

I do some on-line cycling with guys from Victoria and NSW.  They already have me hooked.  Post ride recovery snack.  😀

jl's picture

But the real question is: how was it received?

HeiHei29er's picture

Ahh yes...  The most important question of all!   

She liked it a lot.  Although, to be fair, her only comparison is store bought GF bread so the bar isn't very high.  :-)

justkeepswimming's picture

Nice crumb and lovely crust. I have only baked 1 GF loaf, as an experiment for a niece who is gluten sensitive. They do offer new challenges. I used the KAF recipe and flour (edit, their GF measure for measure flour, using this recipe), which was an IDY recipe. (Side note - She loved it, but has some low level GI upset the next day. I am beginning to wonder if she has a FODMAPS or yeast issue more than a gluten issue, or maybe both.....) Kudos for building a GF starter! And I wonder how your YW experience would work into this? Might be another experiment while she is home? 

Nice bake!


HeiHei29er's picture

Thank you Mary and great idea!  I’m always worried about fermentation time, so hadn’t considered the YW.  That might be the next recipe...  Replace the final mix water and ADY with YW.