April 23, 2013
*Find a new & improved version of this bread recipe and many more ways to use a sourdough starter in my latest cookbook – Homegrown Kitchen: Everyday Recipes for Eating Well – available in bookstores and retailers around New Zealand and personally signed copies HERE.
Gluten-Free No-Knead Sourdough Bread
Yeast Option - You can make this bread with a small amount of yeast in place of the sourdough. It definitely isn't as tasty as the sourdough version but it can be used as a back-up option if you don't have a starter on the go. Replace the 1 cup of starter in the recipe with 1/2 cup brown rice flour, 1/2 cup warm water, 1 teaspoon cider vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon active dried yeast.
- 1 cup brown rice flour
- 1 cup buckwheat or millet flour
- 1/2 cup tapioca flour or potato starch
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds or chia seeds
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 3/4 cup (150g) 'active' bubbly starter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 350 ml tepid water, preferably filtered
- sesame seeds to sprinkle on top (optional)
Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk to combine and aerate. Make a well and pour in the starter, oil and water. Use a wooden spoon or spatula (not metal when using sourdough) to mix together and then beat vigorously for half a minute (the beating part is important to incorporate air). The mixture will be wet but thick like a cake batter (see video for correct consistency). Depending on the flours used and the humidity you may need to add a tablespoon of water at a time to get the right consistency.
Pour the mixture into a prepared loaf tin, sprinkle with sesame seeds (optional) and cover with a tea towel and leave for 8-10 hours in a warmish place (in summer on the kitchen bench, in winter by the fire or in a hot water cupboard). The bread is ready to bake once it has risen about a third, with small bubbles and a slight 'domed' surface.
To bake, either use a bread maker on the 'bake only' setting to cook for 60 minutes. Or in an oven at 200C for 50-60 minutes until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on its base. If using the oven, you will get a better crust if you can create steam in the oven. The easiest way to do this is to place an oven tray in the shelf under the bread tin. When you put the bread in the oven pour 1 cup of boiling water into the baking tray and quickly close the door. The steam will be trapped in the oven.
Once cooked, cool the bread completely on a cake rack before cutting (this is important to retain the moisture in the bread). Store wrapped in a tea towel on the kitchen bench or in a bread bin. This bread will keep well for over a week.
*Winter Tip: If you don't have a nice warm position (by the fire or a sunny table) for the bread to rise in, you can make a 'hot box' by placing the tin in a chiller bag with a hottie.
*Find directions to make a Sourdough Starter HERE.
Here is a short video I made of making the bread so you can get an idea of the process, and consistency of the mixture.
Way back in October (2012) I wrote about my journey back into sourdough making where I shared how to make a happy and healthy sourdough starter. Because I have a wheat intolerance myself (although I have discovered I can digest good quality sourdough bread) I like to feed my family as much grain variety as possible including using gluten-free flours. So I researched and experimented with making sourdough bread and came up with this simple no-knead gluten-free sourdough bread.
I had already made my wheat sourdough starter with success so tried making it with brown rice flour using the same process and flour quantities. Within 4 days I had a bubbling gluten-free sourdough starter. It wasn’t frothing quite as much as the wholemeal starter I had made previously but it was happy, smelling sweetly sour, and makes amazing bread! It also stays lovely and moist due to the long soaking of the flours and the fermentation process of sourdough. Bonus!
Besides the bread tasting great, it is super quick to prepare. I even considered calling it ‘7-minute bread’ but thought this may be a little misleading as it still needs to rise and bake. Once the ingredients are mixed and poured into the tin (about 7 minutes), there is no more work. Just unassisted time to rise plus baking time. Being a busy Mum with 2 young children, this is a good thing.
The beauty of this bread is that I can bake it in my breadmaker on the ‘bake only’ setting. However, it can also be baked in the oven successfully too (instructions above). A breadmaker is engineered specifically for baking bread and it is more economical than heating the whole oven for one loaf of bread. When using a breadmaker, I simply put in the tin with the risen bread, select the ‘bake only’ setting, push start, and walk away, until it beeps incessantly at me to remove the bread an hour later. You can often pick up secondhand breadmakers at op shops or online auctions. With my calculation, this bread costs around $2.50 so investing in a bread maker will pay itself off over time.
If you plan to make this bread, please note, sourdough needs to be treated like another member of your family. It requires regular feeding, and attention. Not a lot of attention, but like any fermentation it needs assistance. Find more information about looking after a sourdough starter here and more in-depth instructions and troubleshooting in my Homegrown Kitchen cookbook.