Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Make it Sourdough - Basic Sourdough Bread #1

L's Basic Gluten-Free Sourdough Bread #1

Basic Whole Grain Sourdough #1

Of all the gluten-free sourdough bread I have yet made, this is my favorite.  Even more exciting, I can eat it without my blood sugar spiking.  

 For my starter, I adapted a recipe from Jean Layton, in Gluten-Free Baking for Dummies. Her original recipe for the starter included brown rice flour and sweet rice flour.  I do not use rice flour and substituted the teff, buckwheat, and amaranth flours for the brown rice flour and oat flour for the sweet rice flour.  It fermented within 5 days and is still working.

I halved Layton's sourdough flour blend recipe; though the flour blend would eventually be used up making the starter and maintaining it, I didn't have a container large enough to hold that much flour. I have since purchased a container and may consider making the larger amount.  Again, I must say that I find weighing the flour is much faster and more reliable than measuring in cups.

I've made this sourdough bread several times and I'm still working on its perfection.  Until now,  I was disappointed in the looks but not the taste.  The taste is fantastic, especially when toasted.  The air holes have been good and the bread is light in weight.  When I first started making the bread, it fell about 20% -  25% as it cooled -- every time.

The original sourdough bread recipe that I've come to like orginally came from Jean Nick, The Nickel Pincher.  Her recipe for sourdough bread was very simple and traditional sourdough, without commercial yeast. Her recipe for the sourdough bread included 6 ingredients:  sourdough starter, gluten-free flour blend, sea salt, sweetener, butter or oil, and warm water.  I eventually added seed dust to increase nutrition and see if it would help with the deflating problem. I started with 1 tablespoon of the seed dust with psyllium powder and later increased to 2 tablespoons.

My gluten free sourdough starter is from whole grains. I had been using a whole grain flour blend for the sourdough bread. Since the sourdough starter was made from whole grains, the batter I chose to use with added whole grains was probably too heavy for the wild yeast. That may have been one of the reasons for the deflated bread. In the next few loafs,  I have used another of my all-purpose blends that containes oat, sorghum, corn flour (masa harina) and tapioca.  That loaf became a little lighter in mass and color and the taste was even better.  The sourdough bread reminded me of whole wheat sourdough.

I've tried baking the gluten-free sourdough in a loaf pan (8x4-in), a 2-quart lidded casserole dish, and a 5-quart lidded cast iron Dutch Oven.  I've cooked it by preheating the cooking utensil and not preheating the utensil.  The 5-quart lidded cast iron Dutch Oven was too large. So far, the parchment paper lined, lidded casserole dish, preheated in the oven, wins (whew).  I am hypothesizing that a parchment paper lined 3-quart cast iron Dutch Oven would even be the better trick.  The one with the best reviews is out of my price range at the present.

1.  Dough Placed  in Parchment Paper lined Mixing Bowl, almost ready to ferment.

2.  Dough Has Been smooth Out With
Wet Hand and Scored
3.  Dough Has Risen 12 Hours

I've used different rising times to find the best time.  I've let it rise for 6 hours and other times, 12 hours.  The 12 hour rise seems to make the best bread. The bread is always beautiful when out of the oven and falls slightly but I find it still light. I think it is one of those things that one must live with for gluten-free sourdough bread and any other gluten-free bread.  There again, all the years of baking gluten bread needs to leave my memory and let the gluten-free take over.

Flaxseed and Chia Seed Dust with Psyllium Powder

I find that the seed dust is a good replacement for the xanthan and guar gums besides being much more nutritious.  More and more gluten-free bakers are using flaxseed and chia in their bread recipes in the replacement of gums. Annalise Roberts states in her research that bread products do not rise correctly without the xanthan gum. I first questioned that flaxseed and chia seeds might be difficult for the wild yeast batter to function so I didn't use it.  Then I found that  Sharon Kane used it in her wild yeast sourdough bread.  Then I discovered Dr. Jean Layton's recipe for Pixie Dust-Seed Mixture.  The seed dust is a combination of flaxseed, chia, and psyllium.  I grind the flaxseed and chia seed in a coffee grinder and then add the psyllium.  The psyllium is ground to a powder in its container.  I found that the store brands of psyllium from Walgreens and CVS are gluten free, sugar free with no added flavoring and reasonably priced.  (Walmart's brand (Equate) stated it had 10ppm of gluten from wheat but their disclaimer statement is questionable.)

You can find the ratio of seeds and psyllium with my Basic Sourdough Recipe.  Using the seed-psyllium mixture will change the the Baker's Percentage because the mixture absorbs some of moisture.

Baked Bread in parchment paper lined casserole dish

Using a wire whisk or the wire whisk attached to the stand mixer is another technique that helps improve the volume of sourdough batter.  The whisk incorporates more air for the aerobic fermentation which helps the wild yeast produce more carbon dioxide.  This also pertains to the sourdough starter.

Seed Dust with Psyllium Powder  (thanks to Dr. Jean Layton)

20 grams Golden Flaxseeds
10 gramsChia Seeds,
15 grams  Psyllium Husk Powder

Grind all of the seeds and husk in a coffee grinder until floury.  It will have a feathery texture. Store in the refrigerator or freezer until needed.

(10 grams = 1 packed Tablespoon of pixie dust = 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum or guar gum)

Basic Sourdough #1

2 cups (252 grams) actively bubbling gluten-free sourdough starter
2 cups (244 grams)  gluten-free flour blend*
1 teaspoon ( 4.8 grams) sea salt
1 Tablespoon organic sugar, molasses, or honey (honey = 21.25 grams; molasses = 21.57)
2 Tablespoons (27.44 grams) olive oil
½ to 1 cup warm water ( 118-236 grams)
2 tablespoon (20 grams) Seed Dust with Psyllium Powder

1. In a large bowl mix the sourdough starter, flour blend, salt, sweetener, Seed Dust and, oil until just blended. This can be done by hand or with a stand mixer.  Add water a few tablespoons at a time until you have a thick batter just slightly thicker than muffin batter (The dough will be sticky and not a consistency to handle or knead).  Whisk the batter 1-2 minutes to incorporate air.

2. Line a loaf pan or mixing bowl with a single sheet of parchment paper, creasing and smoothing as much as possible. Use a loaf pan to make sandwich bread or a mixing bowl for a round loaf Boule shape.  If using a loaf pan, 2 are needed; one is for proofing the dough and one for pre-heating for baking.

3. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan or bowl, cover it with plastic wrap. Set the bowl or pan in a warm place to rise for 7 to 12 hours (or a little longer if you or the dough needs it). The longer it spends making bubbles and a sponge, the healthier it is.  Your batter should have risen at least a third by this time.  Some bakers state to let it rise to the edge of the pan, but my whole grain sourdough has never risen that high.

4. Preheat the oven with the empty cast iron Dutch oven with lid to 425-450°F for about 30 minutes. Carefully remove the hot baking vessel and lift the batter by the parchment paper and place in the heated vessel.  The parchment paper can be quickly cut so that the cover fits over the casserole dish or dutch oven.  Foil can be placed over loaf pan, if there is no lid. Carefully put the baking utensil back in the oven.

5.  Bake the bread for about 30 minutes.  Remove the lid and continue baking for another 10-15 minutes.  The internal temperature of the bread should be about 205℉ when done.

5. Remove it from the oven, let it cool for about 15 minutes, then turn the loaf onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely before slicing.  The cooling process for gluten-free bread is very important!

6.  When this bread was kept in the refrigerator for a little over a week, it was still great toasted. A couple of bloggers have stated that storing gluten-free sourdough bread in plastic bags causes the crust to become gummy or rubbery.   If storing longer, slice and place in a sealed container in the freezer or wrap the bread in aluminum foil and then place in a freezer bag; its ready for warming that way.  Toast before eating.
 Add ingredients to make flavored loaves of sour bread:
  •  diced dried tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, basil
  • grated carrots, flaxseeds  and pumpkin seed
  • cinnamon & raisins
  • grated cheese
  • chopped nuts, orange zest and dried cranberries 
  • chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, 2 teaspoons espresso powder, 1/3 cup molasses, 1 teaspoon caraway seeds (for pumpernickel bread)

*Gluten free flour blend used in this recipe:

1 1/2 (180 g)  cups oat flour
1 cup (123 g) sorghum flour
1 1/2 cups (188 g) cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup (58 g) corn flour (masa harina)

549 / 4.5 =  122 grams/cup

Make It Sourdough - Gluten-Free Sourdough Starter
Make It Sourdough - Gluten-Free Sourdough English Muffins
Make It Sourdough - Gluten-Free Sourdough Wraps, Waffles & Pancakes


"Basic Sourdough Bread Recipe." Basic Sourdough Bread. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 June 2014. <http://www.culturesforhealth.com/basic-sourdough-bread-recipe>

"Beyond the Loaf: The Many Uses of Sourdough." Beyond the Loaf: The Many Uses of Sourdough. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 June 2014. <http://www.culturesforhealth.com/beyond-loaf-many-uses-sourdough>

"Gluten-Free Sourdough Starter." - For Dummies. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 June 2014. <http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/glutenfree-sourdough-starter.navId-810789.html>

Kamozawa, Aki, and H. Alexander. Talbot. Ideas in Food: Great Recipes and Why They Work. New York: Clarkson Potter, 2010. Print.

"Pixie Dust Xanthan Gum Replacer." GlutenFree Doctor. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 June 2014. <http://glutenfreedoctor.com/pixie-dust-xanthan-gum-replacer/>

"The Gluten-Free-Bread Baking-with-Psyllium-Husks-Powder Test." My Gluten Free Table. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 June 2014. <http://mygluten-freetable.com/2014/04/the-gluten-free-bread-baking-with-psyllium-husks-powder-test/>

"The Nickel Pincher: Homemade Gluten-Free Sourdough Bread." Rodale News. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 June 2014. <http://www.rodalenews.com/gluten-free-sourdough>

"The Key to Making Delicious, No-Knead, Sourdough Bread -." N.p., n.d. Web. 17 June 2014.

"The Most Ignorant of All Questions: Cooling of Bread." The Fresh Loaf. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 June 2014.http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/7979/most-ignorant-all-questions-cooling-bread

"The World of Gluten-Free Bread." : Using The Baker’s Percentage and Bread Hydration for Gluten Free Bread. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 June 2014. <http://theworldofglutenfreebread.blogspot.com/2013/08/using-bakers-percentage-and-bread.html>

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Make It Sourdough - Gluten-Free English Muffins

These gluten-free English muffins, made with a wild yeast starter,  have a nice sour tang. They are full of “nooks and crannies” and have a wonderful crumb.  They will hold your favorite toppings.  My favorite topping is cream cheese. The muffin is delicious as a breakfast egg muffin with bacon and cheese.  They are also good toasted with cheddar cheese.  I found them to be wonderful with lettuce, tomato, cheese, bacon and Boar's Head bologna. (The bologna is gluten free). These split gluten-free English muffins make a quick base for a mini pizza.

The best part of the these English muffins - they don't cause a blood sugar spike.  Read here about other reasons to eat sourdough.  I converted my original English muffins into sourdough English Muffins. The recipe techniques I used in making English muffins came from Alton Brown.

This site helped me experiment to find the best proportions of sourdough starter and the gluten-free flour blend.  Though the recipe on the site used one gluten-free flour, I decided to use a flour blend because the starches in a blend help make a better crumb. Also, I find the wild yeast perform better with some starch. I added the flaxseed meal and the Seed Dust with psyllium to make the English muffins more nutritious.  The hydrocolloids help the bread crumb and help bind the ingredients.

There are quite a few discussions about using the hydrocolloids - chia, flaxseed and psyllium.  Some research indicates that they are good substitutes for gums.  Other research concludes the gums are much better in trapping the carbon dioxide for making bread rise.

The dough to make the sponge is slightly thick and stiff.  Whisk lots of air into the
batter to help the wild yeast and lactobacilli complete their symbiotic relationship.
The dough is too stiff to use a hand wire whisk.The Danish dough whisk does the 
job perfectly.This job can also be done with a stand mixer with the wire whisk 

It takes 7-12 hours to form a sponge.  I let the dough rise 10 hours.  The wild yeast were doing their thing; the starches were being predigested by the bacteria and forming probiotics.  The yeast was busy making carbon dioxide for the rising.  Enzymes were cleaving the proteins into amino acids.  I would have waited 12 hours but I wanted to bake the muffins before going to bed. The sourdough batter had a very nice sponge so I thought the dough might be ready.  Read here about the interesting science of sourdough.

These English muffins can be baked using the oven technique; they will have a dome. They can also be cooked in the traditional way, a griddle, and then they need to be placed in the oven to make sure they cook thoroughly without the top and bottom getting too dark. I personally like using my electric skillet -- so easy!  I can't seem to control the baking process in a griddle.  I do bake them for 10 minutes in the oven.  I test for doneness with an instant thermometer which should read about 205℉.

Sourdough English Muffins Baking in a Skillet After Being Flipped.

In the above picture, the English muffins cooking in the four corners are formed with purchased muffin rings.  The ring in the middle is from a set I made from aluminum foil.  The instructions for making muffin rings are here.  My handmade English muffin rings have lasted for a year. I wash both set of rings and dry them in a warm oven to make sure they do not rust.  I have several handmade rings that are a little larger.  They are used to make English muffin bases for pizza.  It will make two pizzas when split with a fork.  I store the handmade rings, folded in a small plastic container. I store the purchased rings in the original box so they don't dent.

Sourdough with wild yeast does it's best rising at 78℉.  I have found a trick that helps.  I heat water in a glass mixing pitcher in the microwave; then place the bowl of sourdough over the pitcher.  I have a top from a grocery store vegetable tray that fits over the bowl. I cut out slots on the plastic top so that it fits over the bowl's pour-handles. The setup is left in the microwave.  When the water cools, remove the bowl of dough and repeat the process of heating the water. 

Sourdough English Muffins


1 cup (176-240grams) sourdough starter
2 - 21/2 cups (232 grams) gluten-free flour blend* (see below)
1/4 - 1/2 cup (59-188 grams) water
1 tablespoon (21.25 grams) honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon flax meal
1 tablespoon seed dust with psyllium
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda


For 1-2 minutes, whisk (with Danish dough whisk or spoon) the sourdough starter, gluten-free flour blend, 1/4 - 1/2 cup water and 1 tablespoon honey.  Add the water a little at a time so not to over hydrate the batter. Cover and let sit at room temperature at least 7 hours or overnight so all the flours are fermented, the phytate is degraded, and probiotics are formed.

Just before the fermentation is complete, place the muffin rings in the griddle or skillet.  Spray the muffin rings and sprinkle the insides with gluten-freecorn meal. Turn the stove or electric skillet to warm.  (See below if using the oven to make the English muffins)

When the fermentation is complete, sprinkle flax meal and seed dust on dough.

Combine oil, salt and egg in separate small bowl. With Danish dough whisk, combine the liquids into the dough mixture.  Add the baking powder.  It will begin bubbling.

Fill the muffin rings 2/3 full of batter.  Smooth the tops flat using fingers and water.  (Don't worry if you feel the dough is too wet - the dough will absorb it.) Sprinkle with cornmeal.

Heat griddle to 270°F - 275°F.  Placing the lid on skillet will help the muffin tops set. Bake 10 minutes, until the top is barely set and bottom surface is nicely browned. Flip the muffins and cook an additional 10 minutes. Remove muffins from rings and transfer to a 350°F oven for 10 minutes to cook completely. The temperature with an instant thermometer should be about 205℉.  Important! Let cool before splitting in half and toasting.

Oven Method:  Line a 13"x9" baking pan  (or larger) with parchment paper.  Place 5-6 muffin rings on the pan. Spray the insides of the rings with cooking spray and sprinkle with gluten-free cornmeal.  Fill the muffin rings 2/3 full of batter.  smooth the tops flat using fingers and water.  Sprinkle with cornmeal.  Bake at 350℉ for 20-25 minutes.  The muffins can be tested for doneness with an instant thermometer.  The temperature should be about 205℉.  Remove from oven to cooling racks and remove the muffin rings. Let cool before splitting in half and toasting.

Sourdough Egg, Cheese and Bacon English Muffin


English Muffin Loaf

Found that this recipe for English muffins can be used to make sourdough loaf bread. One day I made the dough but got interruped. I didn't have time to get out the electric skillet and make the muffins. Waiting another day would leave the dough to sour another day, which I didn't want. I quickly preheated the oven to 375℉.  I put it in a dough in a 3.5-in x 7.5-in pan, which I sprayed only the bottom of the pan with cooking spray. It baked for about 35 minutes, or until it reached an internal temperature of  about 205℉ with an instant read thermometer.

It makes a beautiful tender small loaf. It is made using the exact recipe for the English muffins, including making the sourdough sponge. I let the sponge do its thing for 7-8 hours before adding the final ingredients. I have made this half dozen times and it turned out great every time.

The loaf makes wonderful little toasted sandwiches. I also like to toast a slice and spread it with cream cheese. To keep over a couple days, I slice it, separate the slices with pieces parchment paper, put it in a zipper freezer bag and put in the freezer.

Toasted ham & cheese sandwich using sourdough loaf

Freezing the loaf. This is about 3/4 of the loaf. The parchment
keeps the slices from sticking to each other.

*The flour blend used:
2 cups (246grams) sorghum flour
3 cups (360 grams) oat flour
1 ½ cups (255 grams) potato starch
½ cup (63 grams) tapioca flour
½ cup (60 grams) amaranth flour
½ cup (60 grams) quinoa flour

Make It Sourdough - Gluten-Free Sourdough Starter
Make It Sourdough - Gluten-Free Sourdough Wraps, Waffles & Pancakes
Make It Sourdough - Gluten-Free Basic Sourdough Bread #1

References and Resources:

"Better Bread Starts with a Sponge." Washington Post. The Washington Post, n.d. Web. 15 June 2014. <http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/better-bread-starts-with-a-sponge/2013/02/04/86ad2460-69a4-11e2-af53-7b2b2a7510a8_story.html>

"English Muffins Recipe : Alton Brown : Food Network." English Muffins Recipe : Alton Brown : Food Network. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 June 2014. <http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/english-muffins-recipe.html>

"Gluten-free Sourdough Oat English Muffins." Gluten-free Sourdough Oat English Muffins. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 June 2014. <http://www.culturesforhealth.com/gluten-free-sourdough-oat-english-muffin-recipe>

"Pixie Dust Xanthan Gum Replacer." GlutenFree Doctor. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 June 2014. <http://glutenfreedoctor.com/pixie-dust-xanthan-gum-replacer/>

"Sourdough Home - Yeasted English Muffin Bread." Sourdough Home - Yeasted English Muffin Bread. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 June 2014. <http://sourdoughhome.com/index.php?content=bakingintro2#ruleof240>

"The Gluten-Free-Bread Baking-with-Psyllium-Husks-Powder Test." My Gluten Free Table. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 June 2014. <http://mygluten-freetable.com/2014/04/the-gluten-free-bread-baking-with-psyllium-husks-powder-test/>

"Top 10 Reasons To Eat Real Sourdough Bread -- Even If You're Gluten Intolerant - CHEESESLAVE." CHEESESLAVE RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 June 2014. <http://www.cheeseslave.com/top-10-reasons-to-eat-real-sourdough-bread-even-if-youre-gluten-intolerant/>

Disclosure statement:  I have not received compensation for any products mentioned in this site.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Make It Sourdough - Gluten-Free Soft Wraps, Waffles and Pancakes

Gluten-Free Sourdough Starter in Refrigerator

The gluten-free sourdough starter is still doing its work.  That symbiotic relationship of bacteria and yeast continues to prevail.  At this moment of writing the starter is resting in the refrigerator.  In the photo, you can actually see the whole grains of teff, buckwheat, and amaranth flours. While in the fridge, the starter gets a weekly slurry of 1/4 cup starter flour blend and 1/4 cup filtered water, just enough to keep it alive.

I have a dehydrator and at some point, I will try drying part of the starter.  Though a dehydrator is not mandatory, it probably will make the process faster and assure the dryness of the starter.  Since I really like this starter, having a dried specimen will insure that I can always have this exact starter, should something happen to the original.  Also, a dried sourdough starter is an excellent way to share a starter with someone. This is one way to dry the starter and reactivate it.

Sourdough Chemistry

Gluten-free sourdough products are important for the gluten-free diet and for a low-sugar, lower-carb diet.  The yeast and bacteria in the starter help digest the carbohydrates in the dough.  This does not limit the calories but the carbohydrates have been predigested, thus not causing a spike in blood sugar.  True sourdough bread is fermented for a long time and produces probiotic organisms, as does plain yogurt, aged cheese, sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir and other fermented foods.

The lactic acid in bread fermentation also reduces the phytic acid in the grains and seeds.  The phytic acid, not digestable by humans, is reduced by fermentation and stops some of the chelating of the vitamins and minerals.  (Vitamins and minerals actually bind with the phytic acid in standard bread).  Fermentation helps improve the release of minerals and vitamins available for the body.  The long process produces enzymes which breaks down proteins into amino acids which are good for our bodies.

Some websites state that the sourdough baking process destroys the enzymes, probiotics and yeast cells of sourdough bread.  Most probiotic bacteria are killed at 150℉.  Yeast is destroyed at 140℉.  Enzymes are deactivated at a dry heat of 118℉ and a wet heat of 150℉.  More research needs to be done because the summary of this study indicates that heat killed probiotics can significantly improve a sick gut.  This study shows the same results with live and killed probiotics.

Fermentation is a metabolic process that converts sugar to acids, gases and alcohol.  Fermentation consists of several reactions with the transportation of electrons. There is interesting chemistry occurring in the dough.

The chemical reaction of fermentation is seen below, very much simplified:

Yeast Reaction:
C6H12O6 (glucose) → 2 C2H5OH (ethanol) + 2 CO2 (carbon dioxide) 

Chemistry students refer to this as a decomposition reaction.  The carbon dioxide provides the bubbles in the bread which causes the bread to rise.  The ethanol is burned off in the baking .

Bacteria Reaction:
C6H12O6 (glucose) → 2 CH3CHOHCOOH (lactic acid)     

Chemistry students refer to this as an oxidation/reduction reaction.  With the help of other products, glucose is reduced to lactic acid and energy. This reaction creates the sour taste of the bread and the acid limits other types of bacteria from forming. 

Sourdough Starters at Work

My starter is being used to bake loaves of bread, muffins, waffles, pancakes, and muffins and soft wraps.  There are still many other uses for the starter in other breads and desserts which I have yet to explore.  Some of the recipes have been learning experiences; there are lots of bread crumbs and bread cubes in my freezer.  

There is always something to learn.  I had to experiment with several gluten-free flour blends that would work nicely with the sourdough starter I chose to use.  I've made seveal adjustments so that my sourdough starter and my flour blend worked together. The sourdough starter is a whole grain starter.  I found that using a rather mild all-purpose gluten-free flour blend worked much better and had a more pleasing taste.  You may have to experiment also, unless you use a commercial flour blend and purchased starter.

Using the Baker's Percentage for Sourdough

Just for the experience, I have attempted to use the Baker's Percentage for the batter for wraps, waffles and pancakes.  The baker's Percentage calculates the 4 main ingredients in the bead recipe.  This site, this site and many other sites explain how and why the Baker's Percentage is used.

The calculation begins with the mass of the flour used at 100%.  Yes,  the total amount of the ingredients will be greater than 100%.  To calculate the other 3 ingredients the following formula will be used:

baker's percentage (ingredient) =   100% x   Mass (ingredient)
                                                               Mass (flour)

Commercial bakers use this formula so that their are no failures in the baking process.  Each kind of bread has its own ingredient percentages.  If the percentages of each ingredient are calculated with the flour being 100%, the percentages can predict whether the bread recipe will bake correctly.  The main concern is the hydration - the amount of liquid compared to the amount of flour.  

For example, French bread would have a lower percentage of liquid (hydration) than pancakes.  Gluten pancakes would be expected to have a hydration greater than 70% where gluten French bread hydration would be about 60%.  Any gluten bread greater with hydration more than 70% is difficult to knead.  Gluten-free breads need a hydration of about 80%-100% and usually cannnot be kneaded.  

So why do I care about the baker's percentage?  It would be nice to convert some of my pre-gluten intolerant recipes and pre-diabetes recipes to sourdough. The baker's percentage can help convert gluten-free bread recipes to sourdough.  It's going to take some algebraic conversions, some experimenting and patience -- like a scientific laboratory in the kitchen.  Might be fun. (Wonder if there is a grant to financially support it?)

Baker's Percentage of Gluten-Free Soft Wraps

The bakers's percentage of the wraps in the next recipe is:
Flour is 143 grams  with 100%

Starter is 181 g is 127%
(181/143) x 100 =  127   It is 1/2 water and 1/2 flour  ( 63.5 g water and 63.5 grams flour)

Salt is is 3 grams 2%
(3/143) x 100 =  2

Seed-psyllium Dust is 16 grams 11%
(16/143) x 100 =  .11

Eggs are 171 g = 120%
(171/143) x 120 =      It is 1/4 solid and 3/4 liquid  (30% is solid and 90% is liquid)

Milk is 375 g = 254%    
(363/143) x 100 = 254

Hydration = 196%
The hydration is calculated from the milk, half of the starter and 3/4 of eggs.

The calculation means that the hydration of this recipe would produce a very thin batter. Since the hydration is rather high so we would expect the batter to be a very loose batter. The seed-psyllium dust is made from hydrocolloids. They absorb a lot of liquid so the batter doesn't seem to be very loose after whisking the batter.  And, the hydrocolloids absorb more water as they sit in the batter.  That is the reason the directions for the wraps instruct to add more liquid, if needed, to the resting batter while cooking the wraps.  When pouring the batter in the skillet, the batter has to have the ability to spread in the pan.

L's Gluten-Free Sourdough Soft Wraps

I used my soft wrap recipe and converted the recipe to sourdough.  It bubbles and slightly rises as it cooks.  I found that this recipe will have small air holes on the top of the batter but the holes do not go through the bottom.  The recipe needs no baking powder or baking soda.  The sourdough does its job.

The wrap should be pliable when removed from the skillet.  If cooked until crispy, the wrap will be difficult to roll without the edges breaking.  The cooked wrap can be used at room temperature or it can be warmed in a skillet when ready to use. A gluten-free wrap might lose pliability if warmed in the microwave.  If you would rather have a sweeter wrap or use it as a crepe, sweetener can be added to the batter.

I don't use rice flour, but many of you do.  I would think that rice flour could be used as a substitute for the millet, quinoa and bean flours.  Some don't like the flavor of the bean flours but they help with the stretch of the dough.  Rice flour should provide that same property, if you choose to use it.

Many gluten-free bakers, including myself, are switching to flaxseed meal, milled chia seeds and phylliium powder rather than xanthan gum and guar gum. It is more nutritious and has the same properties as the gums. I really like the seed dust.  The recipe I use originally came from Dr. Jean Layton at this site.

Seed Dust with Psyllium Powder**

20 grams Golden Flaxseeds or Brown Flaxseeds
10 grams Chia Seeds
15 grams  Psyllium Powder (Find gluten-free at Walgreens or CVS)

Grind all of the seeds in a coffee grinder until floury.  It will have a feathery texture. Add the psyllium powder and combine.  Keep the dust in an airtight container in refrigerator or freezer.

1 tablespoon seed dust = 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum or guar gum


Wraps:   Yield:  6-8 wraps

1/2 cup (82 grams) potato starch                    
1/4 cup (30 grams) bean flour
2 tablespoons (6 grams)  millet flour                             
2 tablespoons (15 grams) quinoa flour                         
1 cup (176 grams) sourdough starter (or your starter)                            

2 tablespoons (16 grams) seed-phyllium dust                            
1/2-3/4 teaspoon salt                                                    
3 large eggs, beaten                                                     
1 1/3 to 1 1/2 cups (375 grams if 2%) milk of choice, liquid whey, or water  (divided)                                                     

1. In a bowl, whisk the potato starch, bean flour, millet flour, and quinoa flour until it is uniform in color.  Add the sourdough starter and enough of the milk to make a batter the consistency of cake batter.  (It usually takes about 1 cup of milk.)  Cover the bowl and place in a warm place for 4-6 hours to become foamy, bubbly and light. The longer it sits and bubbles, the more healthy and nutritious it becomes.  Sometimes I place the bowl over a glass or ceramic bowl of hot water and place in the microwave or oven to bubble and rise.  It can also rise in the refrigerator or counter for 12 -24 hours.  

2.  When the batter is ready, sprinkle the seed-psyllium dust on top of the sourdough mixture. In a small bowl, whisk the salt, egg, and remaining milk together.  Whisk, 1-2 minutes, the egg mixture and remaining milk into the sourdough mixture. Whisking will help incorporate air in the batter and help make the wraps lighter.

3.  Preheat the skillet over medium heat. Whisk the batter again. If it has thicken, whisk in a couple tablespoons milk or water.  Pour 1/4 cup of the batter into a 9-in skillet and swirl the batter to cover the bottom of the skillet.  (If the batter does not swirl over the bottom of pan, add another tablespoon more liquid to the batter).  Cover the skillet and cook for 1-2 minutes until the bottom is just golden brown and the top of the wrap is set. Flip the wrap and cook another 1-2 minutes.  Cool the wrap on a wire rack. 

4.  Repeat with the remaining batter, stirring the batter each time.  If the batter becomes thick, whisk another tablespoon of liquid into batter.

Chicken Salad with a GF Sourdough Wrap & Pickled Carrots
5.  Wraps can be stored in the refrigerator in a zippered bag with parchment paper between each wrap.  They may be frozen, also.

6.  The wraps can be eaten at room temperature or reheated in a skillet. Reheating in a microwave will make them tough.  Fill with your favorite filling, roll and eat.

Sourdough Waffles and Pancakes

These waffles are light, crispy and have good flavor.  They can be used any way that regular waffles are used. These waffles are great with butter and syrup of choice.  I can almost taste them with ice cream and chocolate or caramel syrup. Remember, if made correctly, they do not cause a spike in blood sugar.

These waffles freeze nicely.  If I was going to free them, I would double the recipe.  To crisp and warm them up after freezing, pop them in the toaster or toaster oven.

Waffle Ingredients:

1 cup sourdough starter (or your starter)
1 cup milk of choice (2% is 242 grams; coconut milk is 230 grams;  almond milk is 240g)
1 cup (122 grams) Linda's gluten-free all-purpose flour blend* (or any blend that works)
1 tablespoon honey (21.25grams) or sugar

1 tablespoon (10grams)seed dust with psyllium powder**
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspon baking soda

1 tablespoon olive oil (15grams)  ( or oil of choice)
1 large egg ( or egg substitute) 


1. Mix the sourdough starter, milk, sugar and gluten-free all-purpose flour blend in a medium size bowl . Cover the bowl with towel and let it sit to bubble and make a sponge 4 - 6 hours, or even 12-24 hours.  If needed in less time, fit the bowl over another bowl of hot water and let sponge form. Remember, the longer the sourdough batter sits and bubbles, the more nutritious it becomes.

2. When the sponge has formed, beat the egg, salt and oil together. Whisk the egg mixture into the sponge for 1-2 minutes.  Add the baking soda. The batter will become bubbly.

3.  Heat a non-stick waffle iron according to manufacturer's directions. Use a non-stick spray on the waffle iron to help the gluten-free waffle release from the pan.  

4.  Pour 1/4 - 1/3 cup batter in each well.  Every brand of waffle iron is different so practice until you know the correct amount to use.  It may even take 1/2 cup, if the wells are large. It takes longer to cook a gluten-free waffle so carefully watch the cooking time. Remove when golden brown and crisp.

5.  Keep the waffles crisp and warm by placing on cooling rack in a 200℉ oven. Serve with butter and syrup or jam or preserves or fruit. Other ways to serve waffles can be found here and here.  Waffles aren't just for breakfast anymore.

To make pancakes (using waffle recipe):

Make the pancakes using the waffle recipe.  When adding the baking soda, the pancakes will immediately bubble.  Blueberries or other fruit would be great folded in at this point or the blueberries can be dropped on the pancake while it is cooking.  If the blueberries are frozen, do not thaw.  They will thaw while the pancake is cooking.

Heat a griddle or skillet over medium high heat.  Add a small amount of oil of choice in pan. Even if the pan is non-stick, the pancakes will release better if wiped with an oiled paper towel.  (Gluten-free pancakes seem to stick more than pancakes made with gluten).

Pour 1/3 to 1/2 cup  batter in the hot griddle or skillet.  The pancake will bubble on the top. When the  bottom is golden brown, flip the pancake. If the top is not firming fast enough, cover with lid 1 minute or until the batter is set and the edges are set. (It takes longer to cook sourdough pancakes because there is more water in the batter.)

Serve with butter and syrup or any of these ways.

*Gluten-free All-purpose Flour Blend
1 1/2 (180 g)  cups oat flour
1 cup (123 g) sorghum flour
1 1/2 cups (188 g) cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup (58 g) corn flour (masa harina)

122 grams/cup

Make It Sourdough - The Gluten-Free Starter
Make It Sourdough - Gluten-Free Sourdough English Muffins
Make It Sourdough - Gluten-Free Basic Sourdough Bread #1


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