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


"At What Temperature Are Food enzymes Destroyed." The Healthy Home Economist. N.p., n.d.Web. o6 June 2014 <>

"Baker Percentage." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 24 May 2014. Web. 06 June 2014.<>

"Baker's Percentage When Using Eggs." The Fresh Loaf. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 June 2014.<>

Harmon, Wardeh. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Fermenting Foods. New York: Alpha, 2012. Print.

Hawkins, Jessie. The Vintage Remedies Guide to Bread: Unlocking the Mysteries of Grains, Gluten and Yeast. Franklin, TN: Thistle Publications, 2012. Print.

Kane, Sharon A. Art of Gluten-free Sourdough Baking: Blending an Old World Sourdough Technique with Allergen-friendly Ingredients. McHenry, IL: Printed by Corporate Disk, 2011. Print.

"Living With Phytic Acid." Weston A Price. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 June 2014.<>

"Managing Your Sourdough Starter." Bread Making Videos RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 June 2014.<>

"Philosophy of Bread with No Gluten." The Fresh Loaf. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 June 2014.<>

"Saturday Brunch Idea:  Fabulous Ways to Serve Pancakes." Momlink. The Sential. The Associated Press. Web 20 April 2014

Tar. Temperatures for Yeast Bread Production (n.d.): n. pag. Web.<>

"The World of Gluten-Free Bread." : Using The Baker’s Percentage and Bread Hydration for Gluten  Free Bread. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 June 2014

"Top 10 Reasons To Eat Real Sourdough Bread -- Even If You're Gluten Intolerant - CHEESESLAVE." CHEESESLAVE RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 June <2014. .

"What Is the Ideal Hydration for Bread Dough?" - Seasoned Advice. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 June 2014 <>

"Wild Yeast." Drying a Starter. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 June 2014. <>

No comments:

Post a Comment