Recipe: whole grain gluten-free sourdough bread

by Julie Snyder
Whole-Grain Gluten-Free Sourdough BreadThose on a gluten-free diet often complain that finding a healthy, delicious bread borders on the impossible. You can find recipes galore online and plenty of options in the gluten-free aisle. Your quest seems simple before you look at the ingredients.

Just reading those labels on the baked loaves and available mixes causes sticker shock. Some are packed with refined starches and sugars. Other contain things you've already eliminated from your diet.

If you've been searching for a tasty recipe using whole grains and skipping the sugar, eggs, dairy and ingredients that you can't even pronounce, you'll appreciate this one.

A sourdough recipe can look daunting and time consuming. It actually requires little hands-on attention. Mostly it quietly sits and the counter and waits for the yeast to grow. Get your starter going today and next week you can begin turning out your own, healthy and tasty gluten-free bread.

Whole grain gluten-free bread

Prep time: 20 minutes | Total time: 1 day | Yield: 1 loaf

Ingredients

• 1 cup buckwheat flour, finely ground
• 1 cup water
• sourdough starter (recipe below)
• 2 cups buckwheat flour
• 1 cup garbanzo flour
• 1/2 cup raw shelled sunflower seeds (optional)
• 2 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons water
• 1/2 cup ground flax seeds
• 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (or less to taste)
• 1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
• 1 teaspoon baking soda

Directions

Oven temperature: 350 F.

In a bowl, combine 1 cup of buckwheat flour and 1 cup of water with your entire jar of starter. Cover and allow to sit for about 12 hours.

When bubbly, remove 1/4 cup of the starter. You'll use this to refill your starter jar for the next batch of bread. Set the rest of the starter aside.

In a large bowl, combine 2 cups buckwheat flour, garbanzo flour, sunflower seeds and the baking soda. Mix well with a whisk. Set aside.

Place the 2 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons water in a blender. Add the flax seeds. Blend until the mixture is thick and creamy. Add the salt and xanthan gum and blend again. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Add the starter. Mix well. The dough will resemble a thick batter.

Prepare a loaf pan by lining with a 12 by 14 inch a piece of parchment paper. Spoon the bread dough into the loaf pan. Stand the edges of the parchment paper up straight. Cover with a damp cloth.

Allow to rise undisturbed, between 6 to 12 hours until the dough nearly doubles in size and threatens to overflow its pan. You can speed this step up by raising your bread in a 100° oven.

Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 60 to 70 minutes. Serve with pesto or a garlic-olive oil spread.

Sourdough starter:
• 5 large dark red organic grapes
• 1 cup buckwheat flour, finely ground
• 1 cup water

Gently rinse and peel the grapes. Set the skins aside. Eat the grapes. Combine the flour and water in a bowl. Mix to break up the lumps. Add the grape skins to the flour and water. Pour into a jar and cover with a wet cloth and set on the counter for 2 to 3 days.

Feed the mixture a teaspoon of buckwheat flour and a teaspoon of water morning and night for 3 more days. Your starter's ready to use.

After making bread you'll have 1/4 cup of reserved starter. Combine with 1 cup buckwheat flour and 1 cup water and mix well. Return to your starter jar and allow to sit on the counter or refrigerated if you will not be using it soon.

Cook's note

One evening when you notice your loaf of bread is approaching the heel, pull out the starter, combine it with a cup of buckwheat flour and a cup of water. Cover and set on the counter. It will be ready to begin the next batch in the morning.

Are you tired of sourdough bread? Stir up a batch of sourdough pancakes, topped with fresh strawberries and a dollop of Greek yogurt.

Thank you to JoAnn Farb for sharing her recipe.

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.