Saturday, October 15, 2011

Gluten Free Sourdough or Pain Au Al

A month ago I started to make a gluten free sourdough for a friend, and the starter developed very quickly. Typically, starters take about a week to fully developed , but I found that this starter was ready in less than 3 days. I found it on the third day with the Tupperware container loose from all of the carbon-dioxide that had been released from the mix. I was still apprehensive about making the gluten free bread, so I placed the starter in the cooler for about a month.


Yesterday, I finally decided that I should try to make the bread. I used a typical 90% wheat: 10% rye formula for the bread with four minor adjustments.


  1. The bread flour with brown rice flour
  2. The rye flour was replaced with corn starch
  3. a paddle attachment rather than a bread hook, and the mix on second speed was longer.
  4. Twice the amount of starter was used.
When making sourdough bread it is very important to always give the dough the time it needs to fully rise, for this reason this bread took almost 8 hours from mixing bowl to the cooling rack. It is a time investment that can be worked around by using a small amount of of dry yeast, but the keeping quality is greatly reduced, and I personally have found that the flavor is slightly compromised. 

My evaluation of the bread is very subjective only because I have never tried other gluten free breads before, but I found that the crumb was very good considering there was not gluten, and the sour dough taste was very strong (most likely due to the amount of starter that I used). The bread had a very unique San Francisco taste. (I personally think that San Fransisco sour dough is a bit too sour, and a bit too heavy on the lactic acid. Maybe  due to excess starter in the bread? The bread did have a bitter aftertaste. This may be due to excessive amounts of starter, or the use of cornstarch. Perhaps it may be due to the use of brown rice flour rather than white rice flour. 

I plan to make the adjustments of reducing the % of the starter used and using white rice four, perhaps this will improve the aftertaste. Overall another successful bread experiment. 

1 comment :

  1. I like the name! As the recipient of the bread I concur with your conclusions. I thought the bitterness might mellow out a little with time but not really. As we expected though it's quite good toasted and with sharp cheddar cheese.
    Thank you again!

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