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Sourdough Magic

A fresh, warm-out-of-the-oven slice of homemade sourdough is one of the most absolutely wonderful things, especially when smothered in delicious butter, and sprinkled with a few shakes of sea salt.

While the majority of my “pictures of food” posts are tied to recipes, this isn’t really one of them. More so, I’d call this an ode to my process for the making of the perfectly imperfect magic that is homemade sourdough bread.

I’ve been making my own gluten free sourdough for nearly two years, and while my original process was pretty scientific, it has since mostly devolved…

Because sourdough is a naturally fermented (aka: probiotic!) food, it can be finicky and frustrating at times, and occasionally, a loaf doesn’t turn out. But this loaf…swoon. Golden and crispy on the outside, soft and spongy on the inside. Pure magic.

The Process

About every week and half or so, I still do the scientific part: pull out the sourdough starter and leave it on the counter a few hours to warm up to room temperature; hand-mix into it equal parts (by weight in ounces) of flour and water; then pull off about 14 ounces of the mixture to use as my next starter, date it, and store it in the fridge.

For anyone wondering, that’s all the starter is: a leftover mix from the time before it, of those same equal parts of the culture, flour, and water.

To “feed” the starter, per the process above, I use a basic all-purpose gluten free flour blend. Two I’ve used and liked are Betty Crocker’s Gluten Free Rice Flour blend, and Trader Joe’s Gluten Free all-purpose flour blend.

From there, the unscientific part begins. In a large bowl, I add some flour and water to the remaining starter, which I only kind of measure these days. Usually, it’s part oat flour (which I grind fresh from whole, rolled oats), and part white rice flour. I also add a little salt, sugar, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Ingredient Approximations

  1. 1 1/2 cups sourdough starter

  2. 1 cup oat flour (freshly ground; I use Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Rolled Oats)

  3. 1/2 cup white rice flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill brand)

  4. 1/2 to 3/4 cup warm water (depends on how dry/wet it looks to me, I just eyeball it!)

  5. 1 tbsp organic cane sugar

  6. 1 tbsp olive oil

  7. 1 tsp sea salt

I mix the whole thing together by hand – the sourdough “doesn’t like” when I use any kind of electric mixer, it’s picky like that! – and then, I let it sit.

In the microwave, door ajar, light on, overnight.

The next morning, I move the whole mixture to an olive oil-greased 8×4 loaf pan, let it sit another hour or so to see if it’ll rise anymore. Sometimes it does. Sometimes it doesn’t. And from there, it’s off to the oven to bake, at 400 degrees for about an hour.

9 times out of 10, what comes out is pure, delicious, sourdough magic.

I’ll take those odds. #fortheloveofsourdough

Questions about the sourdough-making process? Let me know in the comments below!


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