First I had to begin by trying to replicate the conditions that allow free floating yeast in the air to colonize food to grow.
Oh wait, first I had to create a food for the yeast to grown in.
No, first I had to analyze the properties of Wheat to see what worked best as food for those nice little wild yeast beasties, then I could create a flour mix that would allow them to multiply and feed to create the tangy lactic acid buildup we know and love as sourdough.
To begin all this process, I did what I do when confronted with any new problem. Research! I checked out the Gluten Free bread recipe books:
Then I checked out the various conventional wheat bread baking books:
And I began to notice that the gluten -free breads were a perfect sandwich bread. That lots of them used a bread machine. None had that crunchy dense crust I remember so fondly from gluten full breads.
So now I went to the blogging world. I've found that books out there for a particular problem seem to be about 3 years behind the solutions people have found on their blogs.
Into Google I plunged: creating many different versions of the search for gluten free bread recipes on blog.
I looked here for an overview of lots of recipes since they seem to be gathering from multiple blogs, at All Recipes since so many people search for their recipes there.
But this one had eggs and I was trying to avoid allergens as much as possible.
Kept searching- Found this recipe for a "rye" bread but it called for a pan size I don't have. Looked here and here.
What I found was that quite a few are focused on making bread machine bread.
Some people just want simple sandwich bread. I understand, I truly do, but that isn't what I was looking for at all.
I wanted a
One that will hold it's own as a bread bowl for soup if I wanted. Not a soft tender crust at all.
So my journey of research continued into the world of bread message boards.
I love this one but can literally spend days there reading about the nuances of temperature changes, hydration, salt content and protein content of wheat flour.
Wait, protein content. That makes sense. The yeast need the sugars to grow and give off gas but without the protein strands, there is no lift, no holes, no bubbles to crust.
Now to the fun part, the chemistry of the situation:
Wheat flour is 11% protein,
Hard Wheat flour (typically used for bread) is 14% protein,
Their fat content is never more than 5 %. Carbohydrate count varies with the growing season.
In order for my gluten-free sourdough to behave like gluten full sourdough, I had to get a balance of the available flours to mimic these parameters.
A bit of analysis now came into play while I learned the stats on gluten free flours.
Stats and analysis allow me to just play. So I created a chart, for an easy understanding of what a substitution would do to my flour mixture.
One that I am happy to share, so you can all make substitutions based on the science and taste preference you would prefer.
Comparison of Gluten Free flours in one easy chart - printable
I realize that this is just messy, Click on the link for pretty.
per 1/4 cup color, quality, fiber, fat, protein, carbohydrates
Millet yellow soft crumb 0g 1g 3g 22g
Sweet Rice Flour white structure, sticky 1g 0.6g 2g 24g
Sorghum Flour pale brown with tiny flecks of dark brown tender, structure 3g 1.1g 4g 25g
Potato Starch white glide, slippery 0g 0g 0g 40g
Corn Flour yellow strength, depth 3.9g 1.1g 2g 22.5g
Amaranth Flour brown strength 3g 2g 4g 20g
Quinoa Flour pale brown strength, pronounced flavor 0g 1.7g 4g 21g
Brown Rice Flour pale brown crunch unless finely ground, mild flavor 1.8g 1.1g 2.9g 30.2g
Tapioca Flour white soft, crisp 0g 0g 0g 26g
Teff flour dark or ivory tender 6g 1.1g 5g 32g
Buckwheat Flour Dark tender 3g 0.9g 3.8g 21.2g
Garfava flour yellow beige beany 6g 1.7g 6g 18g
White Bean Flour white/ivory mild flavor, tender crumb 8g 0g 7g 20g
White Rice Flour white mild flavor, crunch unless finely ground 0.9g 0.6g 2.4g 31.7g
Next post I'll tell you more about what My sourdough flour mix contains and how to begin your own starter.