Sourdough Recipes

I love sourdough bread. I am from the West Coast. Connection?… yeah probably. The sad thing is that bread of any type made with wheat is off the charts bad for me. Not on the list. Nope. Really can’t go there.

So, I have done without my favorite bread forever years. No one should cry over bread. Life is short. But finding gluten-free alternatives is really hard. There are some brands at the store.. sure, but none of them are “real” bread. Certainly not like the kind I used to bake at home. Sooooo… make my own! It’s a quest adventure! On adventure. ahhhhh.

My wish list for real bread:

  • should be delicious.. not gummy.
  • should smell yummy… not smell like chemical stew.
  • should have a shelf life.. not expire in 15 years.
  • should be chewy.. not fall to pieces when you pick it up.
  • should taste good .. not icky.

So…. I started some sourdough exactly like I used to but used gluten-free flours. It takes a minimum of 3 days to get it really working, but when it does… it’s like magic!

Main tips for the gluten-free sourdough sponge:

  • use filtered water
  • “Feed” the sponge every 12 hours for three days
  • …and be patient.

I left it on the counter for three days in a Ziplock container that had a loosely fitted lid available. Finding the right container is most of my struggle with sourdough. Glass or plastic? Either, just not metal, and nothing with a tight lid.

I started by mixing more GF flour, one cup at a time, into the goo about every 12 hours.

I mixed a large batch of gluten-free flour ahead of time: mixing rice flour, potato starch, some tapioca starch and a little bit of potato flour and just added one cup of the mix at each “feeding”. Ratios vary but, generally I use 1 rice, 1 potato starch,  0.3 tapioca starch and possibly some potato flour, but not very much… 1 Tablespoon per cup of rice flour is plenty.

 

The “rules” about making sourdough vary depending on who you listen to…. so, I added flour and probably 1/2 – 3/4 Cup of lukewarm filtered water each time, depending on how soupy it looked when I stirred it. This is not rocket science. Do what looks like it makes sense to you. It will all work out just fine. Mine usually has the consistency of pancake batter.

My favorite gluten-free sourdough bread recipe so far:

Mix together:

  • 1 Cup of sourdough batter
  • 1 1/2 Cup of warmed (not hot) milk (I used rice milk/hemp milk/coconut milk)
  • 3 Tablespoons of softened butter (substitute 1T palm oil if you are dairy free)

Mix these dry ingredients together and add them to the wet ingredients.

  • 2 T potato FLOUR
  • 1/3 C tapioca starch
  • 1/3 C sweet rice flour
  • 1 C rice flour
  • 1 C + 2 tablespoons potato STARCH  –!!– note: potato starch is not potato flour!!
  • 2 teaspoons dry yeast
  • 1 /2 teaspoons of sea salt
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of pixie dust xanthan gum

I used my trusty Kitchenaid stand mixer to mix it all together really, really well and then portioned the dough into baking pans. A regular loaf pan of this dough took about 45 minutes to bake at 400 degrees.  I also tried golf ball sized amounts of dough in a greased muffin tin, and those turn out really good at about 20 minutes, also baked at 400.

smallloaves

Mini hamburger buns! Sliders anyone?

Reports back from everyone so far that tried this recipe baked as mini- loaves and as tiny buns has been very positive. I will be making more of this bread for sure.

pancakesSourdough Pancakes:

  • 2 cups sourdough batter
  • 2 cups milk (coconut/hemp/rice)
  • 2 cups gluten free flour mix (I used 1/2 rice flour and 1/2 potato starch)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 Tblspn sugar
  • 2 Tblspn oil
  • 2 eggs (replaced with flax and hot water)

This is best when mixed and left to rise for about an hour or so before you make the actual pancakes… but it tastes fine if you make them right away too.

 

Sourdough Madness Continues

smallloaves pancakesbiscuits… check

small loaves of bread… check

pancakes… check

 

Sourdough Experiments

I started some sourdough the other day and while I was waiting for it to percolate and do it’s thing for 3 days… I started looking for recipes to turn it into something “real”. I am thinking maybe some pancakes, or bread , or something.

If you have been gluten-free for more than about 2 hours, then you know the bread problem. Sure, there are some store bought options, but the real truth of it is that many of those options are just gross. Or they have too much sugar, or weird flour blends that I can’t have. What I want, is what I used to have: home baked, fresh sourdough bread. Really, is that too much to ask? Yeah, for gluten-free, it probably is.

Having to toss out a decades old sourdough starter when I realized it was full of poison (gluten) ..was like saying goodbye to a family member. So sad. It took me years to restart a new tub of sourdough. The first attempt was gross, and I moved on by just making other kinds of bread, buying some from the store freezer,  and mostly doing without. But last week, I decided to try once more and I am so glad I did. I know what I did wrong last time.. and this attempt seems successful so far.

Real Bread. It’s yummy. bread

 

YumYum Spareribs

Drat. They liked it so much that there are no pictures to post.  But it was beautiful and very tasty. I don’t know if they actually licked the plates clean…(I did run them through the dishwasher before I put them back in the cupboard), but there weren’t any leftovers. Forget about that it was also completely gluten free. What? yes. Healthy, and safe to eat, and tasty. What? yes. Funny how that works out.

When I cook, I typically use a recipe. I have a ton of cookbooks and recipe files and usually just go with whatever it says to do. Tra-la. But now and then, I get a wild idea with ingredients that I find at the store and tonight’s dinner was just toss it in a bowl and see what happens. I purposefully started with no recipe and hoped for the best. Some sort of chef channeling thing probably. I might be watching too much Food Network programming…. what? yes. Here’s a close approximate of what happened.

YumYum Spareribs Stirfry

Mix in a bowl:

  • 4 T brown sugar
  • 2 T worchestershire sauce
  • 1/2 C gluten free tamari sauce
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 4 garlic toes,  minced
  • 1 small onion, minced

Pour  this mix over the spareribs in a 9 x 13 baking pan. Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Uncover and turn the meat over. Spoon sauce over meat and leave uncovered. Return pan to the oven, and bake another 15 minutes.

Slice the meat,  and add to stir-fry pan. Add one entire bag of pre-sliced coleslaw mix – (cabbage and carrots),  and spoon some of the sauce from the baking pan over all of that to season and help steam the veggies, being sure to include the onions and garlic from the baking pan in with the cabbage. Stir until the cabbage is steamed to your liking. Serve over rice. We like Jasmine rice the best… make the kind you like.

Other veggies to mix into all of this would be great, too. The farmer’s market’s are bursting with amazing veggies this week. Throw some in and see what happens!

Tomatoes, squash, broccoli, peas, green beans or some sort of rice noodle will probably be in the mix next time I make this. It was pretty tasty, and it might make a good taco filling too. Next time, I will double the portions and hopefully have some left overs!

 

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Whatcha got? CELIAC

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Mini-Donuts!

The State Fair is less than a month away…. and the usual dread of hearing the refrain of “no donuts for you” is G-O-N-E.  gone gone gone.

Now, I can make my own!!!!

Oh, how I have missed you, Tiny Donuts! Welcome back.

minidonuts

Mini Donuts

Mix together:

  • 2 flax “eggs”
  • 2 cups of coconut milk + 2 tsps vinegar
  • 1/4 C softened/melty butter

Blend together in another bowl:

  • 5 C gluten free flour mixture blend
  • 1 C sugar
  • 2 teaspoons soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons magic pixie dust xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg

Mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients by hand- and let it rest for 15 minutes. Pat the dough to just less than 1/2 inch thick and cut out circles to make the tiny donuts, just poke your finger through the middle to make the hole. Easy Peasy.  Even easier- just roll small balls of this dough to make donut holes. Munchkins? oh yes.

Fry in hot oil, roll in cinnamon sugar.

Take a bag of your own mini-donuts to the fair!

Freezer Chicken Soup

Sometimes, I go through the freezer and find a package of this and a package of that and it all sounds like it might go together in some sort of fashion. Sometimes it’s about trying to make something tasty, and sometimes it’s about not having to go to the store for dinner. Eating-down the pantry is an art. What good is storing food if you never eat it? Srsly.

This current concoction of soup, an actual vat of chickeny goodness – will last me until Christmas. And it’s pretty tasty.

Here’s news: I hate canned soup. Oh sure, it’s really handy and easy to obtain at the store, also good for emergency situations (hello? Hurricanes?) … but I really hate canned soup. I used to *LOVE* (repeat love)  a can of BeanofBacon soup from Campbell’s … but checking the list of Campbell’s gluten free products here, shows me that there are no BeanofBacon lunches in my immediate future. In fact, there are no soups on that list at all…. READ the labels on each can before you buy anything from Campbell’s. Not worth the disaster of being fed silent gluten because “soup should be safe”. Leave no stone unturned when detecting safe food. It’s worth the extra half of a minute to read lables.

There is a list of other companies and their GF soup lists here in case you do want to look for some hints about what canned soup options that are safe to eat.

Here’s what I cobbled together today from the freezer, it’s real delicious.

Freezer Chicken Soup

  • 1/2 a bag of frozen Broccoli -*the other 1/2 I left in the freezer for later.
  • 1/2 a can of corn -* left the other 1/2 with the broccoli in the freezer for more soup, later
  • 1/2  a bag of frozen peas -*again, left the other 1/2 for later
  • 1/2 C cooked rice (that I found in the freezer)
  • 2 C cooked beans mix: dark red, light red, cranberry beans,  navy, pinto, and lentils (left over from the beans I cooked this week for a pot of chili)
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 3 carrots -peeled and chopped
  • 1 package of chicken tenders, cubed and baked
  • 1 package of spicy chicken sausage- sliced
  • salt
  • white pepper
  • poultry seasoning
  • 6 cups of hot water
  • 2 vegetable soup boullion cubes
  • 1 box of chicken stock
  • handful of fresh cilantro- chopped

It’s real tasty.

 

Maple Bars. Oh My.

The one remaining thing on my list of “foods-I-must-have-to-survive” is Maple Bars. They loom in the fog as the one thing I want and can’t have. Eating gluten free is not always easy, or fun. I can’t go to the bakery and pick up a dozen doughnuts. Boo. At least not in my neighborhood. So make them myself, I must. It’s really not an option, and now I MUST HAVE MAPLE BARS.

My fondness for maple bars is legendary. That I was getting sick from them? some sort of bad joke, or maybe it’s just a challenge from the universe to get it right. I don’t know, I just need some baked goods. Talk about comfort foods! Move over Mac n’ Cheese.

So. Today, I am converting a recipe for “regular” maple bars into something hopefully edible and anywhere close to the right taste and texture. I am on a quest!

The title “Maple Bars” is something of a suggestion really, because it comes to my attention that not all regions of the country call them that. In Oregon they are called Maple Bars, in Minnesota the title is “Long John’s”… …. ….. are they named for the long rectangular shape of the product? or the underwear? I don’t know. They do things differently in Minnesota sometimes. It’s probably better not to ask. If you are still unclear as to what this thing is.. it’s an unfilled eclair. Frosted with maple flavored glaze…. or chocolate frosting… that’s pretty tasty too.

Maple Bars

  • 5 C of gluten free flour. (I used 1 whole box (2C) of GlutenFreePantry all purpose flour and in addition, 1 C potato starch, 2 C brown rice flour)
  • 1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  •  1/2 C warm milk (I used GF rice milk)
  •  4 T sugar
  •  2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 C warm water
  • 4 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 2 eggs (I replaced these with “flax eggs”)
  •  1/3 C shortening

Mix together the yeast and warm water. Stir the warmed milk, sugar and yeast mixture together. Add the other ingredients. Mix and knead the dough for 5 minutes. Place dough in greased bowl for an hour to let rise.

Turn dough out on lightly floured board, press out to 1 inch thickness. Cut into bars. Place them on baking sheet and let rise for another 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350. Bake 10 minutes. Let cool on wire racks.

Glaze with maple frosting. Or chocolate.

Maple frosting

  •  1 C brown sugar
  • 1/4 milk (GF rice milk)

Mix and boil for 2 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes, add:

  •   1  C powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp maple flavoring

Mix well. Frost the tops of the baked goods while the frosting is still warm. Once it cools off it hardens quickly.

******Update:   These baked up more like a scone than a fried donut (the original).. but since it’s a baked scone-like item… I guess it’s all good.  They TASTE great.. they  do not look the same though. Whatever. Tasty is tasty.

 

Sugar.please.

1967 newspaper advertisement for sugar. Love it. Yes, sugar is just fine in your diet….. it just probably shouldn’t be the entire diet. Besides… school kids need sugar for energy!!  Srsly. 

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Eat Local

These peaches are picked locally in the morning and delivered same day. Eat local. It tastes better.

I have been exploring several locally grown vegetable farms and trying them, off and on to see which one suits my schedule. The CSA sounds like a great idea.. but they are usually on a very limited pick up schedule, so just purchasing various weekly available things from the farmer’s market seems to be a better option, for now. There are several options for local food, to purchase in my neighborhood.

  • CSA – several to choose, each with varying delivery/pickup days and locations
  • farmer market- there are three, the big one downtown, the one on Saturday mornings, and the one that is open T-S 9-3 and it’s only 2 miles from my house!
  • farmer roadside: just a pickup or two on the side of the road selling veggies – most days, if you know where to look.
  • Co-op: with a Wednesday afternoon 4-6 delivery site that is kind of close – but you have to order online on Sunday and then remember to go pick it up on Wednesday… not exactly convenient. Delicious.. but not convenient.

So, we have options… delicious options. Here’s to SUMMER!!

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