When I was living in LA, it was a little tough to find gluten free vegan bread, but it’s impossible to find in small town Mexico. I’ve always loved sourdough bread because it’s delicious AF, but fermented foods are so good for our guts, and I can’t imagine a better fermented food than BREAD. I’m not going to lie to you and say that this is an easy recipe. I decided to go with the traditional wild yeast method. This means that you allow yeast from the environment to culture your starter, which is definitely more time intensive than using a store bought product. From starting my starter to eating my bread, the whole process took me 5 days. The good news is that once you have a good sourdough starter, you can keep it in the fridge and ready to go! I will tell you that this bread is amazing and is worth the 6 day wait. Enough talk. Let’s get down to business. This is how we made it:
For the Starter:
¼ cup brown rice flour (twice daily for 3-5 days)
¼ cup filtered water (twice daily for 3-5 days)
For the Bread:
2 ¾ cups Aurora’s Gluten Free Flour Blend
¼ cup ground flax
1 tsp salt
3 cups brown rice starter
1 cup warm water
2 tbsp maple syrup
Olive Oil to brush on top
Making your starter:
To make your brown rice starter, begin with a clean quart size jar. Add ¼ cup brown rice flour and water and stir with a wooden spoon. I am told by the internet that the wooden spoon is very important!
Place a piece of cheese cloth over the jar and secure with a rubber band.
Leave the jar on the counter out of direct sunlight but in a place with air circulation. We are creating wild yeast, so you will need to feed your starter twice a day in the morning and evening. Add ¼ cup of flour and water each time and give it a good stir. You will need to feed your starter for 3-5 days until the mixture starts to get a little bubbly and starts to smell like….sourdough. It should smell yeasty and kind of beer-like. Mine was ready at day 4.
Once you have your starter has matured, you can use it or keep it in the fridge and feed it once a week. When you feed it, I leave mine on the counter for about an hour to let it warm up before feeding. I will say that my first batch of sourdough I made didn’t turn out as puffy and light as my second batch. I’m assuming this is because my starter had more time to mature from feeding it for over a week with refrigeration after it was ready for use.
Making your bread:
In a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, add the gluten free flour, flax, and salt. Give it a good mix.
Next add in your brown rice starter and mix until combined. The mixture will be dry and crumbly at this point.
Mix your maple syrup into your water, and give it a good stir.
Then, turn on our mixer and gradually add the water and syrup mixture a ¼ cup at a time. Turn your mixer up to high and blend for a couple of minutes. Your bread should now have a cake batter-like consistency.
Pour the mixture into a 9 x 5 loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Smooth out the top of the bread and then lightly brush on some olive oil.
More patience is needed! You cannot eat your bread yet! Now it’s time to let your bread rise and let that beautiful yeast you just cultivated do it’s thing with the maple syrup. I like to set mine in my oven (turned off) so dog hairs and such don’t find their way in, but you can also loosely cover the bread with a tea towel. Let it rise for 12-24 hours. I always let mine sit for 24 hours because I’m an annoying morning person and won’t do anything after 3PM that doesn’t involve watching Netflix.
After 12-24 hours your bread should nearly double in size. It should feel light and puffy to the touch, but don’t touch it too hard or you’ll end up with ugly bread!
Heat your oven to 450 degrees. Place a 9 x 13 pan full of water in the oven. Sourdough likes it nice and humid like a hot Texas summer, so let’s give it what it wants. Your bread will take around 1-1 ½ hours to bake. Spritz your bread with water about every 10-15 minutes, and your bread is done when it has a nice golden brown crust. Let it cool for an hour before serving. You’ve already waited this long, so you can make it another hour!