Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I assume if you read this blog that you already know that I am gluten free. And although this is not a blog ABOUT cooking gluten free, it does sneak in every few posts simply because it is how I live.

I follow many gluten free blogs, though, and through one of them recently found this post describing how to make gluten free sourdough, from starter to bread. Needless to say, I was very excited and immediately went out to find all of the flours I did not have and a big glass jar.

I could not find all of the flours, even at Sprouts and Whole Foods, and so had to wait for them to ship directly from Bob's Red Mill. But they sent them!

Day one with my sourdough starter. Not very exciting.

Once the flours arrived, I began my experiment with my starter in its glass jar. After one week, I became impatient and decided my starter was ready. It was not. The bread, although it tasted like sourdough, did not rise and was a failure. Instead of giving up, I went back to feeding my starter.

Another week passed. At a gig on Friday, I freaked out and realized that I had forgotten to feed the sourdough starter for two days. Frantically, I texted my husband. Reggie, my tenor in my quartet, joked that if you have to feed something everyday that it should have a name. So he named it Stanley Sourdough. Finally, my starter was behaving exactly like it should every day. I would feed it and stir it. It would bubble up and consume the flour/water mixture and within 24 hours settle into two parts: wild yeasts and starter on the bottom, hooch on the top. Stanley was finally ready.

The finished sourdough boule. I was so excited to bake it, I forgot to cut slices in the top! Oh well!

So yesterday, I made another loaf. I let it rise. It didn't rise as quickly as I wanted it to, but rise it did. This morning, I baked it in my Le Creuset dutch oven. It is perfect. Delicious, and sliced warm with butter melting on top of it, it is the sourdough of my dreams.

And Stanley? He was moved out of his jar so I could clean it, and he is happily re-fed, making hooch in his jar. :)

Stanley in his jar this morning, pre-feeding. See the two layers? Yeast and starter below, hooch above.

Thank you to the gluten free doctor for steering me in the right direction and for helping a bread lover turned gluten free girl gorge herself on hot homemade sourdough. Want the recipe? Check out the link at the top - I cannot take any credit for it at all.

The best part? Before I went GF, I would have never considered growing a sourdough starter in my kitchen. Perhaps Stanley will become a family heirloom!

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