3 Tips For Successful Gluten-Free Sourdough Baking

Baking gluten-free sourdough bread comes with some unique challenges. With no gluten in the loaf, it can be a bit harder to get an enjoyable texture. It may also be harder to get your yeast to ferment at a reasonable rate. Thankfully, making delicious, gluten-free sourdough is possible. You'll probably just need to practice a little — and also follow the tips below.

1. Use a kit

Creating your own sourdough starter from scratch is difficult and time-consuming, especially when working with gluten-free flour. So, if you want to bake gluten-free sourdough, it is much easier to start with a kit. Generally, this kit will come with some dried starter. You'll rehydrate that sourdough starter and feed it a few times, using gluten-free flour and water, before it is ready to bake with. The kit will generally also come with enough flour to make a few loaves, which saves you the hassle of having to shop for the right flours.

2. Don't use your starter until it is really active

It can be tempting to rush it and bake your bread before your starter is really active. But if you do this, your loaves won't rise enough and will end up with a gummy texture. Generally, the instructions with your kit will have you feed your sourdough a few times before you bake with it. Follow these instructions. Your starter needs to be bubbling and increasing in size predictably before you bake with it.

3. Be patient

Most sourdough bread dough needs to ferment for several hours, or even half a day, before you shape the loaves. Then, it needs to rest again after it is shaped. Your kit will give you more precise resting times for both steps. It's important not to rush this part. Let the bread rest for as long as recommended, and maybe even a little longer. It's better to over-proof gluten-free sourdough than to under-proof it. Over-proofed bread will just have some big, uneven holes in it; you'll still enjoy it. Under-proofed bread will be overly dense and gummy — not something that most people enjoy eating.

If you buy a gluten-free sourdough kit, make sure your starter is really active before you bake, and are patient when your bread is resting, you should have better luck baking gluten-free sourdough. Don't be disappointed if your first loaf is not perfect. This can take some practice, and practice makes perfect.