When I realized I had a gluten intolerance, I was sad at the idea that I wouldn't be able to eat good bread anymore. When I tell people that I don't eat gluten, the first thing they say is "I could never give up bread". Well, I didn't give up bread, so much as bread gave up on me.
If I ate anything with gluten, I would succumb to fatigue, bloating and suffer from a migraine. Once, it was so bad that I was bed ridden for a few days. A gluten migraine is not to be taken lightly! I remember feeling like someone was hammering a nail into my eyeball. With a normal headache, I would be able to sleep it off. A gluten headache stayed with me all day and all night for days. DAYS!
I became vigilant about staying away from gluten, and with good cause. Even a small taste would cause me some discomfort. All of that changed when I read that true sourdough bread could be the answer for us gluten-intolerance sufferers.
I say 'true' sourdough bread because not all bakers follow the old method of baking sourdough bread because it takes 24 hours. Some of them will take shortcuts by using yeast and adding a sour flavor.
What makes true sourdough special is the fermentation process. Fermentation uses the wild yeast, bacteria and other microbes in the atmosphere to breakdown a substance. It is believed that fermenting the dough makes sourdough bread easier to digest and removes the gluten from the bread. Sourdough isn't recommended for anyone with celiacs, but can be tolerated by someone with a gluten sensitivity or intolerance like me.
I was visiting a friend in California and we were going through the famous West Hollywood outdoor farmer's market and we came across a booth with all this beautiful sourdough bread. I spoke to the owner about gluten intolerance and sourdough and he was full of so much knowledge about sourdough bread and gluten. I bought a loaf and went on my merry way.
I shared some with a friend, but ultimately devoured most of the bread myself and anxiously awaited any symptoms of my gluten intolerance. None came. I was so happy that finally, I could eat bread again!
I tried to buy sourdough bread at another farmer's market in Union Square, NY, and while the bread was delicious, it wasn't true sourdough and after a couple of slices, I had fatigue for a few days. After that experience, I no longer trusted other sourdough bread and decide to make my own.
I was making sourdough bread with Einkorn flour, but found that Einkorn was expensive and harder to work with because it would get really sticky. I decided to make it with wholewheat flour. Unfortunately, most of the recipes I came across used white flour and the few that used wheat flour cheated by adding active yeast.
After scouring the internet, I finally found this recipe from MortherJones.com and decided to give it a try. First, I made my starter by taking small amounts of my Einkorn starter and mixing it with the wholewheat flour until I had a good amount of the wholewheat starter. You can make your own starter (the article shares how) or you can get some from someone who bakes sourdough bread.
This recipe for wholewheat sourdough bread was taken from the MotherJones article.
When baking sourdough bread, you want to start at least 24 hours ahead of time. Most of the time is letting the dough ferment and rise or called leaven. There is some kneading done as well.
Recipe for Wholewheat Sourdough Bread:
You will want your starter to be room temperature.
1. Take 10 grams (about a tablespoon) of your starter and mix it with 60 grams flour (about a half cup) and 60 grams water (about a quarter cup). Let it sit overnight. The next day, it should have risen and be all bubbly. This is your preferment.
2. Take your preferment and mix with
- 580 grams (4 cups) whole wheat flour
- 506 grams (2¼ cups) water, at room temperature
- 12 grams (2½ teaspoons) salt
This is the autolyse step.
- Mix well with your hands (although I use my scraper)
3. Let it rest covered for about 3 hours. Periodically folding 3-4 times.
4. Shape the dough into a round by folding it onto itself leaving a smooth round top and seamed bottom, this is your boule. Let it sit covered for 20 minutes.
5. Place the boule, seam side up, into a floured proofing basket for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. (I actually just let the boule sit in my mixing bowl and omit the proofing basket step since i don't have one.)
- Heat your Dutch oven in the oven at 500degrees. You want your Dutch oven super hot for your boule.
6. Carefully, drop the boule into the hot Dutch oven, seam side down. (In my case, I haven't had a nice boule yet, so I just scrape my dough into the Dutch over. Instead of flouring the Dutch oven, I line with my reusable parchment paper.) You can make incisions into your bread to help with the loaf extension. I just let the bread do its thing because I don't have a straight razor.
7. Bake for 30 minutes (I turned my oven down to 400 degrees F), then remove the lid of the Dutch oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes until the boule is a deep brown.
8. Remove from the Dutch oven and let the sourdough bread cool for about 4-6 hours.
Once it's cool, slice and add your homemade tomato jam.
Scarlett is a business owner and lover of pretty things. She started this blog to share some of her witticisms and favorite things.