Saturday, March 14, 2009

Non Gluten sourdough bread with seeds

I'm writing this down so that I have something that at least approaches a recipe. It has taken a lot of trial and error and thought to get it this far.

Making super nutritious, delicious, non gluten bread

1). Soak these whole grains in kefir:
Buckwheat (1 and a half times more than the rest of the grains)
Cover loosely and allow to begin to culture.

2). Soak in water:
Change water once (quinoa can be slightly bitter without that water change)
Cover loosely

3). Soak in water:
Sunflower seed
Sesame seed
Pumpkin seed
Cover loosely. Change water daily to sprout instead of ferment.

(Cover is to keep bugs or dust and light out)
In the last two hours before making the bread, soak flax seeds.

all grains above are raw and organic

Why all this soaking? Grains and seeds contain phytates which are there to stop them from molding or sprouting at inappropriate times. Soaking releases the phytates and makes minerals and vitamins more bio-available to our systems.

Depending on the room temperature, you can let this process go on for 3 to 5 days. (In higher temperatures, it happens faster.)

4). Leave the kefir on the 4 grains (it should have all soaked in anyway), drain any water from the quinoa and put in all the dry carafe for vita mix. Blend on low speeds until you have a batter. (If you don't have a vitamix or other powerful blender, make a small test batch to see if your blender will grind the soaked grains.)

5). Yeast prep:
In small bowl put a little sugar (for the yeast to eat) and some water (90 degreesF or neutral temperature when a drop is put on your inner wrist.) About a quarter cup of water. Put in one package of yeast. If the water is too hot it will kill the yeast. If water is too cold, yeast will take longer to wake up and begin to eat the sugar. It looks a little foamy when it is dining on the sugar.
Add to the batter.

6). Add:
2 eggs
some salt
some good olive oil
xanthan gum..this is because none of the grains have gluten in them, which is what gives bread it's characteristic lightness....little pockets of air that the yeast makes are normally held by the strength of the gluten. Xanthan gum helps with this, although this bread is more dense than a fluffy white bread. Add herbs like fresh rosemary, or anything else you like.

7). Add the sprouted seeds. You can also add hemp seeds, chopped sun dried tomatoes, rosemary, chopped olives or whatever else you like in bread at this time. Lightly blend the seeds, leaving some whole.

The bread sponge is too wet at this point, so get out containers of flour: amaranth, millet, quinoa, garbanzo/fava, (whatever no gluten flour you have) and slowly add while turning and kneading until it has the texture and feel of a regular bread dough.
You can also use some coconut flour, but because it is somewhat antibacterial it will slow the rising a little. Don't use only coconut flour for that reason.
Make dough into a ball, set in bowl, cover surface with good olive oil (so it doesn't get a "skin" of partially dried dough). Wet a clean tea towel, fold in half and clip over top of bowl (6 clips will hold it flat like a drum skin on the rim of the bowl) to provide humidity.
Put in oven and put the oven light on (for heat to make yeasts grow and dough to rise). Leave for a few hours or over night.
It should double in size.

8). Cut risen dough into several pieces to make small loaves. I make small, single serving size flat focaccia-type loaves and put them on a non stick cookie sheet. You can also sprinkle corn meal on the sheet before putting the loaves down. (I'm beginning to make larger loaves now, as each batch of bread is better and lighter.)

9). Separate an egg. Add a little water to the whites, beat, and with a pastry brush, brush the tops of the loaves. Sprinkle whatever interests you with bread on the top: small rock salt pieces, chopped rosemary, fennel, ground coriander, tiny pieces of dried citrus, herbs de provence, or some other kind of mixture of herbs.

10). Put back in oven with light on to let rise again to about double height. (They don't get a much larger footprint).

11). Bake at 375 degrees until done.....slightly brown. They don't take as long as a regular loaf because they are smaller, and with all the soaking and culturing, they are already partially "cooked" anyway.

12). Remove and let cook on rack. When room temperature, put into waxed paper bags and into a bread box. Do not will loose the complex taste. This is real food, it will last at room temperature, unless you have made too big a batch. If you have, freeze the loaves and thaw as necessary.

The first time you make it, it seems to take forever. Then, you realize it's only a few minutes time every once in awhile.....less time, all added up, than going to the store and back. So much more nutritious too. Where I live, non gluten breads with few ingredients are $6.50 a loaf and it is often moldy or is dry and crumbly within a day or two of purchase.

This bread is high in food value, so one of these little loaves (big cookie size) with a piece of cheese is a meal. A really filling and nutritious meal.
We like these small loaves best, but with each batch I make some larger ones as well, for sandwiches.

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