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Gluten-free Sourdough Baking FAQ

This is the updated list with answers to gluten-free sourdough baking FAQ made by our web page visitors and readers of our guide “Momo’s guide to gluten free and vegan sourdough“, that you can find in this page or Amazon.

Embarking on your gluten-free sourdough baking journey is an exciting endeavor, but it’s perfectly normal to encounter some stumbling blocks or uncertainties along the way. Whether you’ve perused my comprehensive guide or delved into my various posts on this website, you may find yourself seeking additional guidance before you fire up your oven, or perhaps questions have cropped up during the baking process or even afterward. Whatever your situation, this FAQ section serves as your reliable resource for finding answers.

If you’ve previously posed your questions in a recipe or blog post, there’s no need to fret; you can also share them here. Rest assured, I’ll likely consolidate all the valuable questions into this dedicated section.

Prior to venturing into the comments section to share your query, we encourage you to peruse this list. Our commitment is to maintain it regularly, ensuring that you can conveniently locate the answers you seek. In the event that you do not discover the information you require, please don’t hesitate to post your question in the comments below, and rest assured, we will promptly provide you with assistance.

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Gluten-free Sourdough Baking FAQ

1. Why is my sourdough starter not bubbly after 10 days feeding it

– Check the flours, they might be off
– Check the water quality
– Check that the starter is not contaminated
– Try with some organic flour, you might want to start over with good quality organic flour and good quality water.

2. Why does my sourdough starter smell bad?

– Throw it away and start again, do not risk your health

3. Why does my sourdough starter takes a long time to double in volume once refreshed?

– Sourdough starter is not yet strong enough. Refresh several times at 4 or 5 hrs intervals until it recovers.
– Use a whole grain organic flour to give it a boost
– Try to put it in a warm place ( > 20°C / 70°F) but below 40°C/100°F

4. Can I use a seed flour in my sourdough starter?

– Not recommended since seeds usually contain sulfates that interfere with fermentation and kill yeast.
– If you do, make sure to use organic seeds (no sulfates or other preserving chemicals)

5. My sourdough bread did not rise much. Why can this happen?

– Maybe the sourdough starter was not strong enough (did it double in volume?)
– Did you use enough starter (at least 50%) ?
– Check hydration level, maybe it had too much water.
– Maybe the mix needs additional binding agents.
– It might have been over-fermented. This make loaves collapse during baking.

6. My bread did not rise but collapsed to the sides

– Excess hydration, check recipe and reduce hydration by 10% or more.
– Over-fermented. Check fermentation time and temperature

7. When cutting the bread, some rubbery crumbs get stuck to the knife

– The bread was still warm when cutting
– Too much gums, check quantity used
– Might be undercook, perform a temperature profile (check guide chapter 16)
– Try using a different flour mix, flours like almond and coconut create this result sometimes.

8. My loaf got burned outside and undercooked inside

– Oven temperature was too high, check your oven’s thermostat
– Not enough steam during the first 15 minutes.
– Perform a temperature profile to check oven thermostat (check guide chapter 16)

9. My loaf gets stuck to the cast iron pan and burned in the bottom

– Check the oven temperature. Might be too high or too close to the heating elements.
– Put the oven tray at a higher position
– Dust the bottom of the loaf with enough rice flour.
– Use parchment paper to put the dough inside the pot

10. My loaf did not get an opened spring

– Not enough yeast activity, under-fermented o fermented at a too low temperature.
– Not enough steam during the initial baking time, crust dried too quickly
– Scoring was too shallow

11. My loaf rose but then collapsed

– Collapse due to excess hydration, reduce 10% or more.
– Not enough binding agents.

12. Can I use baking soda to reduce bread tang

– You can user baking soda in your bread recipe (not in the sourdough starter).
– It does not change much the acidity of the bread. Baking soda decomposes above 80°C/176°F and produces CO2, it helps a bit with the rising but not much.
– Make sure to use an aluminum free baking soda, otherwise it may affect the taste of your bread.

13. What can I use to extend shelf life of my bread

Best way is to keep the bread refrigerated or frozen instead of using added chemicals.
You can use natural plant extracts like thyme, rosemary, cinnamon, clove, capsicums, bay leaf, ginger, garlic and basil. These all are good natural preservative agents.
If you need to travel or if you do not have access to a refrigerator, you can use calcium propionate at 0.15% to extend shelf life at room temperature for up to 10 days. Check for possible health concerns such as allergic reactions or insulin resistance.

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