Loaf of sourdough bread cut with knife
Cooking

Gluten-free and vegan buckwheat and oat sourdough bread

Today is National Sourdough Bread Day (in the US, and I think also Canada – if you’re not in either of these countries, you can always pop back to this recipe in September, which is World Sourdough Month – who decides?).

I’ve been making gluten-free sourdough for about two years, and I’ve tried a number of variations. I started with this recipe, used oat yoghurt as a starter (because I had some to hand) and faffed around with different gluten-free flours until I got to the recipe I use now.

A loaf of sourdough bread cut with a bread knife

The result is a very flavourful bread with a crunchy crust and a soft (but not gummy) centre. It’s not really chewy like gluten-containing sourdough breads, but it does have that sourdough tang.

I have mine in the morning toasted with vegan butter and honey or marmalade, or with some vegan cream cheese at lunchtime (my hands down favourite, by the way, is Tesco own brand free-from cream cheese, which is made my Bute Island Foods and is sold in Whole Foods over here). I haven’t tried it, but I think it would probably work well with strong-flavoured meats, like smoked ham, and maybe pâté.

This is pretty much the opposite of my gluten-free and vegan quickbread. Instead of taking an hour and a half including the time taken to pre-heat the oven, it will take all day – plus several days to make your oat yoghurt in the first place. But, it does keep better – several days in the bread bin, up to about a week.

Two loaves of sourdough bread

For the oat yoghurt, I use this recipe from Earthsprout. I only adapt it very slightly, so can’t really write it out here and take any credit!

I make half the amount and use 1 cup rolled/porridge/jumbo/old-fashioned oats and 1/2 cup whole hulled oats. When I’m blending I add 1 cup of water first and then a further 1/2 cup at the end as I find this makes it smoother. Do not add sweetener or vanilla as you’re going to use it as a sourdough starter.

To make 2 boules of bread:

Ingredients:

150g oat yoghurt

275g buckwheat flour

225g gluten-free oat flour

200g gluten-free flour blend (I like Sarah Bakes Gluten-Free flour blend)

7g xanthan gum

20g psyllium husk powder

1 tbsp salt

525g water

Method:

Combine the salt with 50g water and set aside.

In a large bowl mix oat yoghurt with the remaining 475g water.

In a separate large bowl whisk together the flours, xanthan gum and psyllium husk powder.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. Cover with a tea towel and leave for 30 minutes.

Pour the salt water over the dough and mix in with your fingers. Once thoroughly combined you will have a very wet, sticky dough. Cover with a tea towel and leave for 3 1/2 hours.

Dust a clean work surface liberally with oat flour and turn the dough out on to the surface. Dust the ball with flour and cut it in two. Shape each section into a boule by tucking the edge in with one hand and turning the dough at the same time – almost as if you were turning the steering wheel of a car to drive around a corner.

Rub oat flour into two tea towels and use them to line proving baskets/colanders/mixing bowls. Put one boule in each, cover with a tea towel and leave for four hours.

Pre-heat the oven to 250c and put cast iron casserole dishes in to warm, including lids. When the oven is hot, use a sharp knife to make a cross in the top of each boule, put one in each casserole dish and cover with the lid.

Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 230c and bake for a further 10 minutes. Remove the lids and continue to bake until bread is cooked – when a skewer inserted comes out clean. This will take about another 40 minutes, but could take up to an hour.

Leave the bread to cool completely before slicing. This is very important for gluten-free bread. If you cut it while it’s warm, it will go gummy.

Adapted from this recipe.

Two loaves of sourdough bread

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