Monday, March 25, 2013

Sourdough Gluten-free Foccacia Bread

Some members of my family are sensitive to yeast as well as gluten, eggs, and cow's milk products so I thought I would try making a bread using naturally derived sourdough with no added yeast.  Yesterday, I explained how I made my gluten free sourdough.  Today, I am sharing my recipe for making a gluten free Foccacia Bread using sourdough starter.

Cynthia’s Sourdough Foccacia Bread
Wheat, dairy, soy, egg, sugar free
Make a Sponge.  About 6 to10 hours before you want to bake the bread, start the sponge.  Remove sourdough starter from refrigerator and mix with 2 – 3 cups flour of choice (I use 3 parts brown rice and 1 part tapioca starch) and 2 -3 cups water. 

Mix thoroughly.  Should be the consistency of thin pancake batter.  Cover and place in a warm setting at least 4 hours until bubbly and smells yeasty.  As the sponge sits, the solids may separate.  If you see water on the surface, don’t worry, this indicates your bread will be moist.

Save Starter  After the sponge is good and bubbly, pour off at least 1 cup of starter back to the original container (I don’t bother washing it) and return this to the refrigerator until next time.

Mix Bread
Combine in a small bowl:
½ cup millet flour
1 heaping teaspoons xanthan gum
1 heaping teaspoon salt
1 heaping teaspoon egg replacer (or baking powder). 
Mix dry ingredients well – this prevents the xanthan gum from clumping up.
Sprinkle dry mixture over sponge and mix well with a wire whip, spoon, or electric mixer.  As you mix, the batter will thicken and start to bind together.  When it looks like a soft regular bread dough (or has consistency of muffin batter), mix in:
2 Tablespoons oil (I use olive)
2 Tablespoons agave nectar

At this point, dough can rest in the bowl for a second rising, or can be transferred to a pan. Once in the pan, it should be covered with plastic wrap or a damp towel for 1 to 3 hours until you bake it. 

For a foccacia, spread batter about 1” – 2”  thick on a flat pan.  Before baking, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds or add more flavor with grated Romano cheese, sundried tomatoes, caramelized onions, herbs, etc. – whatever appeals to you.  (or maybe these ingredients could be mixed in – have not tried that).  Bake 25 minutes at 400 or until firm and golden brown.

* I have made this recipe with an egg.  When I use an egg - I omit the egg replacer.

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