I have a friend on Instagram who is constantly posting pictures of the delicious baked goods she makes using her homemade starter. My sister-in-law got to try one of her sourdough English muffins and raved about. The jealousy went into overdrive! Of course, baking anything gluten free is always an adventure. After reading about 5 million other blog posts about how other people made their GF starter I decided I was going to wing it. My first attempt was a disaster… My second attempt though is looking good to go – Delicious bread countdown begins!
1/2 cup of warm water
1/2 cup of King Arthur GF All Purpose Flour Blend
1 packet of Fleishmann’s Rapid Rise
Note: I get the feeling a lot of people feel like using yeast in your starter is cheating – I’m all about making life a little easier in small ways… I’m not going to put that pressure on myself! So unless you are really concerned about the type of yeast that is growing in your starter and where it comes from – go for it. You can use your starter in a few days and not have to wait an entire week if you begin with yeast too – another plus.
On day one, I combined the ingredients in a glass bowl and stirred just enough to mix it well. I covered it loosely with a kitchen towel to prevent unwelcome visitors. I came back a few hours later to a slight rise and a few bubbles – progress for sure!!!
In the late afternoon while I was prepping dinner I fed the starter another 1/3 of a cup of warm water and the GF flour blend. Since then it has continued to rise and there are more bubbles.
It’s been about a week that my starter has been industriously fermenting away on the counter. Morning and evening I add anywhere from a quarter of a cup to a half a cup of both flour and water to my starter depending on if I’m going to use it to make pancakes (and which measuring cup is clean and dry).
Kitchen chemistry = super fun.
Because it’s gluten free, it doesn’t have the glamorous rise of a traditional sourdough starter – this is a great reason to use a glass bowl – you can easily see the spong-y, bubbly goodness from all angles. The picture above shows the sort of stretched out, dome like, drier puffy look the risen starter has. The picture below shows the bubbles starting to get busy.
As far as kitchen temperature goes, I’ve found it likes a nice 70ish degrees best which isn’t very easy in a New England February. If I keep my house warm it’s good, but it has a noticeably nicer rise on the days I leave it near a sunny window.
Next post: Best GF sourdough pancakes ever! I will never make another pancake ever again.