Gluten Free Sourdough Tips and Tricks

I have officially joined the movement of those who discovered the joys of homemade sourdough bread during the Pandemic of 2020, but mine is special….it’s gluten free!

Our entire family eat gluten free, and you can ready why here. This has made it so that I have not baked bread, or bread-like products, in 6 years.

To say I have been excited with the results is an understatement! This momma LOVED baking bread prior to my childrens’ diagnosis.

It was literally my hobby, self-care, stress management, whatever you want to call it, when my husband was active duty military and I was a stay at home mom, for the first 5 years of our marriage.

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How to Find a Starter?

I found multiple ideas for starters, and settled on one here because I had initially gone looking for ones that would pair well with my Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle as well as our need to be completely gluten free for our kids. I also sell dried bits of my mature starter, named “Brice” (brown rice) through this link.

I liked her idea in the blog post, but It took 10 days for my starter to fully activate, and that was only after I had started making some changes to my methods.

  1. I quit using the scale.
  2. I also needed a larger amount of starter, because we are a family of 9, so I was not discarding anything to build my supply.
  3. I felt the starter was too thick based on previous experience with wheat ingredients, and I just began to eye-ball it. My preferred consistency is like pancake batter, and this proved to be optimal for my gluten free starter as well.
  4. I came across a comment on another sourdough starter recipe that mentioned feeding the starter half of the amount of its volume every day for optimal happy fermenting action, so I increased the amount or decreased it by the day. Again, eyeballing it, knowing that my vessel is 8 cups total.

All of these changes have created a bubbly counter top friend that helps me look like mother of the year to my children, who have not had this much “bread” in many years.

If you are looking to create a Gluten Free Sourdough Starter, please join the waiting list for my next workshop here!

The Perfect Gluten Free Loaf

I had also used my Pinterest account to collect ideas for my new counter top friend in anticipation of the day it was mature enough to use.

I tried this recipe that was proclaimed to be Trim Healthy Mama compatible, and we liked it, but it was very dense with a very tough crust, possibly user error but we moved on to the next recipe just in case.

The next recipe I found has become our favorite to date, and you can find it here. You can also find my Gluten Free Baking Flour Blend for this recipe, just click the linked words.

Here are some extra things I learned that helped the loaves successful.

  1. One batch of this recipe fits perfectly into two size small Silicone Challah pans. I do a lot of our breads in these pans due to their easy-release nature with gluten free ingredients.
  2. I cook it for 40 minutes inside the silicone pans, and then for another 40-45 minutes flipped right-side up on a baking sheet to evenly bake them.
  3. Let cool completely before you cut into them.

Getting My Groove

As with any new skill you want to build upon it as you become more comfortable.

By two weeks of practice, and working out my feeding schedule for my counter top friend, I had decided to branch out into Crackers, English Muffins and Banana Bread.

My feeding schedule is…..

**1 cup of brown rice flour and roughly equal parts of untreated water, mixed to a pancake batter consistency and added to my half-gallon glass mason jar twice a day. But, as mentioned above, I will eyeball the volume and vary the amounts as needed.

**If it is trying to jump out of the jar I transfer the amount I need to make my next creation into a bowl and add ingredients according to the recipe instructions and let it do its thing overnight so it is ready to bake the following day.

I am making about 3 gluten free sourdough creations every week, trying very hard to keep them as close to an E meal on the Trim Healthy Mama plan as possible.

You can find my highlights about this on Instagram too, along with any of the sourdough creations I have done recently.

Thank you so much for stopping by!

If you want to learn more about my family, what I do as a Trim Healthy Mama Lifestyle Coach, or how to cut down your cooking time you have come to the right place.

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Leftover Days Will Save Your Bacon, Literally!

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As a mom with a lot of children, I am constantly trying to make our budget fit our needs.  A few pennies here, or a couple dollars there and you can have one bill throw off your whole budgeting system.

Food is the #2 bill in this house, and here is how we….

  1. Feed 8 people for less than $800 per month.
  2. Build and maintain a pantry that will feed us in lean times, from our savings.
  3. Decrease our food waste, and still eat fresh veggies and fruit, daily.
  4. Eat completely gluten free, without losing our minds!

Saving our bacon….

This habit came about because my husband was in college, full time, during the weekdays, and I was working overnight on the weekends.  Throw some homeschooling, weekly therapy for our exceptional needs children, and religious activities and you have a very full schedule.  Oh, and I went to night school during 18 months of this time, had shoulder surgery and recovery, and had two babies.  It was a wild ride, let me tell you!

Back to the food……

I call it a habit because we have tried to change the days we picked for our Leftover Days once, and it failed miserably because we were so used to the days we had done it on for three years.  We chose Wednesdays, and Sundays because those were our busiest days, and they were almost perfectly even in spacing.

It ticked all the boxes for me.  I could save money and time by using every last drop of what I was preparing, reduce my time in the kitchen, and actually not have to prepare or plan anything for two whole days a week!  I tell everyone about our Leftover Days!

What do you mean by Leftover Days?

I know that people use leftovers in all sorts of ways.  As lunches for their kids and themselves, as dinner when they are in a hurry, or even as a hail Mary pass on a rough day.

The one that we used to do when we first got married, and I grew up with, was eating leftovers when the refrigerator was so full that you had used every storage container, and you couldn’t remember when they had last been opened….then we got into the moldy containers and the mystery jars of unused condiments and it put people off of leftovers forever!

How do we do it?

We save our leftovers.  All of them!  Soups, meat loaf, 1/4 cup of cottage cheese or a slice of baked oatmeal.  No matter how small, we save it ALL!

We realized that we could not just save them for one, or even two days many times, and have enough for our large family for a whole day or even a whole meal and we were counting on at least lunch and dinner to be covered.  Three days worth of leftovers is just about perfect for our family, and they are first come, first served.  We do not all get our favorites, but we all get fed.

We will save a few things from the Wednesday to Sunday time frame to carry us over the shorter span between Sunday and Wednesday of the following week.

What happens if you eat all the food you prepared for multiple meals in between Leftover Days?

We ran into this problem a lot in the beginning, especially as our family has grown about yearly since we started it.  Now, to avoid that I automatically double, or triple every recipe.  I make sure that the approximate serving size of the prepared food at each meal is 12 people instead of 8.  This makes enough wiggle room for growing young boys, and a hungry husband after a day of chopping wood.

What if my family hates leftovers?

You are capable of setting the tone here for your entire household.

My husband loves variety.  We rarely eat the same meal twice in one month, and I prepare almost every single one myself.  That’s a lot of recipes, and a lot of leftovers, if we were not good stewards and use them up, that is a lot of waste.

So, in light of our desire to reduce our food waste and its affect on our bank account, he and we, have learned to either tolerate or love our leftovers anyway.

Sometimes, I combine multiple things and “recreate” them into something new.  Sometimes, I can use them, plus a little can of something from the pantry and jazz it up.Sometimes, I put it in a corn tortilla for the kids, or on salad for my husband and myself.

Really, we have just learned to roll with it.

What about my kids with sensory processing disorder?

Momma, I got you!

We have a child on the spectrum, and my husband is too.  Food was a big issue in our house for three years, when our oldest was at the height of his oral aversion.  I kid you not, it took that long and meals were rough.  But, we also lived without a microwave during that time, and I learned a valuable lesson from that.

My husband and oldest son, the ones with sensory problems, get to pick first, because I do not want to put them off of leftovers forever.  Do they eat things they do not like, absolutely, but they know that it is the last time for a while.

Also, You can restore the mouth feel of almost any leftover by baking it at a higher temp for a short amount of time.  Say, 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes to warm it up in the oven, and then wack it up to 400 degrees for about 5 minutes, or even use the broiler for a minute or two.  It worked for us, and still does!

So, Call this a large family Hack, or the ingenuity of a desperate work outside the home Mom, but it WORKS!

 

Thank you so much for stopping by!

If you want to learn more about my family, Check out what we have been eating, or how to cut down your cooking time you have come to the right place.

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