There are few things more delicious than a slice of freshly toasted bread with a healthy dollop of butter or fresh jam spread across the top. As many of us know though, grains, whether gluten or not, can be problematic.
After opening my cottage food bakery, Yoga Pants Bakery, a few years ago, I received many requests for a quality gluten free bread. Several requests came with the vegan requirement as well. Not being one to back down from any challenge, I began my quest to create a delicious gluten free, vegan sourdough bread. I had some fairly good successes using a blend of flours and starches, fats and eggs, as in my recipe here, but what I desired was a loaf that could be used to make sandwiches, grilled cheese, or french toast that didn’t include all of those ingredients that those who were vegan either by force due to dietary restrictions or by choice.
I won’t bore you with all of the dry, crumbly details, but in the end, what I figured out, was that to create that type of loaf bread; one that stands up to slicing, toasting, and grilling; one must use a lot of sourdough starter, a lot. With full gluten sourdough bread, the amount of starter used is generally less that 25% of the total weight of the bread. Not much is needed to get the loaves to rise. With gluten free, vegan sourdough, the starter needs to be the bulk of the bread. In addition, the time it takes for the starter do its job as the worker bee in making that bread rise, is much greater than I was used to. This will be a test of patience, but I promise that it will be worth it. Even with a very active starter, I did not see much action on the rising frontier until after hour 8 or so.
I am just going to assume that this will work with any flour, but since I had no intention of adding other flours, I choose teff flour. Teff is a traditional grain originating from Ethiopia and used to make injera bread. It is relatively high in protein and is mineral rich. The flavor is rich and nutty and is a great stand alone grain. Although sugar is not necessary, I used molasses since I felt it paired well with the flavor of the teff. If you are sugar free, you can successfully omit the molasses