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Bread

Sourdough Starter

MAKES ABOUT 1½ CUPS

Once you see how easy it can be to make gluten-free bread, you’ll be craving sourdough bread and wishing you had some Sourdough Starter in your refrigerator. Yes, it takes some time and a bit of advanced planning to make sourdough bread but--believe us!--it’s so worth it. And it’s easy.

1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 cup whole milk or lite coconut milk, room temperature
1 cup white rice flour
1 teaspoon sugar

1. In a 1- to 2-quart glass jar (not plastic or metal), dissolve the yeast in the milk by stirring with a wooden spoon. Add the rice flour and sugar and mix to combine well. Cover the jar loosely and allow it to sit at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours. Remember that the milk must be at room temperature for it to activate the yeast.

2. The mixture should bubble and appear pockmarked on the surface. It will also likely develop a thin liquid along the top. Stir to incorporate that back into the mixture. Cover the jar again loosely and allow it to sit out on the counter overnight.

3. Repeat the procedure in Step 2 for the next two days, stirring to combine, loosely covering, and then stirring again the next day, all the while leaving the jar of starter out on the counter at room temperature.

4. If you do not plan to use the starter soon, place it, loosely covered, in the refrigerator. You will need to “feed” it before you use it.

How to “Feed” Your Sourdough Starter

When you know that you want to use your sourdough starter, you will need to plan at least 4 hours ahead.

1. Remove the starter from the refrigerator, uncover it, and stir it until smooth with a wooden spoon. Remove one cup of the starter and discard it (or donate it to a friend to create another starter).

2. Add ½ cup warm water (about 100°F) and 1 cup white rice flour to the starter. Stir to combine. Allow the starter to sit out at room temperature for at least 4 hours, or overnight, loosely covered. The starter should be bubbling and thick. It is now “fed.”

3. Use the amount of starter your recipe calls for. Then replenish the starter by feeding it again with ½ cup warm water and 1 cup white rice flour, stirring to combine, cover again loosely, and return it to the refrigerator.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Gluten-Free on a Shoestring by Nicole Hunn.  Reprinted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2011. To buy this book, click here.

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