Since many of our recipes to this point have been Gluten-free, I thought it was time to start uploading all our Gluten-FULL recipes as well. What better recipe to start with than a basic recipe that has an abundance of potential: My Traditional Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread recipe.
This recipe is one I have used for years and uses only the basic storage ingredients. The nice thing about this recipe, too, is that if you are running low on salt or sugar, even oil, you can eliminate those and still come up with a halfway decent loaf of bread. I will say that the touch of sugar and salt do give it an added flavor, and the oil just makes the dough generally softer. Yet it can be made with just the starter, water, and added flour.
This is a great recipe to use for making so many other goodies including soft pretzels, cinnamon rolls, sticky buns, or dinner rolls. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination. In fact, as I type this blog and tie up the loose ends on the recipe, a batch of Garlic Knots and loaf of Challah Bread for Sabbath are rising on the stove for nashing on during meals this weekend.
What will YOU use it for?
Traditional Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread
Yield: 2 nice loaves or 2 batches of rolls
1 - 1 1/2 Cups sourdough starter
1 3/4 cup water
1 tsp salt
3 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp oil (I prefer Olive Oil)
6-8 Cups of Whole Wheat Flour
Mix together the starter, water, salt, sugar, oil, and 2 Cups of the whole wheat flour. Mix well with a spatula or wooden spoon. Add more flour as needed and mix well. Continue adding flour until it can no longer be stirred in with your spoon or spatula. Sprinkle flour out onto the counter top where you will be kneading the dough. Pour the dough onto the floured counter, sprinkle more flour on top of dough. Mix with hands and add more flour as needed to make a soft, but not too sticky dough. You should be able to easily knead the dough without it sticking too much to your hands - this should not take more than 2-4 minutes.
Keep extra flour close by as it may be needed to keep the dough from sticking to your kneading surface. Set your timer for 10 minutes and knead the dough for a full 10 minutes for the best consistency. This is a great workout for your arms! Yes, ten minutes really is needed to fully release the gluten in your whole wheat dough! There are times I even feel the need to knead for an additional few minutes to ensure the elasticity of the dough.
When the timer goes off, shape your dough into the final product. Allow to rise for the amount required in the recipe for your final product. This could take from 1-7 hours, depending on final product and temperature of the room - a cooler room will take longer), or until nicely doubled. Please alot for this amount of time before serving in your prep time - in other words, if you want bread for breakfast and it's chilly in the house, make sure to make it up the night before to allow for proper rising time before baking a fresh hot loaf for morning!
Loaves: Cut the dough in half before rising. Shape into loaves and place into greased loaf pans. Allow to rise until double, usually about 4-7 hours for loaves. Bake in a preheated 375 F oven for 40-45 minutes. Brush with olive oil or butter, allow to cool slightly before removing from pan. Cut, serve or store.
NOTE: I often split the batch and use 1/2 to make pretzel nibs and 1/2 to make rolls or a loaf of bread!
Recipe Is Great For:
Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Hamburger and Hotdog Buns
Whatever your imagination can come up with!!! Possibilities are endless!
Basic Whole Grain Sourdough Starter
I have not been one to use white flour in a very long time. In fact, I can't recall the last time I honestly bought a bag of it from the store. I think it was about 5 years ago to make some recipe that "required" it. The white flour sat around for so long, that it turned into a block of white concrete in the New Jersey humidity! I ended up making the recipe that "required" it with whole wheat flour and it must have turned out okay because no one seems to recall a failed flour recipe!
Sourdough starter is one of those recipes that I will never make with white flour. Although some people may claim that you can't make the starter without it, white flour has not been around nearly as long as sourdough has. In fact, sourdough is closest to the biblical recipe as one can get these days. At least until someone discovers a recipe card in the mid-eastern deserts, that is!
It has been shown repeatedly that whole grains tend to have a better and often higher natural yeast content than any pre-ground, processed flour. This has also been my personal experience over the years. The starter I have created from whole wheat, faro or einkorn has been much more active, and healthier than anything I attempted "back in the day" with white flour. Because of this evidence, I much prefer to create our starter from the simple, old fashioned freshly ground whole grains.
Here is the recipe that I have gotten accustomed to using. It is very simple to create because it uses two ingredients that many people will have on hand in their food storage: Water and grains ground into flour.
Basic Whole Wheat Sourdough Starter
NOTE: Use this recipe for our Traditional Whole Wheat Sourdough
To begin your starter:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup room temperature, filtered water (about 70 degrees)
A glass jar, crock or bowl that can be easily, yet loosely covered. I like to use a glass quart size canning jar, a metal ring and a coffee filter. Place the flour and water into the jar and stir until very well combined, making sure that there is no dry flour left. Cover with the coffee filter and place the metal ring on. Let the mixture sit at room temperature (about 68-75 degrees is optimal) for 24 hours.
Day 2: There may or may not be activity showing as yet - activity would be little bubbles in the mix or there appearing to be more mix than the day before. It may just look like what you started with on day one. Either way, take 1/2 of the mixture, set it aside in a bowl (See below for ideas to do with the discarded starter so that you do not waste). To the mix remaining in the jar, add 1/2 cup of room temperature, filtered water and 1 scant Cup of whole grain flour. Mix well, recover, and let mixture rest at room temperature for another 24 hours.
Day 3: By day 3 you should be seeing some activity - bubbles, evidence of expanding dough. This is the day you will start feeding the dough 2 times per day. Try to feed it as evenly spaced apart as possible - 12 hours.
For each feeding, stir down the dough, then take a generous 1/2 cup of starter and mix it with 1 scant cup of whole wheat flour with 1/2 cup room temperature, filtered water. Stir thoroughly, cover, and set aside for approx 12 hours. Remember to use your discarded starter for something, or set it aside to use later with additional discarded starter.
Day 4: Repeat steps for Day 3.
Day 5: Repeat steps for Day 3. By the end of Day 5, you may start to see that the starter is “doubling" You should also see lots of bubbles, and it should have a tangy, tart, or “sour” but pleasant aroma. If it is not this active as yet, you may need to continue the feeding process for days 6 and 7. (On rare occasions, or in colder weather, it may take a bit longer to develop fully)
-- When the starter has reached the point described on Day 5, you will want to give it one final feeding before storing in the refrigerator. Feed as usual, mix well, let the starter rest for 4-8 hours to see a generous amount of bubbles breaking the surface of the starter. Now you may place it in the refrigerator for “permanent” storage.
Make sure to feed your starter at least once per week with 1 Scant cup of whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup water, just as you have fed it during the process. By removing all but 1/2 cup from the permanent container, setting aside the removed portion to make a loaf of bread, rolls, or other recipe. To the remaining 1/2 cup add your water and flour. I like to leave it out on the counter for about an hour to rest before putting it back into the refrigerator, just to give it a little time to start its process.
Now you can enjoy fresh sourdough bread products any time you would like to!
NOTE: If I allow the starter to set in the fridge for a week, I often see a brown or dark liquid on top of the starter. This is a sign that your starter is HUNGRY! Feed it! It is best that you not allow it to get to that point, though, so that you do not starve it to the point of inactivity. This liquid is commonly known as "hooch" and is a naturally occurring alcohol. YES, this should be pour off and discarded before feeding your starter. I find that if "hooch" happens more often, it means I need to feed it more often.
More troubleshooting tips can be found here:
I am always a fan of waste-not-want-not, so I do not dispose of our sourdough starter when we are starting a new batch every spring. When the recipe says to discard it, I always discard it right into a bowl and make pretzels, bagels, or muffins from it. BUT my favorite is to make whole wheat crackers and have them with some cheese. Here's my favorite recipe for a tasty snack:
Need A Tasty Snack from Your Food Storage?
We love crackers with soup, hummus, or just to have around for nashing with some cheeses. Gluten Free crackers can sometimes be expensive and I love baking so why not try to create a recipe that can easily be made at home? I had a recipe for an almond cracker that we sometimes like, but after a while the flavor of the almonds gets to be mundane and you would like a change.
Using my old recipe, I tried to measure out the right replacement for the THRIVE Gluten Free flour and the first batch created a very dry dough that I kept adding water to until it felt about right, soft and rollable but not sticky. It wasn’t too bad once I found the right texture, but when they baked up they were HARD. Almost too hard to break.
I recalled my first year of eating gluten free and remembered that many flours need to be exchanged by WEIGHT, not by measuring cup. So I weighed out the almond flour, and it weighed in at 8 ounces. I don’t recall exactly how much almond meal it was by cups, but 8 ounces would work. Trying the recipe again, using 8 ounces of Thrive GF Flour, the crackers turned out perfectly.
Now that I make these at least once a week, I am honestly tired of rolling them out with a rolling pin. It can be a challenge to get it just the right thickness every time. One morning I had a brilliant idea - why not use my pasta machine! I dug it out of the cupboard and after mixing the dough, within just a few minutes, I had all the dough rolled out into almost the same sized strips with uniform thickness! You may find that you need to sprinkle a little bit of Rice flour as you press the dough through the pasta machine, but I did not have to and it went through perfectly, without sticking anywhere. Then I was able to cut each strip down the middle, and cut those strips into bite sized crackers, bake as usual! Now I am trying to figure out what else I can use that pasta machine for with my Gluten Free Flour!
Now go bake some crackers and make a pot of soup, then enjoy!
Gluten Free Crackers
8 oz Gluten Free Flour (WEIGHED not measured in cups)
1 tsp Himalayan Pink Sea Salt
4-6 oz filtered water
1/4 tsp baking powder, optional, makes a slightly lighter cracker
Salt, dried garlic (finely chopped), dried onion (finely chopped), or other toppings if desired.
IMPORTANT NOTE FOR THIS RECIPE: This recipe was created to use THRIVE GF Flour mix, but can be used with other GF Flours as well. The key for this one is that it is NOT a “Cups" recipe, and needs to have the flour measured out in ounces. Many GF flours are different by weight, so this is very important for the right consistency dough.
Preheat oven to 400. Mix all dry ingredients well. Place a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and gently pour in about 4 ounces of the water, setting aside the rest in case it is needed. Mix all ingredients together with a fork until forms a nice ball. The dough needs to be soft, but NOT sticky. If it is too dry, add a little more water, 1Tbsp at a time and mix well. Knead gently for just a minute or two. Cut dough in half. On parchment, roll out one half very thin. Then do the same with the other half. With a fork, poke holes in the dough to allow steam to escape while cooking. Cut to desired size using pizza cutter. I usually cut to individual cracker sizes, like snack crackers.
Bake for 5-15 minutes, depending on size you cut the crackers into. Watch them carefully and if they need more cooking time, only add 2-3 minutes at a time so that they do not over-cook or burn. These can go from almost done to burnt in just a short period of time. So PLEASE remember to keep an eye on them, don't get distracted - because the over done ones taste nasty! Depending on your humidity outside and inside they can last for up to a month. Store in an airtight container or jar. Serve with your favorite dip, soup, salsa, cheese, or hummus.
VARIATIONS: Add 1-2 tsp rosemary to the crackers for a taste treat. You can also add other herbs or spices to go with the dip, cheese, or soup you will be serving these with, or Parmesan cheese to the dry ingredients, before adding water. With dry herbs or Parmesan, you may need to add a bit more water to make it roll-able. Herb suggestions: Dill, onion, garlic, chive, chili powder, Thyme.
Need Something to Serve with Soups or Curry? Gluten Free Naan Bread Makes a Great Addition
We love naan bread served with curried foods, and with just about any kind of stew like dish. It just makes such a wonderfully light bread addition to any meal. This recipe isn't quite like the ones made in restaurants, but it is a nice substitute. These can go with so many different dishes by just switching out your spices and herbs. Play with it - have fun! Create something wonderful and share your flavor taste treats with us in the comments.
Gluten Free Naan Bread
1 Tbsp ground Chia seeds +1 Tbsp water, place in a bowl & sit a minute
1 Cup Gluten Free Flour
1 Cup Organic Whole Milk (Or 1 Cup water & 4-5 Tbsp THRIVE Powdered Milk)Salt to taste
Spices: Fresh or dried dill, curry powder, onion powder, garlic powder
Mix together all ingredients. Batter should be somewhat runny so that when you place it on the griddle it flows evenly. Heat an electric griddle to 350 degrees F. Pour about 1/3 cup batter onto hot griddle, spread thin with a spatula, keeping in a circle shape as best as possible. Allow to cook first side until top is no longer wet and flowing, without burning bottom. Flip and cook the second side just until done. Remove from griddle and continue until all batter is used up. Stack naan breads in a circular pattern on the serving plate to keep them warm and to make ready for serving. Serve with Curried chicken, humus, baba ganoush, or any of your favorite fillings. Also delicious spiced with southwestern spices and served as a soft taco shell or wrap.
You can also vary the gluten free in gredients a bit for a slightly different flavor. Here are two alternate recipes that I have used with success - the one with coconut flour has a distinct coconut flavor and may not go with all main dish meals.
Alternate Recipe 1
1 Tbsp ground Chia seeds + 1 Tbsp water, place these in bowl & sit a minute
1/2 Cup Almond Flour
1/2 Cup Gluten Free Flour
1 Cup Organic Coconut Milk (Or 1 Cup Organic whole milk, or 1 Cup water & 4-5 Tbsp Powdered milk, for creamier texture)
Salt and herbs to taste
Alternate Recipe 2
1 Tbsp ground Chia seeds plus 1 Tbsp water, place in bowl & sit a minute
1 Cup Almond Flour
1/8 Cup Gluten Free Flour
3 Tbsp Coconut Flour
1 1/2 Cups whole milk
Salt and herbs to taste
I think of all my gluten-free recipes, the Gluten Free Rolls is one of my most used and favorites. It is so flexible and quick to make. It does take a bit of time to rise, sometimes up to 2 hours depending on kitchen temps, but still its fast and easy. You can whip it up in a few minutes, and then shape it into whatever you want, let it rise while you do several other things around the house! Then bake and hide. . . . yes, hide. . . Once the rolls are done baking, you may have to hide them until dinner is served or there won't be any left!
I have used this recipe for hot dog buns, hamburger buns, rolls for meatball sandwiches, flat bread, pizza crust and my latest - focaccia! I wanted to share photos with you of the process, because this one was a bit different than just molding into the shape for the desired rolls. I will have to upload those later after I make another batch because it was so good with the basil, oregano, garlic, onion, and olive oil that it didn't stick around long enough for a finished photo.
In the mean time, what you will need to mix up the focaccia is:
The Recipe for Gluten Free Dinner Rolls and add
3/4 tsp dry basil
1/2 tsp dry oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
More or less to personal taste.
Add the dry herbs and spices to the dry ingredients of the Dinner Roll Recipe and mix well. Mix as usual and the set aside while you grease a baking sheet or stone. The dough will be soft. Olive oil works wonderful for the pan and adds great flavor to the bottom of the Focaccia.
Place the dough on the baking sheet. Wet hands and spread the dough out a little bit, then cover with a piece of parchment paper. Using your hands or a rolling pin on top of the parchment, work the dough out toward the edges until it is about 1/2-5/8 inch thick. carefully remove the parchment - it will likely stick, so pull back carefully to try avoiding tearing the dough. Allow to rise for 45-60 minutes (Some days I allow it to rise for up to two hours if it's chilly). Brush gently with olive oil and, if desired, sprinkle with parmesan. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15-18 minutes. Cut into desired sized pieces and serve warm with soups, pastas, casseroles, or just enjoy!
Gluten-Free Dinner Rolls
Have you been looking for a simple yet tasty recipe for gluten free dinner rolls that your family will enjoy? We have a recipe for you that uses just 8 simple ingredients, and the end result is a delicious roll that is perfect with soups, salads, and pasta dishes. This recipe can be whipped up and left to rise in just a few minutes, then risen and baked golden brown, brushed with butter and served hot in just about an hour and a half. We have served them brushed with plain melted butter and even with fresh pressed garlic and melted butter, for a nice hot garlic roll. Italian spices added into the dry ingredients would spice them up a bit to go with the evenings Spaghetti and meatballs, or some Southwestern spices to go with a hot and spicy casserole. Let your imagination run away with them and enjoy!
GLUTEN FREE Dinner Rolls
1 Cup warm water (approx 100-110 degrees)
1/4 Cup Sugar
2 tsp Instant Yeast
2 1/2 Cups Gluten Free Flour
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds, ground (may also use 1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum)
1 tsp Salt
1 egg, room temperature
2 Tbsp butter, melted
Mix together the warm water and 2 Tbsp. of the sugar. Add the yeast and allow to sit while you mix together the dry ingredients. Place the dry ingredients, including the balance of the sugar, in the mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly. With mixer on low speed, pour in water, sugar, yeast mixture, then add egg, and melted butter. Mix on medium speed for 3 minutes. Mixture should be slightly gooey, but not too sticky. Add a small amount more of flour if needed. Grease an 8 or 9 inch round baking pan. Scoop 8-9 mounds into the pan to look like a pan of dinner rolls. (Hint: Scoop one into the middle and then 8 around the outside edges for even spacing). Dip fingertips into water and smooth out the tops. Cover with a dry towel and let rise in a warm place 45 - 60 minutes. During the last few minutes of rising time, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. When oven is ready bake for 25-28 minutes until tops are golden brown. Brush finished rolls with additional melted butter and serve hot.
Brush with melted olive oil or butter to which has been added crushed garlic or garlic powder for garlic rolls. Also great hot right out of the oven and dipped into herbed olive oil.
Judith has over 30 years experience in food storage, herbs, essential oils, and prepping. She was a captain in the USAF-AUX, FEMA trained, Community Emergency Response Team member and NRA marksmanship award recipient. She shares her experiences with her readers offering tips and recipes.
The information shared is our personal opinion and should NEVER be considered a substitute for professional medical, nutritional, or other expert advice. Information contained is not for the purposes of diagnosing, or treating any disease or medical condition. Any endorsement of products should not be considered an un-biased review since we are paid and compensated when you purchase products from this site.