Recently someone said in my hearing that sourdough is safe for gluten avoiders to eat. I thought, nope. Then I heard it again from a neighbor. I asked a few questions. This very nice neighbor and I share gf baked goods with each other. It turns out she has tummy issues that are causing wheat intolerance. I have celiac. She finds that sourdough bread is very digestible for her. I had to explain that if I ate regular sourdough it would not be at all safe for me. The sourdough process does not remove or magically inactivate the gluten in the wheat based flour. Sadly nope. Would be nice if that were so.
But I do have to say that I have been making some gluten free sourdough baked goods and find that they are delicious and not crazy difficult. The scones I posted a couple of weeks ago come to mind. So tasty, what great texture and flavor! And I have twice made delicious gf sourdough breads; one using white flours that I added oats and oat flour to base flour as well as seeds like poppy and fax seed. Makes such incredible toast. The other bread success has been the raisin bread; a fruited version of a plain sourdough loaf. Both recipes came from a facebook group for gluten free sourdough bakers who want to help each other bake gf sourdough foods. If you are on fb; put in that topic and you should find them. This awesome group has lots of recipes in their home page top right at “files”. And folks answer your questions when a bake turns out less than optimal.
I feel that sourdough breads have a better crumb and texture than regular gf breads. They toast up simply amazing, sort of like an English muffin bread. Makes great sandwiches. Lovely for us celiacs who miss good bread in a deep and fundamental way. I actually have eaten a lot less bread since going gf, its expensive and sometimes very disappointing so I just kept finding ways to avoid it. Baking bread that is worth the time and ingredients can be very hit or miss. My French baguettes are delicious, and my Italian fennel and golden raisin wide loaves are wonderful but I have also made many subpar loaves of gf bread over the past 9 years. Gummy, heavy, grainy and poor flavor plus they often only taste good the day you bake them. I strongly urge you just take a minute and check out this gf sourdough group on fb. Another recent and strong source for possible gf bake recipes are the two cookbooks out by Aran Goyoaga. Last month I bought Cannelle et Vanille in hardcover which is mostly very interesting components of a healthy meal using lots of flavors and lots of vegetables and I just got Cannelle et Vanille Bakes Simple on kindle. I haven’t baked much yet from either book but I hear a lot of good buzz in social media from gluten free bakers. Folks on fb call her CV as a nickname, now you are in the know too! I will report in this blog on how bread turns out when I use her recipes.
As I wrote above, the ones out of the gf sourdough bread bakers on fb are pretty tasty, the raisin and current loaf was amazing fresh and delish toasted a couple days later. I froze a lot of it and it defrosts quickly in my microwave before toasting slices to give it all those golden nooks and crannies. The seeded one makes awesome avocado toast and I love it toasted along with a couple of eggs in the morning. Just know that these gf sourdough breads take several hours to rise, can’t be rushed. AG’s Bakes Simple has several non sourdough bread recipes. Also other kinds of baked goods. They are much quicker than sourdough; use yeast from the store. Enjoy!
Meanwhile, join that gf sourdough group on fb (who would have ever thought that such a group exists!) and make a starter; takes about 7-10 days. I used CV’s recipe that is made with brown rice flour. It’s not that difficult to stir up a loaf if you have a stand mixer and you might really enjoy watching the slow rise of a tasty loaf of gf sourdough bread.
Raisin bread before I cut into it. Incredible scent and flavor. Mmmmm best raisin bread ever!
I feed my starter most every day; just a little bit and try to discard some each week. I guess it is time for some scones this weekend! I made some interesting chocolate chip sourdough cookies the other day; uses just almond flour so it is a bit grainy to me, made also with coconut sugar and coconut oil so kinda healthy but just not quite the texture I am dreaming of. My favorite CC recipe is King Arthur’s recipe. I love how you can form and freeze the cookies in a ziplock bag and bake just as many as I like. I guess I will live without sourdough in them! Back to the sourdough scones; there is nothing going less than perfect with them. Incredible flavor and impeccable texture. This weekend it is raspberry time!
Eating gluten free can seem impossible when you first explore the possibility of giving up all sources of gluten. But then a few weeks or months you are able to make it work, you find gluten free flours, mixes, recipes for naturally gluten free meals and ones for gluten free breads, rolls, cakes, pies and cookies. After a while great food comes out of your kitchen that anyone is happy to enjoy.
composed shrimp salad with green goddess dressing
But, there are days that are difficult for someone with celiac. Days where I crave a real wheat based New York bagel toasted and topped with cream cheese. A slice of pizza from either of my favorite parlors of past years when I could eat pizza anywhere it was sold. Days where I would give anything to just walk into a hoagie shop and buy a big Italian sub with all the trimmings, not asking any questions, just forking over my money and diving into that big fatty treat with that crisp and tender roll made with wheat flour. Real puff pastry formed into crust for a dainty dessert. Oh so many things I miss.
quiche with bacon and mushrooms
Still, I am so glad to be healthy. I don’t need any medicine to combat my celiac disease. Just better food choices. And I find many things can be replicated out of gf flours and grains. Folks are often surprised by how tasty my gf desserts are. They are shocked by cookies that are even more delicate and flavorful made with my favorite gf flour blend. My pie crust is just wonderful, I honestly don’t miss the old one at all. And I make cobblers, crisps, waffles and pancakes. So many tasty treats and entrees that I have swapped out all purpose flour for a gf flour choice. It can be done and it gets easier over time. I avoid eating too many processed gf foods; my preference is to cook from scratch and make the majority of my food in my own kitchen. Free of chemicals and weird things that are so unhealthy; like hydrogenated fats or excessive sugar or salt which is much better for all of my body. So, I am doing great.
Fig and Greek yogurt cake
Please don’t feel sorry for me or anyone you know with celiac. We are doing just fine and enjoying great food while being so much healthier. I would much rather give up gluten than give up chocolate! Truth.
This is a brief post for anyone who hasn’t found a support group to help them deal with celiac disease.
If you are looking for help in adjusting to celiac disease and are active on facebook there are several national and international celiac support groups you can join. I am in a few and find them helpful in a variety of ways: people post concerns and others respond with ideas or answers. Recipes get posted, menu ideas shared as well as discussions on the safety of a wide variety of processed foods from rice mixes to chips to teas and a thousand foods in between. You can put up pictures of tasty food you are serving, ask about places to dine out gf on vacation and share how your meals out went. If you desire you can get personal; discuss your symptoms, treatments and test results in detail with others who suffer similarly.
Some of these are international and some more USA based. Just ask to be added, I have never been turned down by a group and you don’t have to post anything, just treat it as another good celiac resource.
Check them out. I doubt you will regret joining one and the wealth of support is a real boon when you feel “oh so alone” in your gluten free status.
There are also local chapters of national celiac organizations; just google and check them out.
Another site I like is glutenfreephilly.com. I used that site to find a great restaurant in Philadelphia last week for dinner after the flower show. Had used it once before – works all over PA, NJ and Delaware.
It sure can’t hurt to have more resources for help especially if you are new to being gluten free.
Let me provide some minor clarifications for those who had questions about me and my blog. Yes, I have celiac disease, diagnosed 2.5 years ago but probably sick for 3 years before; getting worse until the docs started seriously looking for a cause. And yes, I had it as a kid; why I always had a tummy ache, couldn’t get to sleep, couldn’t gain any wait, thin as a rail and very anxious. Bunch of other symptoms we won’t mention here for brevity’s sake. Illness disappeared by age 18 (no one could figure that one out back then) and did not return until serious stress about 5 years ago. This is not that uncommon with childhood celiac.
I do have one person in my family who has celiac, rest claim not. I have my doubts. It does run in families. I wish they would all get tested.
I never ever post recipes that I haven’t made myself. Most recipes are versions of ones I have found in cookbooks or on line say at foodnetwork.com. I seldom make a recipe exactly as it originally is. I am a collector of cookbooks but I have gotten rid of a lot of baking ones. They made me sad. I have several new gf ones I am fond of.
I eat lots of vegetables and fruits: adore them but not fond of creamed corn, stewed tomatoes or succotash. Love potatoes, pasta and some beans. I do eat some sort of meat protein most days but completely enjoy a well crafted vegetarian entree. I am not fond of raw proteins. Nope. Nor organ meats or wild critters like rabbit or snake. Not tried alligator yet. Love elk, or deer and accept all donations of excess frozen venison. And yes, I love baking pies and muffins….made some apple muffins last night!
Love cooking, love sharing food, love sharing recipes, that’s me. Enjoy writing an awful lot; gives me a real rush to share my own posts. I do this for that joyful moment when I push the publish button. I hope I help educate those without celiac and give food/meal ideas to those who cook for someone with celiac. Cooking should be fun as well as creative. Substituting stuff for things you don’t have is okay! Being celiac is a challenge, not a death sentence. I eat great and feel fantastic and I think that shows in many areas of my life. My motto is Cook, Eat, Love and Write. I cook so you have something great to eat!