I realize that I only just started a couple of days ago, but my urge to experiment with the gluten free thing is already fizzling.
The sourdough starter I created seemed great--bubbly, slightly sour/yeasty smelling, about right, and not gross or anything. But I can't seem to figure out what to aim for. Am I looking for a batter bread recipe?? Where you don't really rise it, but just mix and bake?? (the presence of baking powder inclines me to think so) Or am I looking to mix a stiffer dough-type mixture that has to rise before baking...And the absence of xanthan gum baffles me. For all of you who may not know what I am talking about, xanthan gum replaces gluten in gf baking. In regular baking, the gluten is the binding agent that holds the starch and bran particles suspended in the dough, so the flour doesn't just fall to the bottom with a layer of water on the top. Well, in gf baking, the flours settle on the bottom and the liquid collects on the top, if your mixture is more of a batter. The invention of xanthan gum works as a defloculant (sp?), and provides enough tooth to the liquid to keep the particles afloat through the baking process. This is why you may see it in salad dressings, chocolate milk(to keep the chocolate from settling at the bottom) and other things that need this sort of thickener. According to the ingredient list, there is none in the gluten free bread from this bakery...All the ones I have tried to make not using it are heavy, dense, and/or gummy. The bakery bread is light, springy and has a good firm, whole grain bread texture.
Anyway, I have tried three different recipes and they all have flopped miserably...I just threw them away. They smelled overly sour, didn't rise well, and had a brittle, crumbly texture.
So for now, I think I shall leave gf bread baking up to the experts, and content myself with simply eating the fruits of their labor...
If I change my mind and try again, I'll let you all know.