I’m so glad that the other full-season intern has joined us… mainly because she’s thoughtful, good-natured, and all-around awesome. (Plus she appreciates my cooking and laughs loud and hard at my jokes.) But also because, as I have mentioned so many times before, I love to have someone to share meals with, and to inspire new exploration and learning in the kitchen.
Her arrival has already nudged me into new terrain: gluten-free sourdough. This is certainly not the first time I’ve shared a kitchen with someone avoiding gluten, and it was no hardship to find oodles of naturally gluten-free dishes we could enjoy. The various all-purpose gluten free flour blends out there make it ridiculously easy to also adapt muffins, biscuits, cookies, and other quick breads and desserts.
Bread baking is another story entirely. The magic of a loaf of bread, especially naturally leavened sourdough breads, is woven from the carefully cultivated relationship between yeast and gluten. Without gluten, bread baking requires all kinds of tricks that can only partly approximate the loft and texture made possible by this ancient alchemy.
Nonetheless, I wasn’t willing to abandon my sourdough habit, just as I was getting into the swing of things, nor could I imagine simply carrying on filling our kitchen with all kind of tempting sourdough baked goods only I could eat. And so, I switched my starter over to an oat-flour diet — which it has been gobbling down without complaint — and am slowly easing my way into gluten-free sourdough baking. I’m working up to making a loaf of bread soon, but for now, sourdough pancakes and these sourdough biscuits have really been hitting the spot.
And of course, if you don’t have a reason to avoid gluten, feel free to make these with any starter and flour you care to! And if you don’t yet have a sourdough starter bubbling away, give the “cheating” version a try!
1/2 cup GF all-purpose flour
1/2 cup oat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter or coconut oil
1 cup GF sourdough starter
Combine dry ingredients, then cut in butter to form small crumbs, then mix in sourdough starter to form a thick dough. Press into a disc and chill in bowl until ready to use, at least an hour, ideally for at least 7 hours or overnight. Alternately, the dough can be left to ripen at room temperature for several hours, as long as it is chilled before shaping the biscuits so that the dough is easy to handle. When ready to bake, roll dough out to about 1 inch thick, cut into biscuit shapes, or form press handfuls into discs, lay on a greased baking sheet, and bake at 400°F for 15-25 minutes, until set and lightly browned on the bottom. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before devouring. Yum!