The Homestead Oven

gluten-free sourdough bread, pizza & more

Making our bread at home is easy. Try following the recipe below, and let us know if you run into any issues. You will need:

  • 20 g cold sourdough starter (from the fridge)
  • 100g oat flour
  • 115g buckwheat flour
  • 130g millet flour
  • 155g tapioca flour
  • 500g room-temperature water
  • 16g psyllium husk powder
  • 10g salt
  • 12g sugar
  • Oil to brush the loaf with, we recommend sunflower seed oil
  • A covered baking vessel is highly recommended

In the evening, the day before you plan on baking, you will need to make what we call a sponge. This is a mixture of equal parts water and flour, plus a small amount of sourdough starter. This small amount of starter will ferment the entire mixture overnight, creating an cornucopia of beneficial yeasts, bacteria and flavors. If you need to make a sourdough starter, visit Preparing and Caring For Your Starter.

Begin by mixing these 4 flours together:

  • 100g Oat flour
  • 115g Buckwheat flour
  • 130g Millet flour
  • 155g Tapioca starch

Mix them well, and set aside. Next, take 20g of cold sourdough starter from the fridge, and in a new bowl, add 250g of room temperature water. Mix the starter and water thoroughly, so the starter is completely dissolved. Add 250g of the flour mix to the starter and water, and, again, mix well. Wrap the bowl in a plastic bag, tie it closed, and place in a warm area overnight. We keep ours between 75f and 80f, but anything above 70f will do.

In the morning:

After the sponge has been fermenting for 8-10 hours, take it out of it’s warm place. It should be bubbling and smelling of delicious things to come. Add another 250g of room-temperature water to the sponge, and mix well. Then add:

  • 10g salt
  • 12g. sugar
  • (optional) Dried herbs such as Caraway, Fennel, Anise and Rosemary

Mix the salt, sugar, herbs and sponge very well, dissolving the salt and sugar evenly throughout. Next, mix the rest of the flour with the sponge, as completely as possible. You will be left with a soupy, sweet smelling mixture that in no way resembles dough. Yet. Set the mixture aside for 10 minutes or so, to let the newly added flour absorb the liquid.

The final, and perhaps most vital ingredient in the recipe, is added next. To the soupy flour mixture, add 16 grams of powdered psyillium husk, and stir in quickly. As you stir, the psyllium husk will begin to thicken the mixture, so don’t slow down until it is dissolved evenly and completely. Let this mixture sit and thicken for the next 10 minutes while you prepare the rising basket or loaf pan.

Rising and baking:

We let our bread rise in floured (with tapioca starch) rising baskets, but you can also just let it rise right in a greased loaf pan if that is what you will be baking in. Prepare your rising vessel and set aside.

After 10 minutes or so, the mixture should be thickening up well and resembling dough. Take a spatula and scrape the sides of of the bowl down, while also folding the bottom and sides of the dough up over the dough’s top. After a minute of this, you will have created a ball-shaped lump of dough in the middle of the bowl.

Grease your hands with oil or ghee, and use your hands to quickly pick up the dough ball from the bowl. It will hold itself together, but will ooze out of your hands if you don’t keep it moving. Holding the dough ball, turn in your hands over and over, creating a smoother and smoother surface. When the whole ball is somewhat smooth and oiled, gently place it in your rising vessel. It will slowly settle and fill out the empty space.

Wrap the rising vessel in plastic, tie off, and place back in a warm place. We let our bread rise 2-4 hours, until it is 1/3 to 1/2 larger in size. Watch the dough, not the clock.

When it looks like it is getting close, preheat the oven to 450f. If you are baking in a covered vessel as we do, let it heat up in the oven. Using a dutch oven, clay baker or other covered vessel will greatly improve the rise and crust of the bread, so we highly recommend it. Using a regular loaf pan will also work, just don’t expect huge oven spring.

When the oven is preheated and the dough is ready to bake:

If you are using a covered vessel, get a piece of parchment paper ready. You will use this paper to transfer the loaf from the rising basket to the hot baking vessel, so make it large enough to hold the dough like a sling.

Before going further, remove out the baking vessel from the oven, and take off the lid. Remember, your baking vessel is VERY hot.

In one hand (my left), hold the parchment paper in the middle. In the other, the rising basket. In one smooth movement, turn dough over onto the parchment paper in your other hand. Set the dough down on the countertop, and slowly lift the rising basket away from the dough. This may take some practice to execute smoothly, don’t worry.

Lightly brush the surface of the exposed dough with oil (we use sunflower seed), and lightly slash the dough in whatever pattern you desire. For circular loves (boules) we like the cross-hatch or square, and long loaves expand nicely with angled lines down the middle. Or be creative! Just remember that the direction and depth of your scoring will determine which way, and how much, the bread expands while rising.

Pick up the sides of the parchment paper and gently set into your waiting baking vessel. Put on the lid and place into the oven. Bake for 20 minutes with the lid on, and then 20 minutes with the lid off. The interior of the loaf should be at least 200f when finished.

Set on a cooling rack until it is cooled down completely, 2 or 3 hours at least. This is important, as the bread will continue to cook and firm up as it cools.

If you are using a loaf pan, just brush with oil and bake for 30-40 mins, or when the internal temperature is 200f. Turn the baked loaf out onto a rack and let cool.