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Soaking Grains For Gluten Free Baking
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I went gluten free on Saturday, so I'm new to gluten free baking. I'm a fairly experienced cook/baker. Up until recently I made bread and baked goods for my family every day. If you've heard about or read Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon you'll understand when I ask if I can soak my gluten free flours the same way I did wheat.

Normally I would just use buttermilk or yogurt and let them soak 18-24 hours. Can I do the same thing with gluten free flours- chickpea, rice, brown rice, millet etc? Does it alter the recipe or taste?

I'm trying to reconcile my desire to neutralize phytic acid and my desire to eat edible baked goods- which is difficult enough on a gluten free diet!

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I went gluten-free in November, after H1N1 in September. gluten-free flours do not bind with liquids the same way wheat flours do. If by adding liquids you're referring to making sour dough, yes you can make and use gluten-free sour dough and starters. Initially, it is easiest and best to learn about strengths and weaknesses of the various gluten-free flours if you follow the gluten-free bread recipes fairly exactly, including whether to use the oven or a breadmaker. Some of my initial breads collapsed, but because they weren't gummy like wheat would have been, I ran them through the food processor and use the crumbs for breading. Some of the loaves were a bit too moist, and because the water doesn't bind as well, the breads gradually collapsed through time. I fixed this by rotating the loaves so the liquid dispersed. There are some great bread cookbooks, like Betty Hagman's, and recipes online, such as at the Red Mill site (http://www.bobsredmill.com/recipes.php). The Red Mill gluten-free bread flour is easy to start with. Xanathan gum is great for elasticity, otherwise the loaves are crumbly. Guar gum is good, too. I use a lot of different flours now, and I like the breads and other baked goods better than the wheat goods. Flavors are more complex (of course it helps that I can retain them). I am very sensitive to gluten, but I can eat sourdough wheat/rye/barley bread as long as it has been resting for a few days so the bacteria have time to do their magic. Baking gluten-free is quite fascinating and much healthier. I hope you have great fun with your baking.

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I do soak grains like rice, quinoa, sorghum and buckwheat overnight before cooking them to make them easier to digest. I haven't tried it with flour but I have heard of the practice.

Let me know if you try it. I would be interested.

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I would be interested to know if you have success with this as well. I'm familiar with Sallon Fallon's book and methods. I never would have thought to try soaking other grains though.

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After a bit of searching, it seems there is quite a lot of controversy over the whole phytic acid thing. If it turns out to be of real importance, I'd wonder if one could simply add some phytase enzymes to the dough.

But not all grains have the levels of phytic acid found in wheat, barley, rye and oats. I looked for a list of grains and the phytic acid levels, but did not find anything (accept one site selling info).

I did see some references to phytic acid having benefit against certain types of cancer, though I didn't pursue that.

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After a bit of searching, it seems there is quite a lot of controversy over the whole phytic acid thing. If it turns out to be of real importance, I'd wonder if one could simply add some phytase enzymes to the dough.

But not all grains have the levels of phytic acid found in wheat, barley, rye and oats. I looked for a list of grains and the phytic acid levels, but did not find anything (accept one site selling info).

I did see some references to phytic acid having benefit against certain types of cancer, though I didn't pursue that.

There IS a lot of controversy over the issue. I figure it's better to be safe than sorry and it doesn't really take much more time to soak as long as you prepare ahead.

I never even considered making a sourdough gluten free bread! What type of flours would you use for that? I LOVE sourdough and it was one of the things I felt most bad about missing out on.

I've heard some people with celiac and gluten intolerance do okay with properly prepared sourdough but I would be afraid to chance it...I mean, even if you don't have an immediate physical response it could still be doing long term damage, right? Does fermenting it in anyway diminish the gluten content?

I'm new to gluten free baking so I'm going to try out some recipes as written first to see what they are *supposed* to taste like and then I'll try modifying them with soaked flours and see what happens.

I enjoy making quick breads, pancakes, desserts etc with coconut flour (which is nice because then I don't have to soak) but sometimes I don't have a dozen eggs on hand to make a batch of waffles!

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There IS a lot of controversy over the issue. I figure it's better to be safe than sorry and it doesn't really take much more time to soak as long as you prepare ahead.

I never even considered making a sourdough gluten free bread! What type of flours would you use for that? I LOVE sourdough and it was one of the things I felt most bad about missing out on.

I've heard some people with celiac and gluten intolerance do okay with properly prepared sourdough but I would be afraid to chance it...I mean, even if you don't have an immediate physical response it could still be doing long term damage, right? Does fermenting it in anyway diminish the gluten content?

I'm new to gluten free baking so I'm going to try out some recipes as written first to see what they are *supposed* to taste like and then I'll try modifying them with soaked flours and see what happens.

I enjoy making quick breads, pancakes, desserts etc with coconut flour (which is nice because then I don't have to soak) but sometimes I don't have a dozen eggs on hand to make a batch of waffles!

You can make sourdough bread that is gluten free by using gluten free flours and a gluten free starter. Bette Hagman has some recipes in her book but I haven't tried them yet.

Some people with wheat intolerance can eat essene bread which is made from sprouted wheat grains. Apparently the soaking process does change the chemical make-up of the wheat. But you can't make a gluten free sourdough just by soaking regular flour. It takes really serious processing and refining to get rid of gluten, eg distilled spirits or glucose syrup.

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