Sourdough Boule with Parmesan and Fresh Rosemary

I am excited to share this boule with you!  I have been working on gluten free sourdough bread as I still miss that nice crusty hearty tangy loaf.  Thanks to Jeanne Sauvage of Art of Gluten-Free Baking for making my search for great sourdough easier.


I sometimes like to wing it.  Just plain make something totally from scratch no recipe no measurements no rules.  I usually fail but I get really excited during the process, so maybe it’s worth it.  I decided to do that with some sourdough.  I made a starter by throwing together a combo of flours I don’t even remember and then added a dash of yeast.  I let it sit on the counter for days, feeding it occasionally.  Once I thought it was properly sour, I added some more flours and maybe some xanthan gum and probably a dash of olive oil   Then defying all the gluten free rules, I decided to knead the dough. So I did, then I let it rise.  It didn’t rise much but I baked it anyway.  It was a nice sour lump of rock.  I added far too much gf flour in the attempt to make it kneadable.  Gluten free breads almost always start out as a stiff batter, but I was in baking denial.  However, the attempt did get me baking again and it’s been quite a while.

So I searched for recipes.  I felt like I had cheated using yeast to begin with even though it did sour over time.  I found this great starter/poolish recipe also from Jeanne.  So I started another starter to compare.

Of course I didn’t have any cabbage on hand so I just started it on the counter hoping that the yeast gods would be kind to me.  Three days later after showing some sign of bubbling but no sour smell, I did add some cabbage leaves to a small portion of the starter, left it for a day and then added it to the rest of the batch.  It was nice and sour tasting.

sourdough with parmesan and rosemary

Here is what I did for my starter:


1 cup sorghum flour

1/2 cup navy bean flour ( i did try a batch with garbanzo/besan/chickpea flour but for me the bitterness came through in a non appealing way)

1.5 cups of water

a couple of red cabbage leaves torn into large pieces – mine were not organic

You want a mixture of a higher protein flour to better replicate wheat flour, thus the navy bean flour which is full of protein.


Mix the flours and water together, this will be pretty liquidy batter like.  Pour into your fermenting container of choice.  I used a 2 quart glass mason jar as then I can see the action.  Stir in your cabbage leaves.  I left mine open and stirred it ever so often.  If this were summer time, I would probably cover it, but no flies are out and about in Michigan right now.  I was hoping for some wild yeast to help the process.

Jeanne recommends adding more flour and water every 12 hours, I forgot and added it each morning.  Then mix it up.  Once you see the bubbling your yeast has arrived, so give it another day or two to fully develop.  Then remove the cabbage leaves.  They do leave a bit of a purple tinge, but that will get diluted once you add more ingredients to your starter.

From there I strictly follow Jeanne’s recipe so I won’t post it since you should go to her page and read all her research on the project.  I did use King Arthur’s Gluten Free flour mix for my flour mixture.  I really like it although it is expensive.  It seems to be a well thought out combination of flours and starches. By strictly I mean I follow her proportions and directions.  Of course I add things to it but we will get to that in a minute. Once the dough is in the parchment paper and rising bowl, I sprinkle a bit of rice flour on top and smooth it over. After the dough has risen and just before plopping it into the heated dutch oven, I slash a pattern into the dough.  Adding the rice flour makes the pattern much more distinctive and easier to slice without pulling the dough.

bread in a dutch oven

Since I don’t eat a lot of bread and my hubby is only here every third weekend, I choose to make a half batch.  One small boule using my 2 quart Staub dutch oven. That is what is pictured above.

Things I have added to my loaves of bread:

Parmesan chunks, rosemary, garlic powder and black pepper, sometimes slices of green olive too

Caraway seed, dehydrated onion and a dash of cocoa powder to make a “rye” style.

Gluten free rye style sourdough

If you are experimenting with sourdough too, please let me know your success and tips!

i’m out

Moriarty’s Mug

Moriarty's Mug

St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner.  Of course I start saying that around August as it’s one of my 2 favorite “sort of” holidays of the year.  I am giving you this recipe so that you have plenty of time to try it and have it ready for the big day.  I am not sure why I associate this soup with Irish celebrations except for that my favorite Irish pub in Lansing served this soup.  It’s so simple yet satisfying.  I slurp up the whole pot when I make it.  I love a good savory salty broth and this is one.

I made this soup for lunch today.  I imagine it would be even better if using homemade stock, but I have none in the freezer right now.  Cans of Swanson low sodium did just fine.  You want the low sodium as you want to add plenty of seasoned salt.  The pub uses Lawry’s but I use Penzeys.

I am still working out the best use of lighting in our new house with our camera.  One thing I do know is that you shouldn’t attempt photos of something while it is hot and steaming.  Our Nikon D90 picks up all of that steam.  It might help if I actually were to read the booklet it came with one day.  While waiting for the soup to cool, my cheese sunk and melted, which is what you want for eating.  So I dredged a spoonful up for you to see:

Ingredients (makes 2 large soup bowl’s worth):

1/4 lb Bacon (6 slices?)

1 large or 2 smaller russet potatoes (prob 8 0z or so)

1/2 medium onion

4 cups chicken broth – low sodium or homemade

4 dashes of hot sauce – I used Crystal, but Franks or any would do as long as you use some.

3 shakes of seasoned salt (Lawry’s or Penzeys are recommended for the flavor profile)

2 green onions – just use the green stalks, finely sliced or use chives

shredded cheddar or monterey jack cheese

Step one.  Chop the bacon and saute it in the pot you plan to make the soup in. I typically chop up a half a package of bacon at a time and freeze the bacon bits for things like pizza or other soups.  That said, we have a lot of bacon around our house as we have our pigs raised nearby and butcher the entire pig, giving us about 30 pounds of bacon.

Step two.  While bacon is frying, dice 1/2 an onion and 1 large or 2 small russet potatoes (of course any will do but I like our russets from the farm here).

Step three.  Remove the crisped bacon and drain on a paper towel.  Pour almost all of the bacon grease into your bacon grease jar that you store in the fridge – why would you ever throw one drop of this decadent smokey salty fat away?  It’s great to put a spoonful in your pinto beans.

Step four.  Briefly saute the onion and potato.

Step five.  Add 4 cups of low sodium chicken broth or stock.  Scrape up all those little browned bacon tasties, they make the broth delicious.

Step six.  Shake a healthy amount of hot sauce into the stock and a couple of good dashes of seasoned salt in too.

Step seven.  Bring to a boil and simmer until potatoes are cooked and broth reduces a bit.

Step eight.  Slice up some green onion green tips for garnish while potatoes are cooking.

Step nine.  The moment you have waited for.  Assemble the soup.  Pour as much soup as you want into a bowl.  Place a good amount of shredded cheddar or monterey jack cheese in bowl, top with a couple good sized pinches of the chopped crisped bacon and finally sprinkle those lovely green onion tips on top for a splash of crunch and color.

Nine steps but really it takes only 15 minutes.

Sigh deeply and slurp.

ok, Moriarty's bowl, you want to eat more than a mug's worth...

i’m out