Recycled Gluten-Free Bread

>> Saturday, February 7

If when you think “bread” you think flour, yeast and water, it’s time to spice it up a little. Almost anything can be made into something “breadlike” with a lot more nutritional value, flavor, and variety of texture. The recipe here is one version of a recycled food bread, which I tried to make as general as possible so you can fill in the blanks with you own ingredients. Nothing about it is set in stone; I never measure for this one, and it’s different every time I make it. That’s just the nature of recycling food-always interesting and unique!

In general, this usually creates a dense, small, moist loaf. It has no added yeast and rising is not really the goal, just fermentation of the ingredients for easier digestion. Sometimes I add some baking powder before baking to help it fluff up a little. If I have mostly veggie ingredients, I tend to let the loaf stay completely unleavened and bake on the lowest temperature setting for up to 8 hours. The result is something like vegan meat, which, because it contains live bacteria, keeps for literally months in the fridge. That particular version is great marinated in a little miso and garlic, then sautéed with fresh veggies, or crumbled over spaghetti as ground beef. Yum!

Recycled Gluten-Free Bread

Sourdough starter:
1-2 cups GF flour,
2 tsp guar gum (opt)
1-2 cups water, water or milk kefir, or yogurt

Grain ingredient can be 2-3 cups of one of the following:
Leftover cooked grains, like rice, quinoa, polenta, etc
Leftover bread mush from making kvass
Stale bread, chopped, roasted to dry, and soaked in the liquid ingredients
Leftover pasta
Up to 1 cup of flour, if desired, for binding

Veggie/Fruit Ingredient can be 1-2 cups of one of the following:
Pulp from juicer
Old grated salads, especially if too dry to enjoy
Leftover mashed potatoes, or other creamed/cooked veggies

Liquid Ingredient can be 1-2 cups of one of the following: Soy yogurt
Soy milk kefir
Water kefir
Tahini and water
Kimchee brine or other pickling brines combined with water (if you use a salted brine, add it at the end to let the yeast do it’s work first, and moisten initially with clean water)

Other Ingredients include the desired amounts of any of these things:
Extra flour
Herbs, spices, sautéed onions, garlic, or other flavorings
Activated seeds, nuts, or nut meal (flax meal soaked in warm water as an egg replacer works wonders)
Baking powder


  1. Mix sourdough starter ingredients in a clean bowl or jar, adding more or less water to get a sticky, moist, stirrable batter. Leave in a warm place for 1-3 days, until fluffy and bubbly.
  2. When the sourdough is ready, mix up the grain ingredient, veggie/fruit ingredient, and liquid ingredient (leaving out brine for now), adding more or less of the liquid ot get a spongy, very moist dough. Stir in the sourdough starter and leave in a bowl covered with a moist towel for 8-24 hours in a warm place
  3. If it hasn’t risen at all, the sourdough didn’t like something very much in your mixture, could be too much salt in the grains. It’s not important though, other bacteria are there working for your bread!
  4. If desired, sprinkle baking powder over the dough and fold in, or dissolve yeast in warm water and mix in, to have a leavened loaf.
  5. Fold in any seeds, nuts, herbs, spices, etc. that you would like and add the brine if using. Cover with any toppings for decoration that you wish
  6. Bake in a bread-loaf form for 2-8 hours; quicker for more grainy, leavened breads, and longer for mostly veggie or sprout breads, to get a dense “vegan meat”


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