This generic sourdough starter recipe works with any grain flour, except oats. Use it to make an active, rich-tasting starter that can be incorporated into any sourdough bread recipe, gluten-free or glutenous.

Instructions include "Putting the starter to sleep", "Feeding" the starter, and "Waking up" the starter.

Yield: About 1 quart ready-to-use sourdough starter.

Time to make: 10 minutes per day for 10 days

Tools needed: 1 Qt or larger glass, plastic or stainless steel container with lid. Measuring spoons and cups. Stirring spoon. Zip-lock bag.

A building block for diverse and tasty breads and other baked goods, this starter is easy to make, very stable, and delicious. Best of all it can be made with few tools and minimum precision. The directions below include "Capturing" a starter; "feeding" a new starter so that the "captured" microorganisms thrive; "putting to sleep" the finished starter so it mellows without spoiling, and "waking up and feeding" a sleeping starter, which will preserve it indefinitely.

A no-fuss, no-maintenance starter can liberate the 9-Grains baker. There's no feeding schedule to keep track of, no commitment to a single flavor, no big deal if the flavor isn't quite what you wanted, no need to discard the leftovers. This recipe is as simple as it gets - a vigorous great-tasting, true sourdough starter made with just flour and water and ready in three days.

This tart and tasty but very easy loaf uses a whole-grain quinoa sourdough starter described HERE. The bread rises entirely from natural leavens, a process that takes longer than bread leavened with commercial yeast. At room temperature (72 F) the loaf will be ready to bake in about 7 hours. If you have a "Bread proof" oven setting (100 F), that time can be cut to 3 hours. Baking in a pouch or bag as described ensures a crispy crust.

This big, tasty hemisphere is a surprisingly easy project. An energetic pre-dough, made from natural sourdough starter, provides great flavor and vigorous rise,. This bread yields solid, sandwich-perfect slices, is very slow to stale, and resists mold. Leave it on your kitchen counter and slice as needed - it's good for a minimum of 4 days.


Yield: one, 16-ounce sourdough Boule - enough bread for two adults to enjoy for three days.

This attractive, unusual bread gets its dark lilac hue from fresh-ground black rice flour. Leavened with quinoa sourdough starter and shaped into a fat hemisphere, it's tasty, rich and very slow-to stale. The solid crumb makes for easy slicing as thin or thick as you want, and the loaf is big enough to yield full-size sandwiches

Yield: one, 16-ounce sourdough Boule - enough bread for two adults to enjoy for three days.

These soft, delicious, savory-and-sweet dinner rolls are a perfect accompaniment to any meal. Rich with butter, buttermilk and egg, and stuffed with sweet-tart dried fruit, they take shape over two or more days in paced but easy steps. The recipe size is based on the appetites of two adults but can be doubled or quadrupled for larger gatherings.

Yield: Six, 3-ounce dinner rolls - suitable for 2 adults.

Snacking cakes are one-bowl wonders, defying all the fussiness normally associated with cake-baking. More amazing than their minimal skill and time requirements is the taste: moist, rich, most assuredly cake-y. This one tops the surprise chart even further, building nuances of big flavor from a most unlikely flour, quinoa. It's a bit of a cheat because it uses two bowls - three if you opt for a blood orange glaze, which I highly recommend - but I doubt you'll care once you've had the first bite.


Yield: One circular 9" cake or two circular 6" cakes

These "Cookies for Grown-Ups" will bring joy to your taste buds with a sophisticated, nuanced blend of flavor and texture. Earthy quinoa is offset nicely with tart apple; butter and coconut oil bring tenderness to the crumb; allspice brightens the flavor profile and varied flour fine-ness makes for engaging mouth feel.

Yield:  One dozen, 1-ounce cookies.
Time to make: 45 minutes total, including 24 minutes oven dwell.

The darkest possible cocoa gives these cupcakes a smoky, intense flavor, which is enhanced by the quinoa flour and set off sweetly with the mocha frosting. They're the one dessert my wife, Leslie, will request; of course I'm more than happy to make a batch that's ever so slightly larger than she can consume. You'll see why when you make these yourself.