Gluten-Free Starter & Sourdough Bread

STEP BY STEP. This is the second best thing after wheat sourdough. There are tones of sourdough bread recipes on the internet but most of them are long and complicated. Hopefully this one will make it easier for you.
FYI you’ll need to make the starter, which takes 5 days to ferment and bubble. But once you have you don’t have to make again. The bread takes about 30 hours long. The process is long but totally worth. The recipe is adapted from the Cannelle et Vanille cookbook with a few changes.

PLEASE READ THE RECIPE CAREFULLY BEFORE YOU START

GLUTEN-FREE SOURDOUGH STARTER

  • I try different flours and like to mix bunch of them. If you play with the flours I don’t recommend  to use more than 1 cup buckwheat flour because it has a strong, dominant flavor.
  • Don’t replace the flax seed meal and psyllium husk. Their job is to bind all the ingredients together.
  • Put your starter in a warmish place to make sure that it starts to bubble. In the winter I put mine on a shelf in the kitchen, which is facing the heater.
  • I fed the starter once or twice with buckwheat flour and it worked.

YOU’LL NEED
Superfine brown rice flour
Oat flour or millet flour – or both
Tapioca starch
Sorghum flour or buckwheat
Flax seed meal
Psyllium husk
Salt
Filtered water

TOOLS
1 large glass or ceramic container with lid
2 medium glass or ceramic bowls
1 wooden Spoon
1 whisk

HOW TO MAKE THE SOURDOUGH STARTER
DAY 1
1 cup superfine brown rice flour
1 cup filtered water, room temperature
Whisk the rice flour and water in a glass container until well combined.
Cover the container with a clean kitchen towel and place at room temperature, ideally at 70-75F / 21-24C for 24 hours.
In the winter I put it on a shelf in the kitchen, where it’s warm.

DAY 2
⅓ cup superfine brown rice flour
⅓ cup filtered water, room temperature
Whisk the starter and add the rice flour and water, and mix to combine. Cover the container with a clean kitchen towel and place at
room temperature, ideally at 70-75F / 21-24C for 24 hours.

DAY 3
⅓ cup superfine brown rice flour
⅓ cup filtered water, room temperature
The starter should start to bubble and smell sour. Whisk it before you add the flour and water.
Cover the container with a clean kitchen towel and place at room temperature, ideally at 70-75F / 21-24C for 24 hours.

DAY 4
⅓ cup superfine brown rice flour
⅓ cup filtered water, room temperature
Whisk the starter and add the rice flour and water, and mix to combine.
Cover the container with a clean kitchen towel and place at room temperature, ideally at 70-75F / 21-24C for 24 hours.

DAY 5
1 cup superfine brown rice flour
1 cup filtered water, room temperature
The starter should be bubbly and is almost ready to use.
Whisk the starter and add the rice flour and water, and mix to combine.
Let the starter ferment, cover with a net or colander, place at room temperature for 24 hours.
The starter  is ready to be used. Use as much as the recipe calls for, cover with an airtight lid and store in the fridge.

TO FEED THE STARTER:
– You should feed the starter every 3-5 days.
– Remove the starter from the fridge, add ½ cup brown rice flour and ½ cup filtered water and mix with a wooden spoon to combine. You can feed it only 1 tablespoon flour and 1 tablespoon water if you don’t use it much.
– Put the lid on and put the container back in the fridge.

gluten-free sourdough bread

The recipe is simple and not processy but it takes time. Totally Worth it!
Prep Time1 d 3 hrs
Cook Time1 hr
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Gluten-Free
Servings: 1 loaf
Author: Shelly

Ingredients

STEP1 - SOURDOUGH MIXTURE PROOFING

  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 1 cup superfine brown rice flour
  • 1 cup filtered water

STEP 2 - making the dough - 24 hours later

  • 2 cups millet or oat* flour
  • 1 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 cup sorghum or buckwheat flour
  • 3 teaspoons Himalayan salt
  • ¼ cup psyllium husk powder
  • ¼ cup flaxseed meal
  • 2 cups filtered water *If using oat flour add only 1+½ cups water

Instructions

  • SOURDOUGH MIXTURE PROOFING - Put the starter in a medium ceramic or glass bowl (not plastic or metal). Add the rice flour and water and mix with a wooden spoon until well combined. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and set the bowl at room temperature, ideally at 70-75F / 21-23C for 24 hours.
  • 24 HOURS LATER In a medium bowl whisk together the millet, tapioca starch, sorghum or buckwheat and salt. Add the flour mix into the sourdough mixture and using a wooden spoon mix as much as it lets you. It would be dry and crumbly, don’t worry.
  • Put the psyllium husk and flax seed meal in a bowl and mix. Add the water and mix until well combined. The mixture will harden. Add it immediately into the sourdough bowl. Knead the dough until it comes together about 3 minutes. If the dough is too dry add a little bit of water.
  • Divide the dough into two. Shape into balls and place in proofing baskets or colanders, lined with clean kitchen towels. Set in 70-75F / 21-23C and let it proof for 3 hours (in a warm place the proofing time can be reduced to 2 hours.)
  • Preheat the oven to 500F / 250C. Put a piece of baking paper (or dust with rice flour or oats) in the bottom of dutch ovens (or any heavy pots). Score the balls with a sharp knife and gently transfer them into the dutch ovens. Cover the pots and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 450°F/220°C and bake for 30 minutes
  • Take the pots out of the oven and carefully remove the lids. Put the bread back in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, until the crusts are brown and the bread sounds hollow when you tap it.

Notes

PLEASE READ THE RECIPE CAREFULLY BEFORE YOU START

41 thoughts on “Gluten-Free Starter & Sourdough Bread”

  1. Lisa Sherratt

    Really disappointed….followed this and now have a bowl of sloppy very expensive ingredients…. Is it really 2 1/2 cups??? How would anyone get “dry” mixture from this???

    1. Hi Lisa, I’m really sorry that it became sloppy. Did you mix it with the psyllium husk and flaxseed meal? It should harden and gets thick.
      I make this bread all the time. Anyway, never throw away dough, especially if it’s soft. Next time you should put it in the fridge overnight, it would get less soggy. You can always add some flour or email me and I’ll respond as soon as possible.

      1. Lisa Sherratt

        Yes I mixed in the pysillium husk and flaxseed but should I mix and then leave it to harden The “add immediately” meant that I mixed it then added it?? Should I mix, wait to harden then add???
        I cooked it after proving as I didn’t want to waste it. It has air bubbles but is very flat and whilst it “sounds hollow” its very doughy inside. Will just have to wait for the book to arrive and try again.

        1. Hi Lisa, the gluten free sourdough is very tricky in the beginning. It took me a while, even with a recipe, to get it right.
          I think I found the problem, I think it depends on the flours you’re using. If you’re using oat flour then you need to add only 1+½ cups water because it is thin and not dense as millet or sorghum. I will make it again this week (as soon as my gluten-free starter is ready) and will check with both flours. Sorry about that again 🙁

      2. I had the same problem. I wonder if it’s either too much water or not enough flour. I’ve made this bread 3 times and each time I’ve had to add upward of 2 cups of flour.

        1. I think I found the problem, if you’re using oat flour then you need to add only 1+½ cups water because oat flour is thin and not dense. Sorry about that.

  2. Under the ingredients for “Step 1” (proofing the sourdough) you list 1 cup of water, but then in the instructions for “Step 1” you don’t add that water in – should be added to the starter along with the 1 cup brown rice flour?

    1. Yes, you should mix 1 cup sourdough starter, 1 cup rice flour and 1 cup water. Let me know how the bread came out. Thank you!

  3. I’m so excited to try your recipe, as i can eat most of the ingredients BUT no rice flour for me, no grains other than sorghum and millet. So what can i use instead of rice flour for proofing? Cassava? more sorghum? tapioca or arrowroot? probably not almond nor coconut flour? o…i have green banana flour and tigernut flours. Hope you reply back. Thankyou

    1. Sorry, I still didn’t figure out how to make the bread grain-free. Cassava and coconut flour won’t work in this recipe. I also can’t eat grains but sometimes I crave bread badly so I make a gluten-free one to satisfy my cravings

  4. Wendy Foxworth

    Can you please tell me if you preheat your Dutch oven/ baking pot before putting the dough in it?

    1. I don’t. I know a lot of recipes for sourdough recommend to preheat the baking pot but honestly the bread comes out as crusty and good xxs

      1. The first time I made Shelly’s recipe I pre-heated my dutch oven. The bread came out good but a little dry. The second time, which was today, I followed her baking instructions and it came out so good crusty outside and succulent inside!

  5. Hi Shelly
    Just wanted you to know I successfully made your recipe using sorghum, instead of brown rice flour for the 2nd part! I already had a starter made from millet and sorghum flours. OMG it came out SO good…even untoasted! Thank you for your hard work in getting this recipe to work. Will definitely be making again!???

  6. I have regular sourdough starter and am perplexed by this GF version. It is correct, there is no discard. As you keep adding rice flour and water over a course of days, and weeks, the size of the container must be huge.

    1. Hi Andrea, if you keep making bread then you should continue to feed your sourdough regularly (even 1 tablespoon rice flour + 1 tablespoon water once a week). If you don’t use it much and have a lot of it, discard some or give to a friend. I have a big jar with about 2 cups starter.

  7. This recipe changed my life. Hopefully I can recreate it! Cooked for only 15 minutes on round two before it was brown and sounded hollow.

  8. This bread is great! I just made it for the first time and am so thrilled! Have you ever frozen the loaves? I’m curious if they freeze well?

    1. Thank you!!! I slice the bread after it cools down and then I freeze it. It comes out great in the toaster.

  9. Pingback: Best naturally gluten free bread recipes on the internet

  10. Pingback: Best naturally gluten free bread recipes on the internet

  11. Can you tell about how much discard I add to refresh the starter after using. I have a huge amount and don’t know how much discard to keep and add the brown rice flour and water to for the next loaf.

    1. I will. You should give some of your starter to a friend or discard it and feed it only
      1 tablespoon rice flour and 1 tablespoon water once a week. That way you don’t have too much starter.
      Thank you for bringing it up ?

  12. Thank you so much for this great recipe! It is my first successful loaf of regular sandwich bread and will keep it as my only recipe for sandwich’s. After years of trying to make gluten free bread I am delighted to finally have an edible bread. Thanks again Shelly!

    1. Hi Phyllis,
      This is so sweet and kind of you. You made my day! Thank you 🙂 I just made
      a loaf and thought to myself that there are so many steps that even
      I have to look at my recipe.

  13. Hi Shelly,
    Its been such fun using your recipe, this is my third time making it – thank you for sharing it with us. I have a question – I had an unanticipated interruption to my baking cycle and am not able to get the dough in the oven so I have put in the fridge. Do you have any advice on how long I should let it sit on the counter before I bake it?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Aaliyah, great to hear that, always. You can put the unbaked bread to proof in the fridge up for 2 days but take it out at least two hours before baking it. It also depends on the temperature in your home. If it’s hot definitely keep it in the fridge, if it’s cold it can be out for 5-8 hours. The idea is to keep the bacteria (yeast) alive so the bread proof and become fluffy and airy.

    1. Hi Teri, Don’t double the psyllium husk. I never made it without the flaxseed but it should be alright.
      Please let me know how the texture came out. Good luck 🙂

  14. Thank you for your answer. I actually made it exactly as written, except I added a little yeast and nonfat dry milk. I halved the recipe, but it came out very dense. going to try again without the flaxseed and half the recipe.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating