The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Gluten-Free Sourdough Starter

jrcharter's picture

Gluten-Free Sourdough Starter

Hello all.  Two years ago I was diagnosed with having a gluten allergy, or what is more commonly known as a wheat allergy, or Celiac's disease.  NO MORE Sourdough bread?    Time to go jump in the ocean.  So, I found some "sourdough" bread mixes, done gluten free.  Expensive and really dry.  Lots of Tapioca flour used, which in reality is a starch.  What to do?  Well, either keep buying bad bread for about $8 bucks a loaf or become a bread baker/chemist.

My breads have been tasty, have bend, but are peasant breads, heavy with little rise.  I use a sourdough starter and feed it Lecithan, ascorbic acid and ginger mix, and it has been okay, but does not cause the bread to rise much.

Since my goal is a gluten-free, taste-filled, fluffy loaf with a crisp sourdough crust, I have a ways to go, but will keep on trying.  If anyone has any information to make my chemisty experiment a sucess, let me know. 


Keep on baking!  Rene.


blaisepascal's picture

I'm uncertain what the problem is with the starter.  Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the bacteria and yeast in a sourdough starter ate the starches and sugars in the flour, not the proteins.  

Why can't you grow a starter using gluten-free starches, like rice flour, corn flour, or potato starch?  You must be using some other flour to make the bread; try using that to feed your starter as well.


Of course, since gluten plays such an important role in bread development, it's entirely possible that your problem isn't with the starter but with getting the gluten-free recipes to work.  Have you had much luck with gluten-free breads using commercial yeasts?

sharonk's picture


I strongly suggest that you read my Fresh Loaf Blog where I discuss my successful journey with gluten free sourdough. It is indeed possible! I am baking it every week and am now teaching bread baking classes! It took me a few years to get it right but now I just bake and eat. My recipe only uses pure food ingredients with no added yeast.

You can also head to my personal blog and get a free download of the starter recipe. It is much more concise than my Fresh Loaf Blog where I share more details and thoughts.


Good Luck, you can do this!