The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

What are the best low gluten/no gluten flours to use?

autumngold's picture

What are the best low gluten/no gluten flours to use?

I am totally new to sourdough breads, in fact I haven't even got my first starter yet... but I have been cooking with Oat flour/brown rice flour and white rice flour for quite a few years now.  I would like to try something new... like Kamut and Rye, etc.  Flours that are low/no gluten, maybe some white spelt.. I don't know.  What are the best "specialty" flours to use for making sourdough bread?


Thanks Misty

mrfrost's picture

Rye is the no brainer here. Very low gluten and is The sourdough grain.

Lots of sourdough rye recipes. Do some searches and take your pick.

adri's picture

Rye does have the proteins of gluten (gliadin, glutenin). You just cannot develop/use it in the dough.
For people with allergies against gluten, therefore rye is no solution.

As it has less than modern wheat, it might work with a moderate form of gluten intolerance.

The older forms of wheat (Einkorn, Emmer, Spelt, ...) are also said to have a less aggressive form of gluten than modern wheat. You can develop the gluten with those types. But you have to be careful: Some types of spelt are crossed with modern wheat.

If it is just out of couriosity and without health concerns in mind: Try some 90% to 100% rye bread and see how the dough behaves. It sticks together more like slime but not because of gluten structure. You just have to mix it to incorporate all ingredients. Important is the sour to deactivate the amylase that would destroy your starch structure.

From these two sides (gluten structure/no gluten structure) you can just start to mix in and exchange ingredients. It is a great thing to experiment with the old types of wheat e.g.


edmaslow's picture

I am new to this site, my first comment. Some very bad information here maybe OK for "wheat belly doctor" followers but disastrous for anyone with  Celiac disease. Rye, Kamut, Spelt, Eikorn, Emmer or any form of heritage wheat are NOT acceptable. I have created a successful sourdough starter using a mixture of Brown Rice flour, Teff, and a bit of Bobs RedMill All Purpose GF flour thrown. Half flour, half filtered water by volume. I am not sure it makes a lot of difference which flour you use as long as they are gluten free and none of the ones suggested. I used a few outer leaves from a red cabbage in the mixture which I removed after the first day. It took about three days to see the fermentation start.

ccsdg's picture

The original post did say low gluten as well as no gluten, so I assume we aren't dealing with coeliac here. As adri's post mentioned, rye gluten can't be developed at least as far as a bread-focused community is concerned (kneading, shaping, proofing), so perhaps we will be forgiven for classifying it as a 'low-gluten' flour. I'm sure a coeliac-focused community would call it 'bad information'! :)

dabrownman's picture

at garbanzo bean flour, amaranth, millet, oat, quinoa, soy, rice, corn and lentil,.  There are quite few others as well  most of them beans .

Daniel02's picture

Millet flour, chickpea flour or buckwheat flour

edmaslow's picture

My opening statement in my reply missed the point of the discussion in addition to being gratuitous. I should have corrected this after rereading the original message. It is an interesting subject because using lower gluten flours shares some of the same problems as gluten free. It is a subject that seems to have been ignored.

My intent was to comment on the question about flours to use for sourdough starters, which I found easy to make with totally gluten free flours. The yeast feed on the sugars in the flour and don't care whether there is any gluten or any other kind of protein present. The issue is that the yeast that actually starts the process is mostly on the grain (not necessarily floating around in the air). For this reason a mixture of different flours would seem like a good idea to be sure you have some wild yeast. I think brown rice flour is a good candidate for fermentation. If I were not concerned about gluten free I would start with a commercially available packet of a good San Francisco dry sourdough starter. The idea here is that some of the flavor comes from wild lactic acid bacteria, which does float around in the air and  the preferred variety seems to like the San Francisco area. For those who are concerned with just reducing gluten, the amount of gluten contributed is negligible. Does anyone know of a San Francisco starter that is produced gluten free? Once you have the starter you can use it with any flours your recipe calls for.