The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Converting Sourdough Starter to Gluten Free Sourdough Starter

breadmaking's picture

Converting Sourdough Starter to Gluten Free Sourdough Starter

Hi Members

If any one has tried converting Sourdough starter to Gluten free sourdough starter?

I have tried many ways, but the when I use GF flour after a few days it becomes pink and takes a long time to have any bubbles.

Tried with brown rice flour, sorghum flour, buckwheat flour and groats, chick pea flour also tried Raisin water, Potato yeast water. I have even purchased starters but when I add GF flour it is just flat. No Luck.

So I was thinking of using All purpose flour / wheat flour for the sourdough starter, and when it is time to make Rolls/Bread then I could use GF flour. Is that possible? Any one tried this way and had luck doing so/

Any help and suggestions would be gratefully appreciated.

clazar123's picture

What is the purpose of going GF? Just to reduce the amount of gluten?

It is possible to do GF sourdough and there have been some posts about it in the last 10 yrs.Use the search box.  However, you may get more hits on either celiac-related sites or GF sites. One of our TFL posters will come up using the search box but she went on to write a cookbook that she sells and removed most of her info here.

GF bread has a different texture than gluten bread but it can be delicious. I have only made it with commercial yeast. Actually the best recipe I used was a Buttermilk Farmhouse Sandwich bread from Red Star Yeast. GF baking has its own set of rules so be prepared for a bit of a learning curve. Structure to baked goods,in place of gluten, is provided by a variety of gums(xanthan,guar,gelatin,psyllium,chia,flax) and proteins (egg,milk,vegetable,peanut,etc). Texturally,GF bread is more like a spongey,tea bread texture.

As far as converting a wheat based SD to a GF flour? I'm not so sure that would work. You might want to try growing a GF starter from scratch. While I have used a wheat based starter for any type of wheat or rye loaf successfully, it may be that the wee beasties in your wheat based starter cannot properly digest the GF flours. You might need the natural yeasts that come on the GF flours (yeasts are ubiquitous).


Just as an FYI: Celiacs cannot tolerate ANY amount of gluten (or shouldn't) as even a miniscule amount can cause a reaction and damage to their body. Many celiacs cannot even eat baked goods from a scrupulously decontaminated kitchen that also makes gluten based goods. EVERYTHING must be gluten free-including the baker's apron and clothes.

Good luck!


Gluten-free Gourmand's picture
Gluten-free Gourmand

All the advice in the previous comment is great. I have had success with a sorghum starter. Teff works well too. The reason it doesn't convert well is that GF flours support different LAB than wheat does. Also, for safety reasons to the consumer, it's not recommended. I use the three day starter method that you can find here on tfl, the only adjustment being that I maintain a sorghum starter at 120% from step 2. From then oni maintain the starter at 5% inoculation. The kind people on this forum really helped me out a lot in coming up with a few sourdough recipes in 2013/4, and the process I came up with would look familiar to a "regular" baker. Hope that helps and good luck!