Go Back
+ servings

How to make a Gluten-Free Sourdough Starter

Creating a Gluten-Free Sourdough Starter without yeast and using gluten-free flours is the foundation of your journey into gluten-free sourdough bread making. This recipe details how to do it with lots of helpful hints and tips.
Prep Time3 hrs
Length of time for starter to mature14 d
Course: Bread
Cuisine: British
Servings: 1 starter

Equipment

  • Glass preserving jar
  • Digital weighing scales
  • Digital thermometer
  • Silicone spoon

Ingredients

  • 1 kg sorghum flour over the course of 14 days for alternative flour choices see notes
  • 1 litre filtered water over the course of 14 days
  • organic berries handful

Instructions

Day 1: A.M

  • Weigh out 40g wholegrain flour into a glass jar and mix it with 40g filtered water.
  • Place organic fruit on top of the mixture and cover the jar, not too tightly as the starter needs to breathe.
  • Allow to stand for 24 hours at room temperature, away from direct sunlight.

Day 2: A.M

  • Open the jar and remove the fruit.
  • Add into the jar 40g gluten-free flour + 40g filtered water. Mix together and smooth down the surface.
  • Replace the fruit and cover the jar, not too tightly.
  • Allow to stand for another 24 hours at room temperature, away from direct sunlight.

Day 3: A.M

  • Open the jar and remove the fruit.
  • Add into the jar 40g gluten-free flour + 40g filtered water. Mix together and smooth down the surface.
  • Replace the fruit and cover the jar, not too tightly.
  • Allow to stand for another 24 hours at room temperature, away from direct sunlight.

Day 4: A.M

  • You will begin to feed your starter in the morning and the evening, this will then be your daily routine for the next 10 days.
  • You will also need to start discarding some of your starter at every feed.
  • Open the jar and remove the fruit. Discard the fruit as it's done its job and we can carry on now without it.
  • Remove all of the starter except for 40g.
  • Add into the jar 40g gluten-free flour + 40g filtered water. Mix together and smooth down the surface.
  • Cover the jar but not too tightly.
  • Allow to stand for 12 hours at room temperature, away from direct sunlight.

Day 4: P.M

  • Open the jar and remove all of the starter except for 40g.
  • Add into the jar 40g gluten-free flour + 40g filtered water. Mix together and smooth down the surface.
  • Cover the jar but not too tightly.
  • Allow to stand for 12 hours at room temperature, away from direct sunlight.

Days 5-14

  • Feed your starter twice a day the same as on Day 4, discarding at every feed. Your starter should be getting stronger and stronger. By Day 14 your starter should be ready to make your first loaf of sourdough bread.

Onward

  • If storing your starter at room temperature it should be fed twice a day. For long-term maintenance you can choose to store your starter in the fridge. If stored in the fridge your starter will need to be fed once a week.

Video

Notes

Weighing your ingredients

Weighing all the ingredients, including the water, is essential to creating a sourdough starter from scratch. As you become more adept at understanding quantities you may choose to measure by eye but at the beginning of this process weighing is imperative.

Flour choices

You can use any wholegrain flour to make a starter as the wild yeast in the flours is what will kickstart the activation of the starter. You might not achieve as lively a starter using starchy flours or a plain gluten-free blend.
Other good options are Brown rice flour, Quinoa flour, Buckwheat flour, or a blend of different wholegrains to achieve a customised flavour.

Troubleshooting

For details notes on troubleshooting I recommend reading the whole of this post as there is a lot to discuss. 

Tips

  • Mixing. Make sure the starter has been thoroughly mixed at every feed so there is no dry flour.
  • Consistency as you are mixing the starter. The flour and water should form a slightly loose paste, not too thick and not too runny.
  • Water amount. Some flours may require a little more water than others to achieve this consistency. For example sorghum flour seems to need 5-10ml more water, brown rice flour needs the exact amount.
  • Water temperature. The filtered water should be between 38-40°C. Try not to use tap water as the chlorine will inhibit the process.
  • Feeding. Feed your starter the same times in the morning and evening to keep the starter regulated and avoid it becoming too hungry.
  • Discard. Do not throw your discard away, you can store in the fridge for up to a week in an airtight container and use it for many different recipes which I will be linking to soon!