Gluten-Free Sourdough Starter Recipe

The information provided in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice.
It is not a substitute for your doctor's care plan or advice.

Love sourdough but you're gluten-free? This Gluten Free Sourdough Starter is so easy- you can have tasty sourdough bread ready right away. With this Gluten Free Sourdough Starter it's super simple so you can get started right away without any special ingredients, and you can use a whole variety of gluten free flours.

{From Adrienne – If you love sourdough like I do, but you've done on a gluten-free diet, I have the perfect treat for you.

A recipe for Gluten-Free Sourdough Starter. I'm convinced the gluten is a big health concern for many, but I still love good bread.  And while this flax bread is one of our favorites, I‘ve been thinking about sourdough a lot since I found out that I can tolerate fermented foods.  

We LOVE the tangy flavor of sourdough and I've been meaning to try my hand at making a gluten-free sourdough bread.  Thanks to Tiffany of Don't Waste the Crumbs, I am now that much closer to my goal :)!}

In order to prepare myself for this post, I wanted to put myself into the shoes of someone who is gluten-free.

When most people think “gluten-free,” they think that bread is no longer an option–particularly breads like sourdough.

So in order to be able to empathize with them in their struggle to balance nutrition with their allergies or intolerance… I did some “research”.

Basically I wanted to think about what it would be like to be gluten-free.

And bread-free.

So I ate bread.

Homemade bread.

Two pieces, actually.

With a lot of butter.

And I realized how much I would miss it if I weren't able to eat bread like this on a regular basis.

I'm not trying to rub it in anyone's face – quite the contrary! I know how fortunate my family is to be able to eat whatever we want without breaking out in hives or keeling over in digestive pain.

It saddens me to imagine what it would be like to:

– not be able to walk into my kitchen and slice off a piece of bread whenever I want
– to request the waiter to remove the basket of bread instead of refilling it
– to worry about being sick for days because someone accidentally contaminated a cooking spoon!

I understand your pain.

That's why it truly brings me joy to share with you a way to have your cake–er, bread–and eat it too.

Gluten-free sourdough, baby. Oh yeah.

Imagine capturing wild yeast out of thin air and cultivating it over a period of several days so that without any help at all, it will magically make dough rise and become a beautiful (and relatively inexpensive–) gluten-free loaf of bread.

It really isn't as hard as it sounds!

But it is incredibly healthy! Quite possibly the healthiest bread you can make!

The Benefits of Sourdough

Sourdough is:

– easier to digest
– contains the healthy gut bacteria lactobacillus (the same major player in yogurt and kefir)
– most of the phytic acid is broken down and
– won't cause a spike in blood sugar like traditional bread often does.

If that's not enough to convince you, read more about the amazing benefits of sourdough.

Gluten-free vs. Regular Sourdough

Making a gluten-free sourdough starter isn't any different than making a regular sourdough starter.

– Both start with flour and water.
– Both take a few days and both get bubbly.
– The only real difference comes when you're ready to make sourdough bread and you have to pull out all the various types of gluten-free flours.

Gluten-free sourdough starter can be made in as little as seven days using gluten-free flour, water and a medium-sized bowl. I personally have successfully made gluten-free sourdough starter with brown rice, but I've read others have had success with white rice flour, teff, sorghum or even a gluten-free all-purpose blend.

PS – Do not try to make gluten-free sourdough bread with brown rice flour alone. Trust me.

Instead I've collected a variety gluten-free sourdough bread recipes for you to experiment with. Because in all honesty, all sourdough breads – with or without gluten – are an experiment. A tasty experiment you can top with butter.

Keep in mind that every recipe will be different, calling for different types of flour and possibly using yeast. I've included several sources so that everyone can find the one that suits them best!

(Note:  A few of these links are affiliate links. If you click on them and make a purchase, your price will not change, but I might make a commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps me keep providing this free resource to you :)!)

Gluten-Free Sourdough Recipes

(Adrienne here again.  I think this is fabulous and a great jumping off point for tons of healthy creativity in the kitchen.  I can't wait to work on Gluten-Free Sourdough for my family.  It would be great topped with butter (if you can eat it) or Homemade Nut Butter.  Mmmmmm.)

Meet Tiffany 250px

Tiffany is a frugal foodie, balancing the desire to feed her family healthy food while being a good steward of her finances. She realized it was possible to eat nourishing, traditional food on a budget if she made baby-sized changes in the kitchen. She continues to work hard at mastering real foods without going broke and shares her journey at Don’t Waste the Crumbs.

Top Photo Credit:

These comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Whole New Mom, LLC.


    Speak Your Mind


  1. Eric Brown says:

    Thank you for this recipe!
    My wife had been wanting me to try working with GF Sourdough and provided me with the link to this page. I fed and watered the mix twice a day for a week before using it and it worked really well. I’ve used it twice this past week to make English muffins and sourdough french bread. Tonight I’ll be using it to make a loaf of sandwich bread. Here are some pictures of my results;
    Thanks again for posting this.

  2. H Kendall says:

    I have never seen anything as weird as this starter, looks ok but when you try and use it with the flour for a loaf, it feels more like play dough mixed together!!!!!! I have thrown one (unbaked) out and today tried another but I have no hope. So, I guess it’s all a big hoax because I followed the directions and used my gluten free flour.

    • Oh no – I’m so sorry! The author of this post apparently has done it many times. Why did you throw it out and not add more liquid maybe?

      • H Kendall says:

        I was just tired of trying and do not understand why (or how) it works without any sweetener to feed the yeast, either. When I added flour to the starter etc to form a loaf, it just became like clay, even with half the flour. Would never try this recipe again.

  3. Stela Relf says:

    HI,thanks for the recipe:) I stared my sour dough starter 2 days ago and just saw that you are advising not to use brown rice flour but that is what I used. Shoul I add different flour to it or trow it away and start new batch?


    • Sorry this is late. I have never done it myself but the author said it didn’t work well. Did you happen to keep trying? Interested in what happened.

    • I believe the post said not to try to make the final bread using only brown rice flour. You definitely can’t do that. You need a mix of flours including high starch flours such as arrowroot, potato starch, and/or tapioca starch. It may be OK to have your starter be only brown rice flour. Just follow one of the gluten free sourdough bread recipes that uses additional flours when making the bread. I started my starter about 5 days ago using both sourghum and brown rice flours. I did sourghum for a few days, then brown rice, and now am back to sourghum. I think the sourghum may be working a bit better. It seems to be doing what it should be. After the first few days it got bubbly and smelled really sour. Now it smells a little sour, but also yeasty, like the yeast smell when baking gluten stuff with packaged yeast. I also seem to be getting the sponge dome now. I’m on day 5. I’ll try and remember to post after I try making bread with it, which I should be able to do soon.

  4. To answer the multiple questions about Gluten Free Flour. There are 3 very good blends on market which are cup for cup. Namaste, Gluten Free Jules, and Better Batter. I have used all of these with equal success. You simply use one cup for one cup regular flour in a given recipe. Hope this helps. Happy Baking all. Page

  5. Robert Lyons says:

    I use potato flakes for starter. They too, are gluten free.

    • Amy Crume says:

      Just potatoes flakes and it comes out like sour dough bread? I have tons of organic potato flakes….I want to try this!

  6. Hi my starter has a dry surface almost like a film. It smells very strong. Should I be concerned that this dry film like surface is bad bacteria or is this normal? Most pictures and videos I have seen all look shiny and wet on the surface.

    • I wouldn’t think that is good. I haven’t been able to get the author to comment here for awhile and I’m not a sourdough expert but I wouldn’t eat it.

    • Hi Helen,

      I know your comment is a couple months old, but I think what you’re seeing is normal. Just stir the starter with a fork prior to discarding some starter, and giving water and flour again. From experience, gluten-free sour dough starter takes a little bit to get going. It will smell bad for the first 3-4 days, then when the pH gets just right (for me, around Day 5), the yeast will suddenly begin working and you’ll get a double in size rise. You may see a “rise” on day 2-3, but that is a false rise brought on by the initially present bacteria (which will be overtaken by the yeast when the pH is just right). Hope this helps!

  7. It totally didn’t take 6 days to get a nice dome on my starter. I’m not feeding it today, then will asses tomorrow. But mine seems done after only 3-4 days. I used a gf flour blend I found online(it’s amazing!) and have had the most amazing luck with the combo of flours! I’ll likely be making some pancakes tomorrow to deal with all the starter that has been created!

    Thanks so much for these directions!

    • Hi Carrie may I ask what gf flour blend it was please?. I’m terrified of wasting my time and money on something that won’t work so to have someone recommend something that worked for them would be better for me to try.

    • Carrie, what is the name of the flour you found on line?

  8. Have you ever used coconut or almond flour to make the starter?

    • I haven’t but you should be able to do it.

    • coconut flour is notoriously heavy and will hardly rise at all ive read and experimented so be careful

    • Hi Jeannine, I don’t know if your question has been answered yet. Just in case it hasn’t here’s what I know regarding coconuts.
      Coconuts are known for their antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties.
      Seeing that sourdough is a fermentation process. Starting, and/or feeding your sourdough with coconut flour is counterproductive.
      I hope this helps

      Kind regard

  9. Hi!

    I mixed the ingredients for your sourdough starter, but it looks like cookie dough, very dry. It doesn’t look at all like the one in your picture. I used the same quantities as suggested and gf ap flour.


    • Hmmm..What is in the AIP flour?

    • For gluten sourdoughs you want to use a 1:1 ratio of water and flour based on weight not on volume sooo 70 grams of water = 70 grams flour/gf Flour but water and flour weigh differently so 1/4 c Flour does not = 1/4 c water for hydration purposes. I recommend getting a scale and weighing out both! That’ll fix your problem

      • I use Namaste GF flour and found that it works for me to feed the starter with 100g of water and 75g of gluten free flour.

        I have been making sourdough bread for years with wheat flour and feed my regular sourdough 1 to 1 by weight but had to adjust my water and gf flour proportions for gluten free starter. I haven’t tried any other flours besides the Namaste so perhaps they might behave differently.

  10. Hi!

    I mixed the water and the gf flour for the sourdough starter yesterday. It seems to be very dry. The consistency is like cookie dough. I added 1/2 cup gf flour and 1/2 cup water, but it doesn’t seem to be right. Please help me! Thank you!

    • Hi there. I’m sorry but the author of the post didn’t respond to the last email that I sent her – maybe see if you can find help online?

    • What GF flour are you using? I just started a sourdough starter using brown rice flour and sorghum flour in equal amounts with water (i.e. 1/4 cup brown rice flour and 1/4 cup water in the morning then 1/4 cup sorghum and 1/4 cup water at night). If you used a general flour blend it has added starch (corn, tapioca, potato) which will change the starter greatly.

  11. Hello,
    Love your post; I would like to ask will I be able to use buckwheat or amaranth flour soley?

    Thank you so much!


  12. After you make bread do you continue to feed your starter twice a day? Also, do you leave this on the counter or the fridge?

  13. Olivia Pendergast says:

    HI, I just moved from the States to Kenya so I am a little limited in the things I can get… I can’t get water kefir grains currently so could I use juice from fermented carrots to kick off this starter?
    THanks!! Great resource!