Gluten Free Sourdough Bread Starter Recipe

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I was sent a copy of 125 Best Gluten-Free Bread Machine Recipes by Donna Washburn and Heather Butt to review. I have been wanting to make a gluten-free sourdough starter for some time now, therefore, that is where I headed first in the book. This starter is so easy to make!

The only thing I suggest is having a very large glass bowl. I used a 2-quart bowl and it almost foamed over. If you do not have one larger than 2 quarts then I suggest dividing the recipe into 2 separate bowls. Then once it foams up and you stir it for the first time, you can the transfer it to a single 2 quart bowl. I covered the bowl with a thin dish towel on one bowl and the other with a paper plate jarred open at the end. The one with the dish towel came out much better. My starter was foamy upon stirring right before the 3 day period was up. However, I did not bake my bread until the forth day and did not refrigerate it until after baking.

You’ve been asking us for a sourdough bread with a tangy taste. Begin by making this starter, and you’ll be on your way to enjoying gluten-free sourdough breads.

Because the bread recipe turned out heavy, I have deleted the recipe from this site.

Gluten Free Sourdough Starter Recipe


Yield: Makes 31?2 cups (875 mL)

Gluten Free Sourdough Starter Recipe


  • 3 cups warm water (750 mL)
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar (30 mL)
  • 2 Tablespoons instant or bread machine yeast (30 mL)
  • 3 cups sorghum flour (750 mL)


  1. In a very large glass bowl, combine water and sugar. Sprinkle with yeast, gently stir to moisten and let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Add sorghum flour and whisk until smooth.
  3. Cover with a double layer of cheesecloth or a loose-fitting lid. Secure so that it is not touching the starter. Let stand at room temperature for 2 to 4 days, stirring 2 to 3 times a day. When ready to use, starter has a sour smell, with small bubbles rising to the surface.
  4. Store, loosely covered, in the refrigerator until needed. If not used regularly, stir in 1 tsp (5 mL) granulated sugar every 10 days.


If the starter liquid turns green, pink or orange — or develops mold — throw it out and start again.

During hot weather, use a triple layer of cheesecloth to cover the sourdough starter when it is at room temperature. A loose-fitting lid on a large casserole dish works well too.

Nutritional values per serving
(1 cup/250 mL per serving)
Calories 536
Fat 4 g
Fat, saturated 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 9 mg
Carbohydrate 111 g
Fiber 14 g
Protein 19 g
Calcium 46 mg
Iron 7 mg

Excerpted from 125 Best Gluten-Free Bread Machine Recipes by Donna Washburn and Heather Butt

© 2010 Robert Rose Inc. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

14 Replies to “Gluten Free Sourdough Bread Starter Recipe”

  1. Carla, I have tried the oat or sorghum bread. I substituted the flours a little, playing with buckwheat and chickpea. They all
    turned out great. I’ve also added some soy milk powder in hopes of keeping the moisture longer, still turned out great. The gluten free sandwich bread 11, also great. Trying another sourdough today with a little chickpea no buckwheat. I won’t add the extra vinegar either. We finished the other loaf off this morning as french toast made with silken tofu. Now I’m going to try your hamburger buns. I really appreciate the work you do for us to try!
    Cheers, Terrie

    1. Hi Terrie,

      So glad to hear more good news! Oh, before I forget, in addition to adding flour, etc. to the starter, every 10 days add 1 teaspoon of sugar, mix and refrigerate.

      Soy is a great preservative, as well. I won’t eat much soy, though, as it effects estrogen levels, and at 53 I cannot mess with those!

      Your experiments all sound delicious. I need some gluten free bread. Wish you were here! :-)


      1. Thanks for that reminder. Its like having a pet!
        I need to learn more about soy. Being on the cusp of 50, that would be important. We recently switched to almond milk instead of soy milk. I thought that plant based hormones were different than animal hormones. I guess its back to the internet for me. I have another loaf in the oven but it is taking a long time to cook. Rose nicely though. I can always use bread crumbs! Cheers Terrie

        1. I made the same changes you are making now: soy milk to almond. Then one day my chiropractor told me that most almond milks are loaded with sugar. I suppose if you use the unsweetened variety it’s okay. So, I went home and checked my Trader Joe’s almond milk and sure enough it was high in sugar. I searched for an alternative and found Ani’ Phyo’s homemade raw almond mylk video. That’s all I make now. Here’s the link: Just make sure you go really low on the dates, as they are loaded with sugar, though not processed sugar.

          Sounds like you’re having a ball. Keep it up! And I know exactly what you mean about bread crumbs. Those mistakes of ours keep us in high supply! :-)

  2. How do I keep the starter going? When I use the required amount for the recipe, do I replace some flour and water?
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Terrie,

      I am not where my copy of this cookbook is, but I hope this helps:

      If you use 1 cup of the starter replace it with 3/4 cup sorghum flour, 3/4 cup water, and 1 teaspoon sugar. Stir it into the starter; allow to sit at room temperature for at least 1 full day. Then store it back in the refrigerator. If it ever turns moldy: green, pinkish, or black, discard it and start over. Hope this helps.

      I’ll check to see if their are any tips in the book, and if so, add to this reply.

      1. Thank you. I have had such good success with your other bread recipes. Are all gluten free breads a little dry after a couple of days? I have tried freezing the loaf right away or not freezing it right away. I’m hoping the sourdough is a little more moist.

        1. Terrie,

          I’m glad you’re enjoying my bread recipes. Almost all gluten free breads dry after baking, as they contain little ingredients to preservative them. You can add 1/8 teaspoon of crushed or capsuled vitamin C powder. Freezing upon cooling is the best method for preserving. Refrigeration just dries it out, as does leaving it on the counter. I just microwave a couple of pieces to make warm. Even when they’ve dried out a bit microwaving moistens them up. Heat on low or medium temperature. I use “Reheat Dinner Plate”. I made the sourdough recipe, which is not my recipe, in my regular bread machine, and as you can see, it turned out quite heavy. I suggest trying it in the oven and making it in a mixer. I’ve read that rice flour is best for gluten free sourdough, but I’ve seen many different gluten free flours used in other recipes. Good luck! I’m working on my own sourdough starter. Will get around to it eventually. I have a long list of to-do’s! Hope it works out for you.


          1. Thanks for that information. I made a really nice loaf of sourdough this morning. It might have been too early but I was too excited to leave it longer! It was heavy but we don’t mind it that way. I did add a tblsp. phsyllium husks and used buckwheat flour instead of amaranth. I don’t have a bread machine and I used the mixer. It came out quite moist so I will see what happens in a day or two. Although I am very new to g.f., I have tried several g.f. bread recipes and none have been as consistently successful as the ones on your website. (as well as easy) Thanks for sharing your information. (I’m a happy Grandma when I can spend the day cooking!)

  3. Hi there.
    I was wondering, will it work just as well if I only make half the recipe? Trying it out for the first time, it seems like a lot to use 3 cups of sorghum flour.. thanks!

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