Gluten-Free Sourdough Starter

If you are on a gluten-free diet, you can prepare a sourdough starter mixture that uses a variety of gluten-free flours. This sourdough starter mixture will need approximately three days of rest time before you can use it to prepare savory gluten-free sourdough bread recipes.

The dry ingredients in this recipe are measured by weight (grams), not volume (cups and tablespoons). Gluten-free flours are all different weights, so if you substitute one flour for another, cup for cup, you’ll run into trouble. For example, a cup of wheat all-purpose flour weighs 125 grams, but a cup of sweet rice flour weighs 155 grams. So, if you replace one cup of wheat flour with a cup of sweet rice flour, you'll be adding 30 grams of extra flour( 155 grams - 125 grams), resulting in a dry, heavy baked good. Always try to substitute by weight, using a food scale.

Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus rest time

Yield: 2 cups

583 grams brown rice flour

583 grams sorghum flour

583 grams millet flour

290 grams sweet rice flour

74 grams garfava flour

155 grams white bean flour

  1. For this Starter Mix, combine all the ingredients and mix them together until the mixture is one color.

    Store this mixture in an airtight container and use it to make the Sourdough Starter.

  2. For the Sourdough Starter, combine equal weights of the Starter Mix and water.

    For example, you might use 1 cup Starter Mix and 1 cup water.

  3. Let sit, uncovered, in a warm spot in the kitchen for three days, stirring the mixture once a day.

    You’re trying to capture yeast spores that are naturally occurring in the air in your kitchen. You’ll have more success with this process if you bake some yeast breads in the days before you create a Starter. The Starter is ready when it bubbles and it smells like bread baking.

  4. When the Starter starts bubbling, hopefully by the third day, feed it with 1 cup Sourdough Starter and 1 cup water.

    Let it grow for a day and then feed it again. Repeat once more and the Starter is ready to use.

Some experienced cooks use unwashed organic grapes in the Starter to give it a boost, but this can add chlorophyll to your Starter. Try capturing wild yeast first by using just this flour mixture and water.

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