Sunday, December 15, 2013

Gluten-Free Wild Sourdough Day 1

Making gluten-free sourdough bread is easy and fun, and the final product is delicious. It tastes a bit sharp and cheesey, which a dairy-free gal like me really appreciates.

Many THM gals have asked me for my gluten free sourdough bread recipe. I love to be of service so I'm glad they asked, but I was a little bit intimidated by the prospect because my recipe is still under development and I just shelved it for a couple years. After some consideration I decided to start my sourdough starter again and track my progress on the blog. That way, gals (and guys!) can follow along on the day-by-day process and hopefully I can just put the finishing touches on the recipe to make sure it turns out as delicious and well-textured as it should. 

So for day one, you'll need organic brown rice flour, filtered water (if available) and 2 whole organic dates. 

I use the dates as a source of wild yeast. If you look closely at this zoomed in picture, these dates have some tiny white specks on them-- little colonies of yeast. The date on the right is more uniformly covered (except on the raised wrinkles) with a purplish film. This is all called bloom- wild yeast that has been attracted to fruit. The bloomier and white-speckled-ier you can find them, the better. I've seen traditional recipes that use grapes for this purpose but grapes didn't work for me. The dates you see in the picture are not very bloomy but they were the best I could find and they'll work out okay. I also see dried figs covered in white bloom sometimes-- you could try that if you couldn't find bloomy dates.

Measure equal parts brown rice flour and water and combine in a straight-sided jar. Mix well. I used 3T of each.

Plop in those dates.

Push them down with a spoon until they are fully submerged.

Cover loosely to keep out dust. Put in a warm, cheerful place. Stir morning and night, more if you think of it, to keep water and flour well-mixed. Sometimes I call my sourdough starter my "chia pet" because I will bound out of bed in the morning to see if it has come alive yet. After a few days, one morning you'll lift off the cloth and find your starter is exuberantly bubbling away-- how exciting!-- and you'll be ready for the next step.

By the way, I think you could try non-organic but sometimes the chemicals prevent healthy sourdough growth. Since you're investing your time and patience, set yourself (and your starter) up for success if you can. 

Have fun and let me know if you have any questions!!


  1. Could I use sorghum flour instead of brown rice flour?

  2. You mentioned that there is a next step. What is that? Where can I find it?

  3. I would love to know if you tried this with any other GF flours, as rice came up on my intolerance list.

  4. Emily and Michelle, I've read that sorghum, quinoa, amaranth and teff all work well as sourdough starters. Thanks to Jeanne at for this tip, which I'm just passing along! :)

  5. p.s. to Michelle, I've tried teff, and it worked well but had a strong flavor (perfect for ethiopian injera bread)

  6. Thanks for the tip Christine! I should link each post to the next. These wild sourdough posts are a mini-series- all in December 2013- and this is the first one. I am pretty busy right now (getting married in a week) so I won't get to the linking for awhile, but if you click here, you'll see all the posts for December and can hone in on the sourdough ones. Sorry to be so low-tech. :)

  7. I am also curious about the "next step"! Where might I find actual recipes for the sourdough? Do I "feed" the dough each day after it bubbles? Do I store it in the fridge (after it bubbles)? thank you so much for sharing all these ideas! I hope your wedding went well! Blessings on the last half of your first year!! :-)