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Gluten Free Sourdough Bread Recipe

Gluten Free Sourdough Bread Recipe

This flavorful loaf of gluten free sourdough bread is made with the simplest wild yeast sourdough starter. Your basic loaf of sandwich bread, no commercial yeast needed.

This flavorful loaf of gluten free sourdough bread is made with the simplest wild yeast sourdough starter. No commercial yeast at all!

Why make pure wild yeast gluten free sourdough bread?

This recipe for a standard loaf of gluten free sourdough bread and our simplified recipe for gluten free wild yeast sourdough starter are not designed to be a deep dive into all things sourdough. Our goal here is much simpler.

Indeed, this is a loaf of authentic gluten free sourdough bread, made without any commercial yeast at all. But these recipes are designed to scratch the itch for a fuller-bodied yeasty tasting bread, and to help you enjoy fresh homemade bread if you don’t have any commercial yeast. 

Think of it more like a workhorse kind of white sandwich bread that’s great for lunches. In my bread book, GFOAS Bakes Bread, I have a whole chapter on wild yeast sourdough recipes and we go deep.

Here, we go simple. The rules are a little relaxed, but the process takes less work. And frankly I believe that the deep dive in Bakes Bread really illustrates why I still love traditional cookbooks that can really explore a whole subject.

This flavorful loaf of gluten free sourdough bread is made with the simplest wild yeast sourdough starter. No commercial yeast at all!

Grab your active, fed wild yeast gluten free sourdough starter

Before we begin discussing how to make bread with your active, fed wild yeast sourdough starter, let’s first make sure you have one! If you don’t, no worries at all you’ve come to the right place.

Keep in mind that a wild yeast sourdough starter (one made without any commercial yeast, which is a single strain of yeast) takes at least 5 days to become active. And it will perform best after about 10 days.

You can speed things up by adding a bit of commercial yeast to your starter. If you have commercial yeast on hand and you need a loaf of bread today, I recommend our simplest gluten free white sandwich bread recipe.

But if you’ve been confused by sourdough starters in the past, try to stick with us. We’ve simplified the process significantly. Please see our recipe for how to create a gluten free sourdough starter.

It includes an instructional video to bring it to life, and frequently asked questions to help soothe your worried sourdough soul. 😘

First, feed your starter

Understand that your starter must have been “fed” according to the recipe instructions within the previous 12 hours for it to work in this recipe.

If your starter hasn’t been fed, please resist the urge to proceed with an active starter that hasn’t been fed recently. The yeast will have consumed its available food and simply won’t be active enough to give a proper rise to a whole loaf of bread.

This flavorful loaf of gluten free sourdough bread is made with the simplest wild yeast sourdough starter. No commercial yeast at all!

What kind of rise can you expect?

Since this bread is made with a very simple, liquid sourdough starter, it will not rise like the breads in Bakes Bread. If you have that book, turn to the opening section of the sourdough chapter. You’ll find a photo of sourdough bread dough that literally popped like a can of biscuits when I opened it after its refrigerator rise.

This recipe is for a batter-style bread, not our bread recipes that call for the more complex gluten free bread flour so it has only one rise. And produces a more ordinary loaf. But when you’re baking with limits, like we always are, “ordinary” can be amazing, especially when it comes to fresh homemade bread.

How long will the rise take?

This rise takes quite a bit of time. In all of my recipe testing, I’m yet to see a rise that took less than 3 hours.

But this bread dough is much less likely to overproof and take on that pock-marked appearance than bread made with conventional yeast. If you’re unsure about whether or not the bread has proofed enough, allow it to keep rising.

I’ve even allowed the dough to rise for 8 hours. It still hadn’t overproofed. Overproofed dough like this tends to have little dimples on the surface. That takes a lot longer to happen here.

That means that you can feed your active starter tonight, and leave it out on the counter, loosely covered. Then, when you wake up tomorrow morning, make the bread dough and set it to rise during the day. When you’re about an hour away from dinnertime, bake the loaf and enjoy.

This flavorful loaf of gluten free sourdough bread is made with the simplest wild yeast sourdough starter. No commercial yeast at all!

Ingredients and substitutions

Dairy: You should be able to replace the dairy in this bread recipe successfully. The milk can be replaced with unsweetened nondairy milk (my favorite is almond milk), or even with water. If you replace the milk with water, your loaf will simply be a bit less tender but it should still rise.

I haven’t tried replacing the butter with a nondairy replacement, but you should be able to use your favorite vegan butter alternative. I only recommend using a butter alternative like Melt or Miyoko’s Kitchen brand vegan butter or Earth Balance, and not oil.

Tapioca starch/flour: When I was first testing this recipe, I made it with 3 1/2 cups of all purpose gluten free flour, and the dough didn’t rise as readily and the crumb was tighter. I much prefer the recipe made with 1/2 cup of tapioca starch/flour.

If you don’t have tapioca starch, you can try using arrowroot in its place, or even another 1/2 cup of all purpose gluten free flour. I’m afraid I can’t predict exactly what results you’ll get, though.

 

This flavorful loaf of gluten free sourdough bread is made with the simplest wild yeast sourdough starter. No commercial yeast at all!

This flavorful loaf of gluten free sourdough bread is made with the simplest wild yeast sourdough starter. No commercial yeast at all!

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 1 loaf bread

Ingredients

3 cups (420 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)

1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1/2 cup (70 g) tapioca starch/flour

2 tablespoons (25 g) granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons (9 g) kosher salt

3/4 cup (165 g) active, fed gluten free wild yeast sourdough starter (fed within previous 12 hours according to starter recipe instructions)

1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) warm milk (about 95°F), plus more by the tablespoon

4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

Directions

  • Grease a standard 9-inch x 5-inch loaf pan and line with parchment paper. Set the pan aside.

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a large bowl with a hand mixer fitted with dough hooks, place the all purpose flour, xanthan gum, tapioca starch/flour, granulated sugar, and salt, and mix or whisk to combine well. Add the starter, 1 1/2 cups of milk, and the butter, and beat on medium speed to combine. This is a batter-style bread dough, so it won’t resemble traditional bread dough, but rather a soft cookie dough. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed and beat until the dough has taken on a whipped appearance (about 5 minutes). The dough should be tacky to the touch, but should hold its shape when scooped. If your dough feels at all dry to the touch, add more milk by the tablespoon, beating it in until well-combined, until the dough reaches the proper consistency.

  • Transfer the bread dough to the prepared loaf pan. Using a moistened spatula, press the dough into every corner of the loaf pan and spread the top into an even layer. For a more traditional loaf shape, pile the dough a bit more toward the center in a dome. Cover the loaf pan with lightly oiled plastic wrap and allow it to rise in a warm, draft-free place until it’s reached about 150% of its original size, at least 4 hours. It will not fully double in volume, and will rise more in the oven than it does raw. Even traditional yeast bread dough will take longer to rise properly in colder, drier weather and less time in warmer, more humid weather. This wild yeast sourdough bread will take longer to rise than any other, and will depend in part upon the age of your starter.

  • Rising Tip: This bread dough is much less likely to overproof and take on that pock-marked appearance than bread made with conventional yeast. If you’re unsure about whether or not the bread has proofed enough, allow it to keep rising.

  • When the bread is nearing the end of its rise, preheat your oven to 400°F. Remove the plastic wrap and, using a sharp knife or lame, slash the top of the loaf from one short end to the other about 1/4-inch deep. Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven and allow to bake for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temp to 350°F, rotate the pan 180° around, and continue to bake until center of the loaf reads 200°F on an instant read thermometer (about 30 minutes more). The crust won’t darken very much, but the loaf should sound hollow when thumped quickly with a finger. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the bread to cool for about 10 minutes in the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving.

  • To freeze the bread, cool the loaf completely, then slice, wrap tightly and freeze the slices. Defrost as many slices at a time as you need in the toaster.

Love,
Nicole

Comments are closed.

  • Janice Marela
    September 17, 2020 at 7:22 PM

    I loved this recipe. It came out so much like a gluten piece of bread. I am wondering if you will consider making a boule sourdough loaf? I made my favourite grilled cheese with this loaf. It was so good.

    • Nicole Hunn
      September 18, 2020 at 8:10 AM

      Hi, Janice, I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe. Tasting like “a gluten piece of bread” is the holy grail, for sure. I have a whole chapter of sourdough recipes in my bread book, GFOAS Bakes Bread, including a boule. But that’s based on a different set of ingredients and techniques. You might enjoy it, though.

  • Erika J
    August 22, 2020 at 10:25 PM

    Hi Nicole,
    Have you tried doing a slower proof overnight in the fridge to allow more development of that lovely fermented flavour?

    • Nicole Hunn
      August 23, 2020 at 10:12 AM

      I only recommend that with the sourdough recipes made with the mother starter in my bread book, Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread, Erika. This is a batter-style bread dough, and it’s much more temperamental.

  • Jim
    August 13, 2020 at 9:18 AM

    Can you use a Dutch oven for this recipe?

    • Nicole Hunn
      August 13, 2020 at 10:11 AM

      I’m afraid I haven’t tried that, Jim. The recipe was developed for and tested in a loaf pan, and isn’t an easily-shaped loaf.

  • Jenn
    August 11, 2020 at 10:06 AM

    Ok I have a question. I’m nervous about using my starter. I’ve worked hard on it. I should have used my am discard but wasn’t thinking. I fed my started.. how long should I wait to use it for a loaf now?

    • Nicole Hunn
      August 11, 2020 at 2:56 PM

      I’m afraid I’m not really following where you think you went wrong, Jenn. Don’t be nervous, it will renew itself! You’ll use, then feed to refresh and store for next time. To use it, you need to have fed it within the last 12 hours, just as described in the starter post.

  • Jackie
    July 30, 2020 at 3:03 PM

    Hi. What if after the first 12 hours of starting my starter, my sourdough rises with bubbles. Can I use that for a bread recipe? Do I have to wait 7 days for it to be considered a sourdough starter ready for a bread recipe? Thank you so much. It will be such a huge blessing for me to create a gluten free, vegan sourdough bread.

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 30, 2020 at 5:03 PM

      Just have another look at the instructions, Jackie. It’s all spelled out in there. You won’t have success if you start that quickly. The starter is just too immature.

  • Christy
    July 19, 2020 at 1:16 PM

    I pretty much can’t believe how delicious this came out. I’ve made it 3 times and my gluten capable husband has had his unfair share of the loaves. I made mine with Manini Gluten Free Bread Flour as an experiment since I love their bread and pastas so much I figured their flour would be good good and it was amazing! I also made this with just the normal starter with King Arthur and the Sunset Magazine starter adapted to be gluten free. Both were great! Making another loaf right now!

  • Ellen Goodwin
    June 16, 2020 at 1:24 PM

    Hi Nicole,
    Thank you for the recipes. I have made my gf sourdough starter per your instructions. I began with Teff and sorghum flour and continued with your gum free baking mix. My question is: can I use your gum free flour mix in this recipe or do I now need to switch to an all purpose gf blend? Thanks in advance for your answer, Ellen

    • Nicole Hunn
      June 16, 2020 at 1:44 PM

      Hi, Ellen, To make the bread itself, you must use one of my recommended all purpose gluten free flour blends, not the gum-free blend. You’re well on your way! Just be patient with the rise…

  • Sue
    June 9, 2020 at 6:34 PM

    I have a regular sourdough starter and have made things with it. My question is this: can I use my starter and then add GF flour to make things like focaccia bread and pizza dough? I can’t find info on adding GF all-purpose flour to a regular sourdough starter. What are your thoughts please?

    • Nicole Hunn
      June 9, 2020 at 8:23 PM

      I absolutely do not recommend that at all, Sue. I cannot provide you with anything approaching medical advice, but anything made with conventional gluten-containing flour is not gluten free by any measure. I would never take that chance for my son, and I don’t recommend you do that either.

  • Chloe Bailey
    June 9, 2020 at 7:13 AM

    I just baked this this morning, struggled to let it cool completely before slicing into it, but it was soooo worth the wait! No sign of a rise after a few hours yesterday so I actually let it rise overnight and it almost doubled. I’m in the UK and use Doves Farm GF bread flour which has gum and tapioca flour already in the mix. I’ll try another loaf tomorrow to check it’s not just beginners luck! Really delicious recipe, thank you!

    • Nicole Hunn
      June 9, 2020 at 8:55 AM

      It’s not beginner’s luck, Chloe! It’s the patience of a saint. That’s the secret to baking with a wild yeast sourdough starter. Well done!! I’ve heard nothing but good things about Dove’s Farm flour, and wish I could try it! Years ago I asked them if they wanted to send me some since it’s not available for purchase in the U.S., and they declined.🤷‍♀️

  • Diane
    June 2, 2020 at 1:28 PM

    Is it possible to make this bread in a bread machine?

    • Nicole Hunn
      June 2, 2020 at 2:19 PM

      I don’t use or recommend use of a bread machine, Diane. They vary so significantly from brand to brand that instructions for one brand will not work for another.

  • Sharon Dubuque
    May 31, 2020 at 1:21 PM

    I have the same problem as Nicole above. I can tell there is promise. There are holes in the bread, there is a lovely crust. Using a thermometer I took the bread out after approximately 90 minutes at 200F in the middle. The bread is still doughy. I only have a hand mixer, no bread paddles. People made bread before mixers. What to do??

    • Nicole Hunn
      May 31, 2020 at 1:41 PM

      Sharon, yes, people certainly made bread before mixers, but this is gluten free yeast bread, and it’s quite different than conventional bread-baking. It sounds like you took it out too soon, since it must sound hollow when thumped on the underside, as directed in the recipe. You also may not have let it rise long enough in the first instance, overmeasured liquid, or undermeasured flour. I’m afraid I just don’t know, without being there.

  • Alisha
    May 24, 2020 at 7:52 AM

    Hi Nicole. Just wanted to say thanks so much for this recipe. I’ve made it twice now with my sorghum + teff starter and it’s been great both times. For anyone in the U.K. I’ve been using Doves Farm plain gf flour in place of the the Better Batter and tapioca starch. Proofing took ages (7 hours the first loaf and 5.5 hours on the second) but it did get to 150%. I found that it didn’t rise much more in the oven but I haven’t had the gummy texture issue a few folk were mentioning so I am happy! I’ve also been making crackers out of the discard to reduce waste. Thanks again!

    • Nicole Hunn
      May 24, 2020 at 8:31 AM

      Thank you for letting us know that Dove’s Farm plain flour worked well for you. From everything I’ve heard, it’s an appropriate replacement for Better Batter, which is great. And yes, the proofing does take a long, long (long) time. Your lived experience will help others be brave!

  • Vicki
    May 20, 2020 at 10:11 PM

    Hi Nicole!
    Just wanted to let you know that I substituted your yeast bread flour blend and it turned out great! It also had a lovely browned crust. I didn’t use any additional yeast, but I did put the loaf into a warm humid microwave to raise. Will definitely be making more sourdough bread in the future.

  • Kim C
    May 16, 2020 at 7:31 AM

    Your sourdough starter instructions were so well done and easy to follow!! Turned out perfectly. Being in Sudbury, Ontario, we unfortunately don’t have the flour blend that you recommended .Made this loaf with PC GF all purpose flour and it worked beautifully. Thank you for making this Covid time a more tasty learning journey!!

    • Nicole Hunn
      May 16, 2020 at 8:16 AM

      That’s so awesome, Kim! Thank you for reporting back with your results. There is something so empowering about making a loaf of wild yeast sourdough bread, isn’t there?

  • Kimberly Edgar
    May 14, 2020 at 3:57 PM

    Hey! I tried making this with my bubbly, active starter, and it just didn’t rise properly. I even left it overnight after waiting 8 hours and nothing. I am following the recipe exactly, the ONLY difference is that I don’t have a mixture (a stand mixer OR a handheld) so I am mixing/kneading by hand. Could the mixing process be whats stopping it from rising properly? I am admittedly not that experienced with kneading dough. I am fairly certain its not my starter, which seems healthy. I also had a similar problem making yeast bread, again with mixing by hand and not with a mixer. Thanks in advance with answering this! Other than the bread loaf recipes (I ordered your books and I am eagerly awaiting their arrival) every other recipe I’ve tried on your website has been AMAZING. I am obsessively mixing all your flour blends, my partner is so shocked that I am suddenly making empanadas and the 2 ingredient dough rolls and bagels and such. She’s thrilled lol. Anyway, thank you!!

    • Nicole Hunn
      May 14, 2020 at 4:04 PM

      It sounds like you’ve been super busy, Kimberly, in a very good way! I’m afraid you really do need some sort of mixer, at least in my experience. Do you have a food processor? I haven’t tried that, but it might help. I’m sorry that I don’t have any other suggestions!

  • Samantha H.
    May 14, 2020 at 2:25 PM

    It. Worked. Perfectly.
    The step-by-step starter instructions (and Q&A from readers) helped alot for a newbie.
    Baked this recipe today with a Day 6 starter. Added a little instant yeast to help as per your tip. Started in the morning as per your advice and it was ready for the oven before dinner time. Such priceless advice.

    Our kid was and still is super happy.
    His first reaction, “Mama, I have missed this kind of bread”.

    Thank you Nicole.

    • Nicole Hunn
      May 14, 2020 at 4:03 PM

      Aw, Samantha, that comment from your son is truly priceless. You can’t buy that sort of satisfaction—for mom or child! I’m so glad you did well. Thank you for letting me have a peek inside that happiness.

  • Sarah
    May 13, 2020 at 10:56 AM

    I was so excited for this, and have followed the recipes meticulously. We tried the bread on day 6, and it turned out a little dense so i figured it was because the starter wasn’t mature enough. Tried again today, day 9, and same result! It definitely rose more during the 8 hour rise than the last time, but it’s heavy, dense and just a little gummy. I was expecting it to rise more, like yours, and look more like sandwich bread. I’ve done gluten based starters before which worked great, so I thought the transition to gluten free sourdough starter wouldn’t be much different. The starter looks healthy and bubbly as I expected, smells yeasty, sour and a little sweet. I’ve relooked a the steps a million times with my husband, and can’t figure out what’s wrong. I miss eating good bread so much :(

    • Nicole Hunn
      May 13, 2020 at 11:50 AM

      It sounds like your starter is nice and active, so the issue that is happening is later in the process. Are you making substitutions, especially in flour blend? You cannot use anything other than the blends that I recommend. King Arthur Flour, Bob’s Red Mill, blends will simply not work. Are you measuring by volume instead of by weight? And where are you setting the bread to rise, and are you baking the bread until it sounds hollow when thumped on the bottom?

  • Valerie
    May 11, 2020 at 8:29 PM

    So disappointed. My starter was on it’s 8th day and fed last night. Made this morning . I used a mixture of sorghum, teff and brown rice for the starter. It. U. Led and had a beautiful sweet smell. I heated the oven to 200 F and turned off and let cool a bit thinking that would be a warm place to rise. Let it rise 6 hours. Cooked and thermometer said 200 degrees. When I cut into it, it is doughy. Gummy. Read other posts. Oven too hot? Didn’t rise enough? any suggestions?

    • Nicole Hunn
      May 12, 2020 at 8:31 AM

      It’s never a good idea to set dough to rise in an oven that has been turned on, even to the lowest temperature. It is often too hot to rise, and not hot enough to bake, so it kills the yeast. If it did rise, but just didn’t cook all the way through, then it sounds like it simply didn’t bake for long enough. The internal temperature + the hollow thumping sound are necessary. Otherwise, your gauge likely went into a spot that was baked, but it wasn’t baked all the way through.

  • Lori Cummings
    May 11, 2020 at 4:02 PM

    Temp and cooking time? I couldn’t find it anywhere in the recipe, I did, however, see on the video to cook at 400 degrees approx how long does it cook?

    • Nicole Hunn
      May 11, 2020 at 5:49 PM

      Please see Step 5, Lori. All of the information is there.

  • Jaclyn
    May 11, 2020 at 3:19 PM

    Oh sorry I was vague. I have been feeding my starter brown rice flour. I made the loaf with Mock Better Batter.

  • Patricia
    May 11, 2020 at 2:48 PM

    Nicole: Thanks for the recipie! I fed my starter for seven days with sweet sorghum and brown rice. I ran out of sorghum and had to switch to a mix of brown rice/buckwheat so hope I don’t end up with a wonky flavour. My dough looks quite heavy in the pan but will let you know how it turns out. I poured off the hooch daily but missed a step where it said to discard 1/3 of the mixture (is that the hooch or the actual flour mix?) Last question, I now have a fair bit of starter, is there another recipie I could try also with this mix? Thank you kindly- hope you and family are staying safe through this pandemic!

    • Nicole Hunn
      May 11, 2020 at 3:03 PM

      The discard is 1/3 of the starter, Patricia. It always has to be that you’re discarding (or at least removing) actual starter for you to maintain an active starter, and one that doesn’t grow exponentially. The yeast won’t thrive otherwise. I don’t have any other wild yeast sourdough starter recipes available for free on the blog.

  • Namrata Shastri
    May 9, 2020 at 2:52 PM

    Am super excited to try your gf starter in a couple of days. Just a quick question Nicole, I have my own glutenfree blend of flour I sell which is a combo of brown rice , sorghum, tapioca and raw banana flour . Have never tried a bread though , was wondering if I could make the above recipe with my blend ? What are your comments please on the same ?

    • Nicole Hunn
      May 9, 2020 at 4:08 PM

      Definitely not, Namrata. If you have such a unique blend like that you’ll need a recipe that is designed for that blend. In none of my recipes would that blend qualify as an “all purpose” blend.

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