Gluten-free baking can be challenging. It has taken me years of failed attempts to nail down this gluten-free sourdough bread recipe!
But first, you must have a good active starter. If you didn’t watch my previous post on how to make a gluten-free sourdough starter, you are going to want to check that out and get one started.
Your bread is only going to be as good as your starter is!
The different flours you need to get the best results.
The reason that this took me so long to get a good bread down was because I was trying all different kinds of flours. I tried buckwheat flour, oat flour, even an all purpose gluten free flour and I was not satisfied with any of them.
I am a firm believer that in order to get a good gluten-free sourdough bread, you need to have the right flours.
But it is more then just the flour. Unfortunately you can not make a good gluten-free bread without multiple ingredients. You will need things like apple cider vinegar, eggs, and xanthan gum to get the best bread in both texture and taste.
After lots of trial and error on this recipe, the two best flours I have found to make the best product is white rice flour and tapioca starch or flour.
If you have followed my gluten free starter recipe you would have used brown rice flour and sorghum flour to start and feed your starter. If you don’t want to buy white rice flour you can use brown rice flour, however I find that the white rice flour is just slightly better in taste and is more like a white bread.
As I mentioned in the starter video, using an all purpose gluten-free flour just won’t work. You will never get the right texture in your finished bread.
What kind of special equipment will I need to make the bread?
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Since gluten free sourdough bread is so different then regular, there is added equipment that I feel you need and can’t do without. The first is a stand mixer. Your bread dough is not going to look or feel the same as a regular sourdough bread dough, the mixer is what really makes this bread light and airy.
If you don’t have a stand mixer you can definitely use a hand mixer, but if you do have a stand mixer that is my preferred way. You just really can’t use a good ol’ wooden spoon and bowl for this. You will get a very dense product.
The second piece of equipment you will need is a digital kitchen scale. You should already have one from making your starter, but if you don’t it is highly important in making a good bread. Measuring out your gf flours, water, and active wild yeast without one is just not an option. You will get a dense product if you try to do so.
The texture of your bread will be really sticky before baking it, so there is no need for a banneton basket. You will let your bread rise in a nicely oiled glass bowl.
Once you have all your supplies you are ready to go!
What to do with all that discard?
When jumping on the wagon of making sourdough bread you will likely have loads of discard. If you make this bread recipe every single day you will use up almost all of your active starter in the bread and just enough left over to feed and let activate again.
But what happens when you don’t bake bread every day? You will still need to discard and feed every single day, as long as it is at room temperature on your counter, but you will be left with lots of discard.
You can use this gluten free sourdough discard in loads of recipes! Try adding about 1/4 – 1/2 a cup to some gluten free cake donuts, dinner rolls, or even pizza dough! The possibilities are endless and it will give your products a nice sourdough taste.
- 250g Active Starter
- 340g Warm Water
- 340g White Rice Flour (or Brown Rice Flour)
- 230g Tapioca Starch/Flour
- 2 TBSP Honey
- 2 Eggs
- 2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 4 tsp Xanthan Gum
- 2 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 TBSP Avocado Oil, Olive Oil, or cooking oil of choice
- Measure out your active starter and water into the bowl of your stand mixer.
- Measure out the white rice flour and tapioca flour in the bowl of your stand mixer.
- Add in all other ingredients.
- Turn your mixer on low and mix for about 2 minutes. You want your dough to be sticky but coming together a little bit. As the mixer keeps working, you will see the dough start to form a dough ball slightly. Although it will be very sticky (see video).
- Lightly dust your counter with more rice flour or a little bit of gluten free all purpose flour. Turn your dough out onto the floured surface.
- Wetting your hands just a little bit, start to shape your bread. This will be the only time you will shape it so make sure you really smooth it out.
- Using a dough scraper, pick bread dough up and flip upside down into a well oiled bowl. Wet your hands and smooth out this side of your bread.
- Cover bread with a shower cap or plastic wrap and set on your counter for 5 to 10 hours. Your bread will double in size. Make sure to not let it sit for over 10 hours or you will get a very sour bread as the fermentation process is still happening as it sits in your warm kitchen.
Let’s bake our bread!
- When you are about ready to bake, place your cast iron or Dutch oven in the oven and preheat it to 425 degrees.
- Place a piece of parchment paper on your counter and gently dump your bread out onto the paper. Be very careful at this point not to move your bread or punch it down. You don’t want to lose your nice rise!
- Score your bread with a sharp knife or a scoring blade.
- Gently lift your parchment paper with your bread on it and place in your hot Dutch oven. In between the parchment paper and the Dutch oven place 2-4 ice cubes and quickly put the lid back on your Dutch oven.
- Close your oven door and bake for 25 minutes.
- Once the timer has gone off remove the lid and bake for another 25-30 minutes. You want your internal temperature of your bread to be 205 degrees or higher. Your bread is not done in the middle until it has reached that temperature!
- Remove your bread and place on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing although we have a hard time waiting!
Watch how I make my gluten-free sourdough bread here:
How do you store your gluten-free sourdough bread?
When I was growing up, I was told to always keep gluten free breads in the freezer when not using them and put the loaf I am working through in the fridge.
When I started making my own bread, I quickly realized that this was not good for homemade bread. Every time I would keep my bread in the fridge, it would get hard and stale.
Upon doing some research I found that the purpose of the refrigerator is to keep your moisture in your food at bay. That is great for preserving left over dishes and other foods but detrimental for homemade gluten free breads. You essentially are removing all the moisture from the bread when stored in the fridge and your bread will dry out in a hurry.
If you would like to make bread ahead of time, you may store it in the freezer and remove it to come to room temperature once ready to eat. But do not store bread in the fridge.
I always store all my bread that we are currently eating in a gallon Ziploc bag in a breadbox on my counter. You will find that gluten free sourdough bread lasts quite a few days without going moldy on the counter.
As always, homemade gluten free bread is always best on it’s first day. Each day after, it starts to get a little stiff and gummy. If we want it not toasted on a sandwich or as a side for soup, I will make sure to bake it the same day we are wanting to eat it. After that it makes great toast, grilled cheese, French toast, or even grilled cheese!
Things to remember when baking gluten free bread.
First always remember that gluten free bread will not LOOK the same as regular bread. It doesn’t matter what type of bread your making, sourdough or a commercial yeast bread, a good bread will look different. This is because without the gluten your bread will act differently. If you try and get a dough ball that you can knead, you will get a really heavy dense bread.
There is no need for kneading with gluten free!
Second, the flour you use matters for the finished product. Because every all purpose gluten free flour is made up of different flours in one, you can’t use an all purpose flour to make bread. I have found that the less flours you use the better. One gluten free grain flour (I prefer rice flours) and a starch (I prefer tapioca starch) will give you the best outcome.
You can experiment with different gluten free grain flours in place of the white rice flour and see what you and your family like the best. I have tried many and white rice flour is our favorite!
Third, without gluten you don’t have a binding agent for your bread. So remember that it takes many ingredients to make a good bread in both taste AND texture. I would not recommend skipping or substituting any ingredients. The xanthan gum, eggs, and apple cider vinegar are very helpful in the texture of your bread.
Why is sourdough so good for you, even if it’s gluten free?
Fermented foods are so good for you. Whether that be fermented carrots, sour kraut, or even fermented beets. When you get fermented foods into your diet you are making your digestive system very happy!
When you create a gluten-free sourdough starter and use that in place of commercial yeasts you are essentially using a wild yeast. The microflora of the sourdough increases your bodies ability to absorb vitamins and minerals in your foods. When your starter is fermenting, it is breaking down the phytic acid which enables your body to digest it better.
The better your body can digest it’s food and absorb vitamins and minerals, the healthier you are. Sourdough is a great way to get those healthy bacteria’s into your body!
This gluten-free sourdough bread recipe has been a process, but I have learned so much during it. My girls have been my guinea pigs all along the way, so now that we have a good recipe they would prefer this bread over any other! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
Gluten Free Sourdough Bread
- 1 Stand mixer or hand mixer
- 1 Digital kitchen scale
- 1 Thermometer
- 1 Dough Scraper
- 1 Dutch Oven
- 250 grams active gluten free starter
- 340 grams warm water
- 340 grams white rice flour
- 230 grams tapioca starch/flour
- 2 TBSP honey
- 2 eggs
- 4 tsp Xanthan Gum
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 TBSP avocado oil
- Using a digital scale, measure out your starter, warm water, white rice flour, and tapioca flour in the bowl of your stand mixer.
- Add in all other ingredients. Turn mixer onto low and mix for two minutes. Your dough will start to come together slightly but it will be a really thick cake batter and very sticky.
- Turn dough out onto a slightly floured counter. Wet hands and shape your dough so that it is smooth on the top. You do not need to knead your dough.
- Using a dough scraper, pick up dough and flip it upside down into a well oiled glass bowl.
- Cover with plastic wrap or I like to use a shower cap and set on counter from 5-10 hours.
- Once your dough has risen to double in size, preheat your oven to 425°. Stick your Dutch oven in the oven to preheat also.
- Dump your bread out onto a piece of parchment paper and score it with a pretty design.
- Carefully take your lid off your Dutch oven and pick your parchment paper with the bread on it up. Place in your Dutch oven. Put 3-4 ice cubes in between the parchment paper and Dutch oven and quickly put the lid back on. This will create a steam affect for your bread.
- Bake with the lid on for 25 minutes.
- Remove the lid and bake another 25-30 minutes or until your bread reaches an internal temperature of 205° or higher.
- Immediately remove the bread from the Dutch oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.
- Store in a Ziplock bag on the counter for up to 5 days. It is best the first 2 days.