2-Ingredient Gluten-Free Sourdough Starter

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This homemade 2-ingredient gluten-free sourdough starter is the new revolutionary innovation in home baked gluten-free bread.  It works much better than store-bought dry yeast starter. Your homemade bread will be so much healthier and tastier than any store-bought bread.  

2-Ingredient Gluten-free Sourdough Starter-This homemade 2-ingredient gluten-free sourdough starter is the new revolutionary innovation in home baked gluten-free bread. It works much better than store-bought dry yeast starter. Your homemade bread will be so much healthier and tastier than any store-bought bread. #Vegan #GlutenFree

Have you ever gotten very frustrated because your homemade gluten-free vegan bread caved in the center?  Or just won’t rise as high as the wheat bread you’re more familiar with?

Honestly, I did.  Thousands of times!  Looking back at my old notes, I found that many times I crossed out the records of the homemade gluten-free sandwich bread I tried.  

For years, I thought it was due to the lack of gluten.  My understanding, like many others, was that the sticky gluten protein is what holds the gas produced during fermentation inside the wheat dough.  This would then allow the bread to rise. If the GF bread is vegan as well, the absence of egg white makes it even more challenging for the bread to puff and hold its shape.

Boy, was I wrong!  Or I should say, I’m glad I was Wrong!  

2-ingredient Gluten-free Sourdough Starter-inforgraphic image

Yes, a good yeast starter like this homemade sourdough starter. (You can remove the sour taste with baking soda.)

Why do you need to make your own gluten-free sourdough starter?

I have found that using this homemade gluten-free sourdough starter can really make the bread puffy and soft.  After trying many times to use store-bought active dry yeast, I found that the bread doesn’t hold its shape and the texture is hard to control from batch to batch.  More annoying yet, if the fermentation exceeds 2 hours with the store-bought yeast, the dough will have a bit of bitter alcohol taste, even after baking.

As research shows, the fermentation step takes time for microorganisms to break down protein, carbohydrate, fibers, and other nutrients.  Homemade sourdough starter is rich with those live microorganisms. They help to predigest the nutrients in the food, making them more favorable to our body.    

What do you need to make gluten-free sourdough starter?

You only need two ingredients for this recipe.

Brown teff flour

Water

2-ingredient Gluten-free Sourdough Starter-brown teff flour

Mix the two ingredients with the 1:2  ratio by weight. For instance, 50 grams of teff flour and 100 grams of water.  The ratio is important! (See this research paper if you’re interested.)

How to make gluten-free sourdough starter?

You can easily make it at home.  Here are the steps!

  1. Mix the two ingredients together with clean hands in a grease free bowl.
  2. Transfer the mixture into a grease free glass jar and then cover with a lid.  The lid doesn’t have to be airtight.
  3. Let the jar sit in a room with temperature between 63-77℉ or 17-25℃ for 18-24 hours.

The initial fermentation will produce lots of gas.  That’s a good indication that fermentation is taking place.  An acidic yellowish liquid will start to form around 22 hours depending on your room temperature.  At this point your sourdough starter is ready to use for making bread.

If the initial fermentation exceeds 24 hours, at the point of 33 hours, the liquid layer will be darker (grayish color) and the smell will be strong and distinct.  If the fermentation exceeds 33 hours, it will be slightly more sour.

2-ingredient Gluten-free Sourdough Starter-stacked image-fermentation process at different time

How to use homemade gluten-free sourdough starter?

Once the sourdough starter is ready to use, I mix the liquid on the surface with the batter on the bottom to form a well-mixed paste.  I use part of the starter for my gluten-free bread as the recipe calls and reserve the rest for making more starter.

2-ingredient Gluten-free Sourdough Starter-starter in a spoon

How to keep homemade gluten-free sourdough starter?

Like any homemade fermented foods, you need to continuously feed the starter to keep it growing.  (I always say fermented foods are like pets but you don’t have to walk them.) All you need to do is add more water and brown teff flour to the sourdough starter you reserved from the previous batch.  At this point, the ratio between teff flour and water is not important.

If you are not planning to use it in a day or so, you can refrigerate it to slow down the fermentation.  Remember to feed your starter fresh flour and water every two or three days to ensure the microorganisms are fed.

2-ingredient Gluten-free Sourdough Starter-closeup view-starter in a jar

Can I use different flour, such as brown rice flour, instead of teff flour to make the sourdough starter?

I have tried brown rice flour, white rice flour, and sweet rice flour.  They don’t work at all. Mold starts to grow after a few days. Teff flour contains microorganisms that are a good source to start fermentation.

In Ethiopia, a  kind of pancake like bread called Enjera is made using fermented teff  flour (batter).

2-ingredient Gluten-free Sourdough Starter-top view-starter in a jar

Side note:  I remember reading one post where this woman’s starter turned black and stunk up her entire house.  I tried that too, not very good. If it’s black, it means bad mold so you shouldn’t use it.

If by any chance, you are making water kefir at home or can borrow some from a friend , you can replace 10 grams of water with water kefir in this recipe.  This way the fermentation will start more quickly with live probiotics and not have the distinct smelly odor that the non-water kefir starter has.

2-ingredient Gluten-free Sourdough Starter-front view in a jar

In the end, if you love fermented food, you may be interested in some of my homemade fermented food recipes.

Homemade Water Kefir

Homemade Milk Kefir

Sichuan Style Fermented Vegetables

How to make Soy Milk Kefir

How to make Fermented Sweet Rice (Jiuniang)

2-ingredient gluten-free sourdough starter
Prep Time
5 mins
 
This homemade 2-ingredient gluten-free sourdough starter is the new revolutionary innovation in home baked gluten-free bread. It works much better than store-bought dry yeast starter. Your homemade bread will be so much healthier and tastier than any store-bought bread.
Author: Joyce Gan
Ingredients
  • 50 grams brown teff flour gluten-free
  • 100 grams water
Instructions
  1. Mix the two ingredients together with clean hand in a grease free bowl.
  2. Transfer the mixture into a grease free glass jar and then cover with a lid. The lid doesn’t have to be airtight.
  3. Let the jar sit in a room with temperature between 63-77℉ or 17-25℃ for 18-24 hours.
Recipe Notes
  1. The initial fermentation will evolutate lots of gas.  It’s also a good indication that fermentation is taking place.  An acidic yellowish liquid will start to form around 22 hours depending on your room temperature.  At this point your sourdough starter is ready to use for making bread.
  2. If the initial fermentation exceeds 24 hours, to the 33 hour mark, the liquid layer will be darker (grayish color) and the smell will be strong and distinct.  
  3. See post text for how to keep homemade gluten-free sourdough starter.

 

This homemade 2-ingredient gluten-free sourdough starter is the new revolutionary innovation in home baked gluten-free bread.  It works much better than store-bought dry yeast starter.  Your homemade bread will be so much healthier and tastier than any store-bought bread.  (#vegan #glutenfree)

4 comments

  1. Debbie says:

    Hi Joyce
    Thank you so much for this recipe. I can’t
    wait to try and make it .
    Do you have a recipe that you use to add the starter mix too.

    Thank you
    Debbie

    • Joyce says:

      Hi Debbie, I’m glad you like the recipe. Yes, I’ll post a homemade gluten-free bread using this starter soon. I’ll keep you updated. 🙂

    • Joyce says:

      I used a pint jar for my recipe but the starter was almost overflowed. So a quart jar would be a good size to start.

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