Gluten free sour dough

My Mezzaluna


Hi there, I recently read that the amount of gluten in proper sour dough bread is so negligible that it is regarded as gluten free. This being that the natural yeasts from the starter I presume are digesting all the sugars and gluten in the flour. I would love to try making my own sourdough without commercial yeast and am a bit confused about how to go about that. Which recipe is best to use for the dough to sit long enough for the gluten to be properly digested by the microbes? From what I can gather on this website is that once you have your starter you then add flour, water and salt. How long does one then leave the kneaded dough to rise for the level of gluten to go down to a level where it would be safe for those with gluten allergies? Many thanks in advance.


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farinam's picture
farinam 2012 September 18

Hello My Mezzaluna,

I might be proved wrong, but the only way to get gluten free bread is to use gluten free ingredients.  There is no way that the gluten can be consumed by yeasts or bacteria and if it was the bread would fall flat.  The gluten structure can be weakened by over-proving (and the bread will fall flat) but the gluten is still there. 

Yeasts are yeasts whether they are grown commercially as a pure strain or whether they are captured from the wild population.

If you want to do sourdough, you would do well to read SourDom's beginners blogs on this site. 

If you particularly want to do gluten free sourdough, Staffo has blogged on this topic in a fair bit of length.

Let us know how you go.


Staffo 2012 September 18

Hi My Mezzaluna,

An Italian research group has done some work on making gluten modified (reduced/ free?) bread using specific strains of lactic acid bacteria. There are also some patents for processes using specific lactic acid bacteria to modify gluten in bread. It looks as if their aim is to make a bread that is safe for people with coeliac disease.  I am a bit intrigued by the work because as soon as you remove or degrade the gluten you also loose the structure of the bread - so why not simply work at making good gluten free sourdough using gluten free ingredients? Whatever the ourcome of that research work, it is unlikely that it could be replicated without access to a microbiologist to ensure the right mix of bacteria, and a food technologist to ensure that the gluten has been eliminated - so, in my humble opinion, it is not something to try at home!

Farinam is correct, the only safe way of making gluten free bread - yeasted or sourdough - is to begin with gluten free ingredients. I have been working on that for a while, and I have posted on  You can see my posts here:

My early work:

other exploration:

work with buckwheat:

Many GF  sourdough officanados on the internet claim that you need to use strange brews to make a starter. Not true. You can make an authentic GF starter using GF flour and water.

Many GF  sourdough officanados believe that you can only make GF sourdough with a batter. Again, not true. You will see from the links to my work that it is possible to make kneadable dough that can be shaped like regular sourdough. 

I have also developed a range of yeasted GF bread - you can see some of it here:

I am convinced that it is possible, using a range of gluten free flour, to make a wealth of gluten free breads, equally as interesting and enjoyable as those that are available with gluten flours.  

I have found, and still find this an interesting, and at times exciting, venture.  

Let us know how you go.

Kind regsrds,


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