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Gluten Free Sourdough Starter

This recipe makes 1 starter



  • 1 cup water (110-115°F)
  • 1 (0.25ozeach) packages (14g) or 4 1/2 teaspoons Red Star Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups white rice flour


  • To make a starter: In a 4-cup glass, plastic or stainless steel container, combine 1 cup water with yeast. Let sit 5 minutes. Add white rice flour; stir with wooden spoon. The mixture will be thick.
  • Cover loosely with plastic wrap or foil. Let stand in a warm place one to three days, stirring 2 or 3 times each day. The starter will "rise and fall" during the fermentation period; it becomes thinner as it stands. When the starter is developed, it is bubbly and may have a liquid layer on top; stir into the starter before using. The starter can then be used for baking or placed in the refrigerator to use later.
  • To replenish starter: Always have at least one cup of starter left over and add 1 cup of water (110-115°F) and 1 1/2 cups of white rice flour. Cover loosely and let stand in a warm place 12 hours. The starter can then be used for baking or placed in the refrigerator to use later.


Rice flour has the ability to ferment easily, creating a wonderful base for delicious breads with a slightly sour flavor. Once made, the sourdough starter can be used over and over again. Replenish it each time it is used to nourish the yeast and keep the starter alive. As the starter gets older, the flavor will become tangier; baked products made with “aged” starters will have more sourdough flavor. The starter serves as the leavening so no additional yeast is needed.

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Review & Comments

Mosie | Reply

For some reason my starter seems to be getting denser by the third day (this is my second try using this method). What can I do to revive it and get it bubbly again?

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Hi Mosie,
Did your starter show signs of activity (bubbles) before the third day? If so, then I would recommend stirring in a teaspoon of sugar, which will give the yeast food for fermentation. If the starter did not show signs of activity before day 3, then just give it a few more days. The temperature may be cooler than ideal which would slow the fermentation rate.

Happy baking!

Phillip | Reply

Almost all the starter recipes I see discard some of the starter each day and add some more flour and water. I believe I read somewhere that not discarding some of the starter each day and not adding fresh flour and water will result in the starter not working properly, perhaps spoiling. Your recipe does not do that. Can you comment on that concern please.

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Hi Phillip,
If you use your starter often and leave it at room temperature, you will need to feed once or twice daily. If you’re more of an occasional starter user, store it in the refrigerator and feed it every week or two.

Sourdough starters are acidic, so they naturally resist spoilage. However, if your starter shows signs of mold growth, throw it away and start over with a new one.

I hope you enjoy baking with your sourdough starter. We’d love to see what you’re baking – share on our social media #redstaryeast @redstaryeast.

Happy baking!

Rose | Reply

After making the starter, what do I add to make the actual bread? Where can I find the recipe that goes with this starter?

Rose | Reply

Ooops! Didn’t see the recipes at the top of the page, sorry! I’m going to try this bread with cup for cup gluten free flour mix. Thanks!!

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Great! Happy baking!

Sweet Sourdough Heaven | It's Raining and I'm Not Running | Reply

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Kate Vachon | Reply

What other GF flours would work with this method? Millet? Teff? Sorghum? etc…

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Hi Kate,
We haven’t tested any other flours in this recipe. Give your favorites a try and see if you like the results.

Happy baking!

Jeanne | Reply

5 stars
This makes an awesome loaf but even though my starter smelled VERY strong, the sour taste did not come through in the bread. Did I do something wrong?

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Hi Jeanne,
I’m sure you didn’t do anything wrong. Try it again when the starter ages a little more, maybe you’ll get a stronger flavor.

~Carol @RSY

Anonymous | Reply

5 stars
How often do you feed this starter and what do you feed it? Most starters you have to feed every 8 – 12 hours

Red Star Yeast | Reply

If it is not used for baking and replenished in the meantime, it should be fed once every 2 weeks. Remove 1 cup of starter, then feed it by replacing it with 1 cup flour, 2/3 cup of water and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Allow the replenished starter to sit at RT for about 12 hours, then refrigerate it.

Anonymous | Reply

4 stars
I am really glad to find a good recipe for gluten free sourdough starter but was wondering if I could use brown rice flour instead of white?

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Yes, you can substitute brown rice flour for the white in this recipe. Happy baking!

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