I was recently in the U.S. and acquired most of the missing ingredients for my favorite gluten-free bread recipe. Now the only thing I need to perfect this bread recipe is a sourdough starter. I searched online for various gluten-free sourdough starters. Most of them use just flour and water to get the starter going, but require feeding the starter every few hours. I found one recipe that uses yeast for the starter, so it’s easier and faster to make, without the initial constant feeding.


2 1/4 teaspoons dry yeast granules
1 cup lukewarm potato water (water from boiling potatoes)
1 teaspoon sugar (or honey)
1 cup rice flour


  1. In a 1-quart glass jar, dissolve the yeast in the potato water.
  2. Stir in the sugar and rice flour.
  3. Cover and let the mixture sit out until fermented (1-3) days, stirring every few hours at first. The mixture will bubble up, ferment, then die down with a skim of liquid on the top. Stir well before using.
  4. Replenish after use by feeding the remaining starter with 1/2 cup lukewarm water and 3/4 cup rice flour.

Tip: When making a new starter, prepare it at least one day before making the bread. Three days is better. Store it in a glass jar on the kitchen counter or in the refrigerator. If refrigerated, take it out at least 10 hours before baking.

The funny story about making this starter for the very first time is that I was too lazy to figure out how big “1-quart” is. So initially, I used an empty honey jar which is about 2 cups. After stirring the yeast, sugar, and rice flour in the jar, I covered it and put it on top of the refrigerator. Then I went to watch a movie with my husband. We decided to watch some horror flick and right in the middle of the movie, we heard some hissing sound coming out of the kitchen. At first, we thought it was the dishwasher and ignored it. But the hissing sound got louder and scarier. Not the kind of sound you want to be hearing when you’re in the middle of watching a scary movie about a serial killer breaking into people’s houses…

We both went to the kitchen and found that the sound was coming out of my jar of sourdough starter! Apparently, the honey jar was too small and the sourdough content was flowing out of the closed lid, about to explode. That’s what the hissing sound was! Wow! I wish I took a picture of the overflowing mess, but in the moment of panic, I found a bigger jar, poured the sourdough starter to its new home, and cleaned up the mess.

Mr. Googly My husband and I decided to name our sourdough starter Mr. Googly. Since we’ll be “feeding” it and keeping it alive for a very long time (hopefully!), we might as well give it a name. I’ve heard of people keeping their sourdough starter for years!! We’ll see how long we can keep Mr. Googly alive.

Mr. Googly is doing fine now, happy in his new home. He’s not making much noise anymore, but he sure smells really bad. We put Mr. Googly inside a plastic tub, just in case he decides to let out more gas…

10 Comments so far »


    Dawn B said

    July 20 2010 @ 11:15 am

    Hi! I was looking for a gluten-free sourdough starter recipe to try and found your post so friendly. I thought it was so “real” and that it makes the venture into trying something “new” so much less daunting. We have had some major food issues in our household over the past few years and it can really be trying. I like the story (and photo) of Mr. Googly! I am sure to get the kiddos into the act of coming up with a name for our own sourdough starter — thanks for the idea!


    Gluten Free said

    December 3 2010 @ 10:10 am

    I have looked at many sites and not come across one as good as this that tells everyone everything they need to know. I have added you to my bookmarks, can anyone else suggest other gluten free related topics that I can search for to find out more information?


    Laura said

    March 5 2011 @ 7:26 am

    Could you do this with plain water instead of potato water? Potato allergies in the family also. Perhaps substituting sweet potato?


    Terry g said

    June 27 2011 @ 6:35 am

    thank you for this. I have been making gf bread in a bread machine with very good luck. Delicious bread. but would love to do a gf starter. I will give this one a try. Thank you for sharing.


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    Ditto your site is very useful, Thanks.


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