Gluten free sourdough? ongoing questions.

I'm cooking for some friends of mine who have several food restrictions. Which is cool, but I've never cooked gluten free before. I'm not certain how strong their need to go gluten free, so I'm going to err on the side of caution.

I would really like to make some sourdough flatbreads. First problem with that is... how to make a gluten free sourdough starter. Right now I use a rye starter, which I suspect is not gluten free friendly. What gluten free grains or legumes would be good food for capturing (and feeding) a starter?

I'll have more questions later, but really, if I can't do the starter, then it's not much use going further with this.



petitbleu May 29, 2013
You could use chickpea flour, but bean flours have a very strong flavor that not everyone likes. They're also very grainy. I'm also not sure if yeast would effectively colonize it. No harm in trying, though! I like how adventurous you are
trampledbygeese May 28, 2013
How about chickpea flour for a starter?
petitbleu May 28, 2013
I would use something like sorghum or millet flour--both will be conducive to yeast development, and they have more of a "whole grain" flavor that I vastly prefer to the rice flour and cornstarch school of GF baking. In the final breads you will need to use some starch for binding, but for your starter you can use any number of GF flours.
aquamarine84 May 28, 2013

I had heard of potato starter before, but I have no experience with it as I use a traditional flour starter.
trampledbygeese May 28, 2013
Thank you susan g. That's a great help.

Am I right in thinking that there is something in the starch of the wheat the the sourdough somehow eats to keep it happy/alive/active/whatever? Sorry, oversimplifying. But my limited knowledge is that it's not the gluten in the flour that the starter consumes, but rather the gluten is holding the bread together when it rises - again, over simplified. So, if I could find a gluten free grain that would be happy to grow my yeast... this would work? Now what has a lot of starch but no gluten and won't run the risk of fostering any nasty bacteria?
susan G. May 28, 2013
This might suit the occasion:, from the blog of a f52 cook.
susan G. May 28, 2013
and you're right, rye has gluten, as do other wheat-related grains; and barley; and oats are suspect unless they are certified GF.
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