Easy Gluten Free Vegan Sourdough Bread Recipe

simple gluten free sourdough bread

This is an easy gluten free vegan sourdough bread recipe that you can make at home without a lot of complicated ingredients. It is soft and airy, yet moist and flexible – the perfect sandwich bread! It took a few tries to perfect the process, but I am consistently getting good results from this recipe and method now, so I feel confident that it is ready to share with everyone!

I have only found one gluten free vegan bread available for purchase (from a local bakery, and it was really expensive) that even resembled the taste and texture of the gluten-filled, egg laden breads I used to eat. Most of the gluten free breads out there are terrible, to be honest. The taste and texture just aren’t the same. When the egg and dairy are also removed, they often end up dense and dry, or both. They are hardly suitable for sandwiches. 

I’m not trying to “toot my own horn”, but this bread is amazing. 

easy gluten free sourdough bread

It is moist in the center and cooked all the way through. There are not gummy or dry patches. It has nice air pockets, and a good “squishy” texture. It cuts without crumbling and falling apart. I can bend it a good amount without breaking, so it holds together well. It has even passed “the sandwich test”. Yes, this is a glorious sandwich bread. 

I really hope that you enjoy it. I have put a lot of time, energy, and experimentation into coming up with something that is amazing, so I can share it with everyone else out there who might have as many food allergies and intolerances as I do. It is nice to eat real food again.

gluten free sourdough bread recipe easy gluten free sourdough bread recipe simple gluten free sourdough bread recipe

Simple Gluten Free Sourdough Bread Recipe
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This easy gluten free vegan sourdough bread recipe with simple ingredients produces a bread that is airy, moist, flexible, and absolutely perfect for making sandwiches.
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Cook Time
45 min
Cook Time
45 min
Starter Ingredients
  1. 3 cups brown rice flour
  2. 3 cups water kefir, kombucha, fermented coconut water, or any other yeasty fermented beverage
  3. 1/2 gallon glass jar or other large glass container
Bread Ingredients
  1. 3 cups sourdough starter
  2. 3/4 cup millet flour
  3. 2 TB psyllium
  4. 2 TB Ener-g egg replacer (or 2 TB of flax seed)
  5. 1 tsp salt
  6. 1/2 cup liquid (nut milk preferred, but a fermented beverage adds a more "sour" flavor to the bread)
Starter Instructions
  1. Add 1 cup of brown rice flour and 1 cup of the fermented beverage to a large glass container. Stir to mix well. Cover with cheesecloth and let it sit for 24 hours. You should start to see a little bubbling or some "puffiness".
  2. Once a day for the next 4 days, add 1/2 cup each of the flour and fermented liquid and stir to mix well. Some people say that it is better to do 1/4 each twice a day for GF starters, but I have had equally good results just "feeding" it once a day.
  3. After this point, you should have a fragrant and airy GF sourdough starter!
Bread Directions
  1. Mix all of the dry ingredients (everything except starter and liquid) together in a bowl. Whisk or sift so they are well-combined.
  2. Add the liquid and the starter and mix with a large spoon until everything is just combined. Don't over-mix so you won't let the air out.
  3. Grease a stoneware pan with coconut oil OR line a glass pan with foil OR use a non-stick pan (there are some good ones made from silicon).
  4. Proof the bread with your preferred method. Please refer to "Notes" section for options.
  5. After the batter has risen, bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes. Test that a toothpick comes out clean from the middle.
  6. When the bread is done, let it cool completely in the pan, covered with a towel. I put mine into a very large stockpot with a lid or in the microwave and just let it cool overnight (to keep the cats away from it). We want the steam inside to keep cooking the center of the bread.
  7. After the bread has completely cooled, carefully remove it (and remove the foil if you used that method) and transfer to a cutting board, to slice however you'd like. Don't forget that the end pieces are the best part! =D
  1. For the bread batter liquid, I have used fresh and fermented nut milk, as well as fermented coconut water. The final product has been great for all of them. You could probably even use a GF beer if you wanted to.
  2. When using a glass pan, I have tried greasing the pan generously, but the bread still sticks. Foil seems to be the best method of easily getting the loaf out while not ripping it apart in the process. You could maybe try two pieces of parchment paper, one horizontal and one vertical if you are opposed to foil. I haven't tried this method, but to prevent the batter from going beneath the paper, I'd recommend greasing the pan so that the paper sticks to it.
  3. I have used just millet and also blends of millet and white rice flour in the batter, and it turns out about the same. The only thing I use in my starter, however, is brown rice flour. When I use other flours in the starter, the bread quality isn't the same.
  4. I have been using the same starter for several batches of bread now. When you aren't feeding it, it keeps well in the fridge for a few weeks. I was able to revive mine with no problem. I wouldn't leave it in the fridge longer than that though after some additional experimentation. Traditional starters will last a long time when refrigerated, but GF starters can be finicky.
Proofing Options
  1. OVEN METHOD 1: You may be lucky enough to have a "proof" setting on your oven. I do!
  2. OVEN METHOD 2: Turn oven on to lowest setting for just a few minutes to warm it, then turn it off. Put the bread pan in the center and allow it to rise for a few hours or until the bread puffs up over the edge of the bread pan a bit.
  3. OVEN METHOD 3: http://littlehouseinthesuburbs.com/2009/01/turn-your-oven-into-proofing-oven.html
  4. DEHYDRATOR METHOD: Cover your bread pan tightly with plastic wrap or insert it into a larger container with a lid to keep it from drying out. Set the dehydrator to 110-5 and proof for 2-3 hours. If the batter is not sealed into the pan completely, the bread will dry out.
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/

25 thoughts on “Easy Gluten Free Vegan Sourdough Bread Recipe

    1. adrienne Post author

      This post includes instructions for making your own starter! Please refer to the “Starter Ingredients” and “Starter Instructions” portion of the recipe card. πŸ™‚

  1. Charlotte Martin

    I have not been able to find kefir water. I purchased Yogourmet freeze dried kefir starter but it is best used with dairy. It says that results with soy will vary. However could I make the water by feeding the bacteria and yeast with sugar?

    1. adrienne Post author

      Hi Charlotte – Thanks for stopping by!

      You do not have to use water kefir for this sourdough method. You can use any yeast-containing fermented beverage. If you don’t have a fermented beverage available, you can still follow the same process in this blog post with plain water, but you will want to insert 1-2 organic cabbage leaves into the flour/water mixture until it starts to bubble. You will want the outer leaves from the head of cabbage because they have yeasts on the surface. Once your sourdough starter is bubbling, you can remove the cabbage and continue to feed it with flour and water. A handful of organic grapes will work as well.

      It sounds like you purchased a dairy kefir starter. This is a different ferment from water kefir. Water kefir is also called “tibicos”. The grains for each look very different. Dairy kefir grains look like white bubbles and water kefir grains look like transparent gelatinous crystals. You cannot make water kefir with dairy kefir grains. You will need to acquire a water kefir starter from someone. I have made dairy kefir in fresh coconut milk (blended young coconut meat and coconut water), which worked well, but I have not used it in sourdough. I am not sure if the consistency and microbial population will give you a desired outcome – dairy kefir doesn’t really become bubbly and carbonated like other yeast-bearing ferments.

  2. Jaki

    Hi there! I just started my first sourdough with this recipe, yay!!! Anyway I just want to make sure I’ve got it right. I started today (sat) then I add stuff to it for 4 days (sun, Mon, Tues, wed) then I bake on the next day? Thursday? Is that right?

    1. adrienne Post author

      Hi Julia – I have since just started using the “proof” setting on my oven and it works great. I just updated the entry to provide two other oven based options if your oven doesn’t have that setting. I find that oven proofing is far better because the plastic wrap needed for the dehydrator method doesn’t allow the bread to rise as much. Thanks for pointing out that this post needed to be updated!

  3. Hannah

    I purchased a gluten free sourdough starter package and have been following the feeding instructions, adding brown rice flour and water every 4-8 hours. Will this type of starter work with your recipe? I’m having a hard time finding a gluten-free and egg-free sourdough bread recipe to use with this starter, but I really don’t want to start over, partly because I paid $13 for the starter packet and partly because it’s difficult to work this all in to my schedule. Thank you!

    1. adrienne Post author

      I think it would if it’s active since my starter is also based on rice flour. I have had challenges using starters with other types of flours. In most sourdough recipes with egg, you could probably replace the egg with aquafaba or a flax egg.

  4. Sarah

    Hello, I see above you said most sourdough recipes would work with a flax egg. Have you tried making this one with a flax egg?
    Is there anyway of getting around the tin foil, we avoid using it but also have glass bread pans.
    Thanks so much!

    1. adrienne Post author

      Hi Sarah! Thanks for stopping by. πŸ™‚ I have used a flax egg in this recipe in place of the Ener-G Egg Replacer product and it worked well. There was no noticeable difference in the final product. I need to modify the blog post because I have also experimented with other containers that don’t use foil. I really like baking in a well-greased (with coconut oil) stoneware cloche. I had tried greasing a glass pan, and it just didn’t turn out the same. You could probably use a nonstick bread pan if you wanted. Another option that I have used is to make this recipe into biscuits by pouring the batter into a muffin tin with paper wrappers and shortening the bake time (I want to say 30 minutes, but I don’t remember the exact number – you can test it with a toothpick starting at 20 minutes to be sure). I hope this helps!

    2. adrienne Post author

      Just wanted to thank you again – I finally updated the blog post with the additional information from experiments I’ve done with this recipe based on your questions. πŸ™‚

      1. Sarah

        Hi Again! Thank for you reply, Im going to make this Sunday when the starter is finally ready, so excited!
        2 more questions, are you using psyllium husk or powder?
        For the flax eggs are we just adding in 2 TBSP of flax as a dry ingredient or actually making 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp flax +6 Tbsp water) ?

        1. adrienne Post author

          I’m so happy to hear you are going to give the bread a try! I used psyllium husk, but I think the powder would work fine too. I also used 2 TB of flax in place of the Ener-G egg replacer. You don’t need to make the flax egg separately for this recipe. Hope that helps!

  5. Sarah

    Hi Again! Ok so epic fail..i made the starter with water kefir and it was supposed to be ready to use Sunday. I got crazy busy and wasnt able to make it until wednesday. Sooo i didnt feed the starter sun-wed…first question would this cause it to go bad and cause it not to rise? I followed the recipe, otherwise using the flax and only other thing i changed was that i used psyliium powder instead of husks. The conversion said use 1tsp powder-1tbs husks.
    So the end result was that the bread didnt rise at all and has some dense goey spots inside and is SUPER sour, like too sour? Could those issues be from not having a fresh starter? I’ve never made sourdough and have no idea how long starter lasts or if it needs to be fed daily to survive or what?!
    Thanks so much! I want to try one more time as this seems so simple!

    1. adrienne Post author

      Possibly. You want the starter to be fragrant like yeast, slightly sweet smelling, and actively bubbling. If it smells more sour than sweet, it means you have too much bacteria and not enough yeast. Water kefir and kombucha work because they are a blend of yeasts and bacteria, but if your cultures are too heavy on bacteria and not enough on the yeast, it can cause problems. I’ve also had starters go flat on me when I forgot to feed them – the bacteria overgrow and the yeasts starve. A super sour smell and lack of rising sounds like that might be what happened. There is another method you can try using yeasts from grapes to inoculate the starter. I have also used this method successfully, but I use brown rice flour instead of bread flour: http://www.food.com/recipe/nancy-silverton-s-grape-sourdough-starter-316306#activity-feed

  6. Mary

    Hello, what can I substitute for the psyllium husks? I have everything else to make this, but buying products for experiments isn’t really in my tight budget.

    1. adrienne Post author

      Hello and sorry for the late reply! I was having some login issues on the blog. I have made this recipe many times and tweaked it each time I learned something new. The combination of the psyllium and the egg replacer give the recipe some binding abilities in lieu of not having eggs. I cannot use eggs because I am allergic to them. If you are not allergic and not vegan, you could try replacing both of those ingredients with 2 eggs. That would be more of an experiment in my opinion since I have not tested the recipe with eggs, but it may be easier for you to come by. If you decide to follow the recipe, psyllium is actually pretty cheap to come by. Hope that helps!

  7. candace

    Hello! 1st- Thx so much for this post. I was wondering what differences you noticed in the sourdough bread when you used other flours in the starter. I have been experimenting with brown rice, white rice, millet, and sweet sorghum. I started mixing in what was handy after starting with just brown rice and millet- the flavore of the bread definitely changed. I am planning move back to just brown rice or just brown rice and millet. did you notice a difference in rising height. so far I have made good bread, but it does not rise too-too much.
    -thx in advance

    1. adrienne Post author

      Hello Candace! Thanks for stopping by! Of the flours that I have tried, I find that brown rice flour gives me the best starter. I tried putting some millet into the starter, and it just wasn’t as bubbly. Millet in the batter for the final product gives it a really nice texture though, in my opinion. I haven’t experimented much with too many other flours because they have a really strong flavor. I did put a little buckwheat into the final batter (not the starter) once though, and that had a pretty nice flavor also.

  8. Susan

    I am excited to try this with my students when we get our sourdough starter ready. I have a couple of questions… Do you think we could bake in a cast iron skillet? Also, we have lots of GF Flour blends, but no millet flour or psyllium. Do you think the gf flour blend will do the trick?

    Thanks so much!!

    1. adrienne Post author

      Hello Susan and thanks for stopping by! I am excited for you to be sharing this recipe with students also! I will do my best to answer your questions.

      Gluten free baking is tricky. Altering a recipe can be unpredictable. I have not tried baking it in a cast iron skillet, but I have put it into muffin tins to make rolls/biscuits, and I think they turned out better than in the actual bread pan. I have also put this recipe into a stoneware bread pan with a lid (a cloche) and it turned out great there too. I think a cast iron skillet could work, but I wouldn’t know how to advise you on changing the baking time and/or temperature to accommodate that change in how the batter is distributed within a different medium. I’d love to hear of your results if you try it!

      I have tried this with a couple different flours and found that a rice starter combined with millet in the final batter has the best results so far. I mixed in a little buckwheat once and that gave it a nice flavor. I think the key is that you want to use a flour that is soft and light and neutral in flavor, so that it will rise nicely and not throw off the flavor. Some gluten free flours can be heavy, grainy, or bitter. You might be able to use a FG flour blend. The psyllium helps to act as a binder in the absence of any starches or gums in the recipe. If your GF flour blend has starches in it, you might be fine omitting the psyllium. many GF flour blends are formulated to mimic the stickiness of gluten, and that’s what the psyllium does here. If you have access to xanthan gum, I believe you can replace the psyllium with an equal amount, but I have not personally tried this.

      I would love to hear about any modifications you make and how your experiments turn out!


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