Recipes - Diets - Bread - Boosted Sourdough Starter

Keeping a gluten free sourdough starter is a great way to create wonderful, and easy to digest baked goods.

Sourdough breaks down phytic acid in your grains, seeds and starches, making nutrients easier to digest. So not only do they taste wonderful, they are also good on the digestion... It is a win-win.

Servings: 0
Prep Time: 5 minutes


1/2 cup brown rice flour or teff (teff has a high amount of wild yeast in the grain)
just slightly less than 1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons water kefir (optional) store bought or homemade.

You can also put in a few organic grapes. Remove any debris from the grapes and place one small cluster directly into the sourdough starter. Careful not to crush them as you are only wanting to extract the wild yeasts from the skin. Remove before next feeding.


Mix all ingredients into a glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave on counter to ferment 8 hours. Continue with brown rice or teff and water ratio for the next 7 days. Discard a 1/2 cup of starter on the 3rd day before feeding. Keeping the starter small at this stage will help to create a more lively growth of beneficial bacteria and yeasts. Again, the next day remove 1/2 cup before feeding. You will have approx 1 cup of starter going full time.

In about 7 days you could make bread. By day 4 you can use the starter for pancakes.

Feeding starter: If you are baking on a regular basis your starter will be fed after each use. You can give a larger feeding if you need more for a particular application. Otherwise, keep in the fridge and each week feed your starter 1/2 cup brown rice flour or teff and just under 1/2 cup water, mix well. keeping your starter at no more than 1 cup in the fridge will give it a better life span.

Once your starter is established, this ratio can be doubled and tripled if you are doing large amounts of baking.

You only need to add more water kefir as maintenence, if you see your starter getting less bubbly or your baked goods are not rising as nicely. Once your starter is established, it will liven up quickly with a feeding and counter ferment.

If you use your starter regularly you may store on the counter and feed daily, otherwise place your starter in the fridge and feed weekly or if on holiday, twice a month will keep it healthy.

How do you convert a yeast based recipe to sourdough? The basic premise is:

100 grams of sourdough starter is approximately equal to 5 to 7 grams of instant/dried yeast (or one sachet).
When you convert, you must also decrease the correct amount of water/liquid and flour from your recipe that you have now added from your sourdough starter. This is to make sure that your recipe’s consistency remains the same.
The fermentation time has to be at least double compared to the original recipe.

Sometimes your starter will have a dark purplish liquid on the top. This is called "hooch" and is the acidic bacteria turning to alcohol. Simply strain this out and pour an additional inch of the starter out as well, then feed your starter with fresh flour and water and it should be just fine. If you have mould growing on the top of your starter, you may be able to salvage it still. Gently remove all the top layer of liquid and starter and then scoop out about 3 Tbsp worth from the bottom starter that will have the least potential of contamination. In a clean glass bowl, feed this salvaged starter with 3 Tbsp with teff and water, let sit on counter for 6-8 hours and see if it comes to life. If it is not very bubbly or you start to see the wavy swivels of new mould starting, you will need to start your starter from scratch.