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5 from 2 votes

Gluten-Free Sourdough Starter


  • 50 grams teff flour or buckwheat flour plus 50 grams for each daily feeding
  • 50 grams water plus 50 grams for each daily feeding


  • Combine the teff or buckwheat flour and water in a clean jar or non-reactive bowl, using a fork or your fingers. The starter will have the consistency of stiff batter. Cover tightly with a cloth, plate or lid. Set aside in a warm, but not hot, spot.
  • Stir daily. After a few days, you will likely notice some bubbles in the jar. The starter will also develop a strong aroma. When you observe both of these changes, feed the starter. Until you notice both bubbles and a strong aroma, be patient and continue to stir daily. If you feed the starter too early, you'll remove most of the bacteria and yeast just establishing themselves in the jar.
  • To feed your starter, stir it down to remove the bubbles and transfer all but 1 tablespoon of it to a second clean glass jar or dish. Set this aside. This is your discard jar. You'll continue to add starter to it from subsequent feedings. After a couple of days of souring on the counter, move this discard jar to the refrigerator and keep it there, pulling it out to top it up with discard from daily feedings.
  • The jar or bowl you started with now contains about 1 tablespoon of starter. Stir in its feeding of 50 grams flour and 50 grams water. Cover with a cloth, plate or lid and set aside undisturbed until you feed it the next day around the same time.
  • Continue to feed your starter daily as described, removing most of the starter and leaving 1 tablespoon in the jar. Stir in 50 grams of flour and 50 grams of water daily. After its first feedings, the starter will grow a small amount in volume within several hours. After about a week of daily feedings, it should nearly double in size within perhaps 6 to 8 hours after each feeding, before slowly falling back down. At this point, your starter has matured and is ready for baking.


If you are accustomed to working with a wheat flour sourdough starter, be aware that a teff sourdough starter takes longer to ferment. It rises and falls more slowly than a wheat flour sourdough starter.