Gluten-free Sourdough Discard Bread

You’ve made your gluten free sourdough starter. What now?  

The discard, or unused portion of the starter can be repurposed in a number of ways.  It’s the part of the starter that you don’t need to refresh or to use to leaven bread. You can throw it out, or you can use it to replace some of the flour and water in other recipes.  It adds a great texture and flavor to recipes, and it’s particularly useful for gluten free recipes. There’s something about gf grains that benefits immensely from the fermentation process. They become more flexible, more workable, and much tastier.

In this bread recipe the sourdough starter lends the bread strength, flexibility, and flavor.

Want a sandwich loaf recipe? Check out my Yeasted Sourdough Sandwich Bread.

Why is it not a regular sourdough bread? 

This bread is considered a discard bread, or sometimes called a hybrid loaf, because it contains sourdough but it's leavened with commercial yeast.

What does it taste like?  

Depending on the ingredients used, this bread can taste anywhere from very mild or even bland to very yeasty and flavorful.  It's not usually very sour at all, but it does have a sourdough flavor.  The milk enhances the yeasty flavors and helps with the crust browning.  The whole psyllium option is healthier and gives a taller, more cohesive loaf but it's a little less flavorful.  Ground or powdered psyllium gives a lighter crumb and brings a more intense sourdough flavor to the bread.

Sourdough Discard Boule Bread Recipe

Mix time: 20 min

First rise: 1-1.5 hours

Second rise: 20-60 minutes

Bake time: 45-50 minutes

Note: edited 1/14/24 for amount of whole psyllium due to feedback that the recipe was coming out too wet for some people.  

Whisk together in a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer:

275g gluten-free flour blend consisting of:

- 115g potato starch

- 80g sorghum flour

- 40g tapioca starch

- 40g millet flour

Then whisk in:

20g ground/powdered psyllium husk OR 30g whole psyllium husk

8.7g sea salt

3g (or 1 tsp) active dry yeast

Once the dry ingredients are whisked together thoroughly, add:

200g sourdough discard (shown is ivory teff sourdough)

380-440g warm milk or water (45°c/115°f)*

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until thoroughly blended.

Let the dough rise until it's 25-50% bigger, about 1-1.5 hours at room temp.

After rising, mix the dough again.  Add:

12 g (or 1 TBSP) apple cider vinegar

75g tapioca starch

12g (or 1 TBSP) sugar

When the dough is mixed and smooth, turn it out of the bowl and knead it a few times until it forms a cohesive ball.  Shape it into a boule and put it seam side up in a flour banneton or a bowl lined with a well-floured towel. Let rise until it's 25-50% bigger, anywhere from 20 minute to 1 hour depending on the temperature and climate.

Preheat a dutch oven or a cloche in the oven to 230°c/450°f.  Once risen, bake the bread covered in the baking vessel for 30 minutes, then uncovered for 20 minutes. If it's getting very brown lower the temperature to 350° and bake until it sounds very hollow when tapped on the bottom with your knuckles, another 5-10 minutes.

Let the bread cool on a rack before slicing.

* Edit 1/21/24 and 3/3/24 amount of liquid needed varies depending on your starter, its hydration, and also your local climate. Use the minimum amount of hydration if any of the following apply:

- you have a rice starter

- your starter is very runny/liquid 

- your local climate is 50% humidity or more

Use the maximum hydration if:

- your starter is all teff at 120 hydration or lower

- your local climate is 30% humidity or lower

If you can’t decide, or there are conflicting variables, use the minimum amount of liquid to start out. On the second mix, if it seems dry, add liquid 10 g at a time until the dough seems workable but still firm.

Enjoy your gluten-free bread!


FoodieJC said…
Hello! I made this recipe for the first time yesterday and loved the results! I’m super curious though how come the extra sorghum, apple cider vinegar, and Miller are added after the first proof. I’ve not seen that in a sourdough recipe and I’m curious.

Jeannie said…
I had this same question.
Gina said…
Hi FoodieJC and Jeannie,
The extra flour and sugar are added after the first rise so that the yeast doesn’t run out of food for the second rise. Gf dough tends to proof very quickly and has a hard time rising a second time without a bit more food for the yeast. As for the vinegar, it’s a natural dough enhancer. It improves the rise, but its effects wear off quickly so I chose to put it in for the second rise. I hope that answers your questions!
suzi said…
Hi Gina, I have a question for you. Made your gf sour dough discard bread yesterday and it was delicious. Followed your recipe exactly, my yeast was active, the boule increased in size but spread a lot under my cloche while baking. What would you attribute that too? Maybe too much liquid (I did use water for DF), over proof or underproof? Want to try again soon. Thank you for your thoughts.
Gina said…
Hi Suzi, it was either a hydration issue or over proofing. Climate and flour brands and grinds can change the amount of liquid needed in any bread recipe, but especially gf recipes. Try reducing the amount of water by 20g. If the dough was very warm or it was very warm in the kitchen, the bread could over proof pretty quickly in the second rise. It only needs to increase in size about 30%. Last time I made it this happened in 20 minutes! I was surprised but I baked it and it came out nice. I hope this helps!
Karen said…
Just making sure that this recipe calls for tapioca starch and tapioca flour?
Gina said…
Hi Karen,

Thanks for pointing that out. Tapioca flour and tapioca starch can be used interchangeably. I didn’t realize I’d used two different terms! I’ve edited for clarity.
Anonymous said…
Can I use brown rice flour instead of millet flour?
Gina said…
I have just tried this recipe with brown rice starter and brown rice for millet. It worked out well. The dough was a little more slack and wet, but it came out fine. I hope you like it!
Lynn said…
Hello! Is there a way to swap out the potato starch/flour? Potatoes are a major intolerance of mine so I was wondering if something else might work?
Gina said…
Yes, corn starch works well as a substitute for potato starch. If that doesn’t work you could try all tapioca, but tapioca doesn’t hold its shape as well and might not have as much height. If going all tapioca maybe reduce the total amount of starch and increase the millet by the same weight.
Lynn said…
Would it be possible to switch out the potato for arrowroot? I don’t know if it holds better or not but it would give another ingredient?
Gina said…
Hi Lynn, arrowroot is very similar to tapioca, so the same advice would apply if you used arrowroot and tapioca, or just tapioca.
Mangosoco said…
Just curious, what would happen if you used peak starter instead?
Gina said…
Hi Mongosoco, I don’t think that there would be much difference if the starter were active. There’s a possibility that the dough would rise a bit faster, and it would also help ensure that you don’t over proof easily. However, other than watching it a bit more closely I don’t think you’d have to make any adjustments to the recipe.
Anonymous said…
I added 10g of oat flour ( I use 50 g oat , 40 g sorghum for the 80g sorghum component) and starter discard was not as liquid as usual and found it more dense and did not rise as much as previously and still a tiny bit gummy. I think I’m getting a handle on the consistency needed to get rise without gumminess but think overall it’s a great recipe. There are so many variables with gf baking flours in particular but humidity and elevation plays a part that I think personal experience will be needed to determine the exact hydration ratio for this loaf
Trina said…
I looked through all the comments and didn't see- but can this be made in a bread maker?
Gina said…
Hi Trina, I haven’t tried this recipe in a bread maker. It might work with some adjustments but it would be trial and error.
Brigitte T said…
Hi Gina, I just read the last reader's comments (FoodieJC) re. adding "extra sorghum, apple cider vinegar, and Miller" after the first proof. While your recipe mentions adding tapioca, it doesn't mention adding extra sorghum and millet. This confused me. I wondered if they were referring to a different recipe, or perhaps you just simply changed the recipe since it was last published.
Unknown said…
Wondering if I can use a flour blend to make this? I have the namaste 1:1 and it has all the different flour/starches except millet but no idea on the ratio. Was thinking if I used the blend for the sorghum and millet and then added potato and tapioca? It may have too much starch though since it’s in the blend so deciding if I should decrease the starches too. I am too new to this to know for sure so thought I would ask here.
Anonymous said…
Hello Gina,
Thank you so much for your wonderful bread recipe, I made it yesterday and it came out amazing. It rose so quickly on the second rise and I don’t think my oven was hot enough even though it had already biped. I baked it at 450 for 30 min covered, it has risen more but it was very pale, I uncovered it and baked it 20 min. I checked it and it needed more color, I baked it 20 more minutes and it never got browner like yours. I took it out and it’s amazing but still a little tacky, not gummy. I have checked my oven temperature with a thermometer and it was ok. Has this happened to others? Should I bake it the full 50 minutes uncovered without opening the oven next time? I did use millet but I am not supposed to, what would you recommend to substitute? I will appreciate any advise. Thank you so much. Blessings!!
Cinderella150 said…
Just made this recipe and Omigosh! It’s easy, it’s fast and it’s delicious!
Anonymous said…
Ok I have to ask...where it says 275g that everything below it or are you supposed to add an additional 275g of flour. This is really confusing to me and I'm sure I messed up my recipe. I've had a couple of other people look over it and they weren't sure either! Thanks
Veronica V. said…
Hello! I'm in the process of making this bread recipe right now👏👏 My problem is I don't have a cloche or a Dutch oven😩 Can I bake it uncovered? And if so, for how long? Thank you for your great recipes!!!

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