Grow, Rice Babies! Grow! (Part 1): Adventures in Gluten-Free Sourdough

I currently have 7 sourdough cultures started in my kitchen. Yes, 7 (you just can’t see the 7th in the picture…). The basic recipe for sourdough culture is 1 cup of warm water and 1 cup of flour left for 24 hours uncovered in a warm place in a jar. Every 24 hours you throw out half of the culture and add another half cup of flour and half cup of water. So you end up with the same quantity. It’s basically like cutting off the lower half of your body every day and letting it grow back healthier.

But instead of throwing out the first half of the culture I’ve been keeping them and multiplying my sourdough babies. I hope that’s okay. I’ve been cutting off the legs and letting them grow into a new sourdough culture. 1 becomes 2. But then the next night, 2 became 4 when I did the same thing with both new sourdoughs. Fortunately my jars were big and at my next feeding time I managed to only end up with 7 by combining 1. I never was great at math like my brother. I mean, I wasn’t bad, but it’s all relative. Again, I hope that the combining is okay and I don’t kill anyone.

There’s a method to my madness, though. I started the culture with rice flour so that my mom could eat it, and because generally in my family’s digestive tracts wheat is the enemy. Picture little rice soldiers on horseback wreaking havoc on my family’s intestines. Us Eastern Europeans…So I was going to make it a completely rice flour-based culture, but then I figured since I was going to split it in half I should hedge my bets, so the first time I split the culture in half I added rice flour and water to one jar and a gluten-free flour blend of white rice flour, brown rice flour, sorghum gum, xanthum gum and tapioca starch and water to the other.

The next day the rice flour seemed just as stagnant but the gluten-free blend actually overflowed!!! It was supposed to take days and days to froth if it ever did at all. It happened so fast I didn’t really believe it was ready, so I split it again and fed it again. Now I had four rice flour babies and three gluten-free blend babies. Apparently I’m a bit of a sourdough slut…

Tomorrow, bread!


  1. (Ken) says is just begging to be purchased and setup for gluten-free pleasures.

    I've never tried a starter with non-wheat before… it stands to reason that it would work, but never came to mind before! I hope the bread bakes up nicely :)

  2. says

    If one can learn one thing from the Amish it’s that simplicity has it’s good things too. I don’t mean religious fanaticism but that things like food should be enjoyed rather than shuffeled down.

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