This soft and pillowy vegan gluten free millet bread is a sourdough made with millet and pumpkin seeds, for a soft gluten-free bread made with whole grains. Made with gluten-free sourdough starter, using millet flour in this case.
Mixed and baked the same day, this is an easy and accessible way to make sourdough bread. As gluten-free bread doesn't rely on gluten development, there is no need to knead or work the dough. This means that, unlike regular loaves, you can put in much less time and effort to achieve a nice loaf of bread.
For some more excellent gluten-free breads, try my grain-free (and starch-free) buckwheat bread and basic gluten-free sourdough bread. Here's how to best store sourdough bread.
All of these ingredients can be found in a natural or bulk food store. If you're just trying out gluten-free baking, I recommend getting precise amounts in bulk so that you can try it before committing to a big bag of millet.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Seeds: use other seeds like a sunflower in place of the pumpkin seeds, or skip them altogether.
- Millet: if you don't have millet flour, try using a blend like the one used in this recipe. Skip the whole millet if you don't have millet seeds.
- Psyllium husk: the husk, not powder. There is no substitution for the psyllium husk, but you can play around with the powder (in a smaller amount).
How to Make Gluten-Free Bread
Making this bread isn't complicated. As there is no gluten, you do not need to fold and knead the bread. It is a simple method of mixing all the ingredients together, waiting, shaping, then letting proof for a few hours to rise. You can see a quick little reel of it here.
Step 1: make or feed your gluten-free sourdough starter.
Step 2: mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Step 3: add the water and starter mixture to the dry ingredients.
Step 4: mix, rest for 20 minutes, then shape into your desired loaf shape.
Step 5: place the loaf into a lined banneton.
Step 6: set aside to rise for about 6 hours, covered.
Step 7: preheat your dutch oven, then add the loaf to the pot.
Step 8: bake for about 40 minutes and cool before slicing.
- Make your starter: to make this millet bread, you'll need a GF sourdough starter. I covered how to make a starter in this post, but simply put you either buy one dried, get one from a friend or bakery, or make your own. Once your starter is established you'll need to maintain it with regular feedings. I find gluten-free starter needs to be fed more regularly than a wheat one, so I feed mine weekly. You can read more about feeding your starter in this basic sourdough post.
- Let it rest: much like rye bread, gluten-free loaves like this need to 'cure'—or set up. For best results let your cooked loaf sit on the counter overnight before cutting into. The worst-case scenario of cutting into it too early is a little gumminess.
- Score if you'd like: there isn't such an oven spring for this recipe, like you often see with white-flour sourdough, but you can score the loaf before baking if you want to control it.
How to Store
Storage: like most bread, this sourdough should be stored at room temperature (bread should never go in the fridge as the moisture will make it spoil faster). I like to keep my loaves cut-side down a cutting board so that it can breathe and moisture won't get to it. If you prefer to wrap your loaf, I recommend using beeswax wrap and storing it on the counter for up to 3 days.
Freezing: like classic sourdough, this loaf gets a little hard if it sits out too long, so for longer storage, I recommend slicing the loaf then freezing it for up to 3 months. The bread toasts from frozen wonderfully.
What is the difference between millet flour and regular flour?
Millet is gluten-free and won't contribute to gluten formation in bread, meaning that the dough won't be stretchy. They can't be substituted 1:1 for one another.
What is millet flour made of?
Much like wheat flour, millet flour is made from the dried grains of the millet grass. It looks a lot like wheat but is naturally gluten-free.
What does millet flour taste like?
Lightly sweet, millet is a pale yellow colour and tastes a little bit like corn flour. It's sweeter than wheat flour.
More Gluten-Free Recipes
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Millet Bread (Sourdough)
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Digital kitchen scale
- Baking pot or Dutch Oven
- Parchment paper
- 2 tablespoons gluten-free sourdough starter
- 75 grams millet flour
- 75 grams arrowroot or cornflour
- 150 ml water
- 100 grams arrowroot or tapioca flour
- 200 grams millet flour
- 25 grams psyllium husk not powder
- 10 grams salt
- 50 grams millet
- 75 grams pumpkin seeds
- 425 ml lukewarm water
- The night before, combine the starter, flours, and water in a bowl. Cover and let rest overnight.2 tablespoons gluten-free sourdough starter, 75 grams millet flour, 75 grams arrowroot or cornflour, 150 ml water
- The next day combine the arrowroot flour, millet flour, psyllium, salt, millet and pumpkin seeds in a bowl. Stir to combine.100 grams arrowroot or tapioca flour, 200 grams millet flour, 25 grams psyllium husk, 10 grams salt, 50 grams millet, 75 grams pumpkin seeds
- Add the water and the starter mixture from the night before to the flour. Stir to combine. The mixture will be wet and sticky, much like pancake batter, this is good! Walk away and let the mixture absorb the water for 20 minutes.425 ml lukewarm water
- When you come back to your dough it should have more of a 'bread' consistency. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead a bit to form into a ball.
- Dust your banneton basket with a little rice flour (if you don't have a basket, line a bowl with a clean tea towel and dusted with rice flour).
- Place the dough in the basket and cover it with a damp tea towel. Let rest and rise in a warm spot for 5-6 hours (if your house is warm this could be as little as 3-4 hours).
- After resting the bread should be puffed and slightly shiny, there may even be some small cracks on the surface, now it is time to bake it!
- To bake your loaf, begin by heating your pot in the oven at 260°C (500°F) for about 30 minutes.
- Once the pot is heated, take it out of the oven. Flip the bread onto a sheet of parchment (you can slash the loaf if you want, but it is not necessary), then lift the parchment into the pot (be careful, it is hot!)
- Cover the pot and return it to the oven. Turn down the temperature to 230°C (450°F) for 20 minutes then remove the lid and bake for another 20-25 minutes, or until golden.
- Remove the pot and let the bread cool.
Can this recipe be made in a bread machine?
Hey Rachle, I haven't tried to make this in a bread maker. I am sure it would work, but you don't need to have the machine mix the dough like a normal gluten free loaf.
Do you always discard half the starter before you make another loaf?
I do discard about 1/2 so I don't end up with too much. You can of course use the discard in other recipes, gift it, or compost it.
so happy you like them, Lisa 💕
How often do you feed your starter (after initial activation) if you are keeping it in a warm spot?
I keep my starter in the fridge and feed it before every use (so say every week) but it can be stored in the fridge without being fed for weeks on end. If it is on the counter at room temp, you will need to feed it daily.
Hey, will it be ok to use a regular wheat flour starter in this recipe?
Yes, for sure! The loaf wont be gluten free but it should work no problem 🙂
Does this recipe produce a tangy loaf?
It does produce a slightly tangy loaf. If you want it to be more tangy, try letting it proof overnight in the fridge instead of on the counter.
Excellent recipe. Mine turned out declicious. THANK YOU!
All I have is psyllium husk powder. Do you have any idea how much I should use instead of the actual psyllium husk?
Hi Janice, I don't know off hand, but I'd start with at least 1/2 the recommended amount. Hope that helps and good luck!
Would it be okay to add herbs and spices like garlic and Rosemary to the dough? I’m assuming the answer is yes but wanted to ask just in case that would mess it up somehow!
hey Caitlin, yes that would totally work! Good luck 🙂
Hi I have just made my first sough dough starter with millet flour using your recipe , I just wanted to know: do you replace the 2 tablespoons of the starter that you use for the bread or do you feed it later. With the starter I have made until now with wheat flour I replaced the amount I had used every time I made bread.
I always feed mine later, usually only when I have about a tbsp. left, but if you use it often feel free to feed it eveytime 🙂
I want to try out this recipe in a bread machine. Would you know if this can go directly into a bread machine without any changes to the quantities mentioned?
Hello Nithya, I haven't used a bread machine but I don't see why it wouldn't work. I know bread machines knead the dough, but as this loaf doesn't have gluten it won't need to be kneaded like a normal loaf of bread. Can you skip the mixing part of the cycle and just bake in it?
kelly tolster says
I want to start making my own bread and I am also a huge fan of Sourdough bread so I cannot wait to try this one. Thanks for the recipe!
Hi, how can I make a millet starter myself? tnx
Hey Christine, you can either take an existing g/f starter (you can often get them locally off of Facebook groups) and begin to feed it millet flour to make it a millet starter or follow the directions here to make a gluten-free starter (swap the wheat flour for gluten-free). You also can use another gluten-free starter in this recipe such as buckwheat or rice, etc 🙂
Monika Schulz says
Should I use dark (unhulled) or light (hulled) buckwheat flour?
Hello Monika, either will work! The darker buckwheat will have more flavour, but otherwise, there won't be much of a difference. 🙂
Cindy Fry says
Hi - thank you for this recipe. I have a question about psyllium husk. Your list says 'not powder' - I found a psyllium husk product that is 'whole flakes'. Will that work?
Hi, I think that should work. The type I get are like a husk. Here is a photo of what I use.
Michelle McKinnon says
Hello, could you please suggest flour amounts if I opt out to use the pumpkin seeds, husk or other grain. I would like to be able to make a sourdough with a combination of millet flour, tapioca or cassava flour. Thankyou!
Hi Michelle, no need to add any more flour if you opt-out of the pumpkin seeds or whole millet seed (just use the recommended amount of flour called for in the recipe). I don't recommend skipping the psyllium husk—it acts like gluten here and helps hold the bread together—I'm not sure how the loaf will turn out without it. I don't have much experience using cassava flour but according to a resource I found you can do a 1:1 replacement by weight! So I would try with 1/4 (or 50g) to start and see how that works. Hope that helps 🙂
I've been making this for a while now, playing with the flours a little. But this is actually great. Thank you
Thank you! I'm so happy to hear that you enjoy it <3
Do you mean millet or millet flour in the starter? It says millet in the ingredients list, but 'flours' in the instructions.
oops! That should be millet flour! Thank you, I'll change it now.
Ellie O'Hara says
Hi. You say to use a "millet starter", but can I just used a packaged GF sourdough starter?
yes, that will totally work. I just used millet to make it a millet loaf, but any gluten-free starter would work.
Isabelle Bouan says
Great recipe !