Does Sourdough Have Gluten?

Bread is one of the best foods on earth, and if you don’t believe us, just look at the sheer amount of bread that is eaten everyday in almost every culture.

From the far reaches of the western California, across Africa, Europe, and Asia, to the far reaches of the eastern city of Vladivostok, most cultures in the world have a form of bread or grain-based bread like a product native to their lands.

Does Sourdough Have Gluten?

Even those that don’t have adopted bread on mass as something that they want to eat. One of the tastiest types of bread is that of a sourdough, which is flavorful and tangy, and it is a type of bread that people have fallen in love with.

However, for those who cannot eat gluten, does it contain any gluten itself? Or can it be eaten by everyone? In this article, we seek to answer this question.

What Is Sourdough Bread?

Bread is well known to pretty much everyone and is a type of food made from flour that has been prepared into a dough. The dough is then shaped and cooked, usually by baking, until it has a hard or firm crust on the outside and a soft interior.

From this vague overview of bread, there are several different types of bread, and they are normally distinguished by the ingredients used, the method in which they are let to rise, and the flavor they have at the end.

Sourdough is actually one of the oldest methods of making bread that started before written history, and there is evidence for its regular production in Ancient Egypt.

It does not use high pressure aeration, yeast, or chemicals to rise, instead it uses naturally occurring microbes that cause a process called leavening.

Leavening is when a foaming action from gas bubbles occurs that lightens and softens the dough mixture.

In the case of a sourdough bread, a starter that contains a colony of microorganisms in a flour and water mixture is cultivated before being added or shaped into a fresh dough.

The microorganisms will feed on the starches of the dough and create the gas bubbles and the unique flavor of the bread.

Once the dough has risen from these gas bubbles and been left to ferment for a bit, it is baked to a beautiful golden brown. The resulting dough is tangy, wonderfully soft, and slightly delicious.

These starters of the bacteria culture are normally kept by the people who make sourdough, and some are hundreds of years old and still used.

Apparently, the older they are, the better flavor that your bread has when they are made using them.

Does Sourdough Have Gluten?

Is Sourdough Gluten-Free?

No, sourdough is not gluten-free and the widespread myth that sourdough is gluten-free is problematic.

Many people believe it, and they are wrong. Sourdough bread is made from one of three grains: wheat, barley, or rye, with the most common being wheat.

People believe that sourdough is gluten-free because of the process that makes sourdough bread a sourdough bread.

See, during the fermentation process, the microorganisms that are added from the starter to the main dough will begin to break down a lot of the different parts of the flour and water mixture.

One of the nutrients that they begin to break down is gluten, but this is only a partial process, and the majority of the gluten molecule will remain intact.

Due to this, a rumor started that sourdough is gluten-free, but it is absolutely not and the gluten molecules will remain in the bread, making it deadly for people with celiac’s disease.

Now, this isn’t to say this information is not useful or not being studied for further help with celiac’s disease.

In fact, there are several studies right now looking into whether using the bacteria used in sourdough’s starter culture could be used in making a gluten-free bread naturally.

The problem is the studies are currently tiny with a tiny study group, therefore – while their results are promising – they are nowhere close to making any concrete or conclusive hypothesis or experiments.

As such, it once again goes without saying: if someone says they are gluten-free, do not feed them sourdough bread.

For starters, you do not know why they are gluten-free and if they have celiac’s disease, you could cause them serious health problems. If you have nothing else to offer them, just inform them of that. No option is better than a toxic option.

Health Benefits Of Sourdough

There are actually a surprising number of health benefits to eating sourdough bread that many people do not consider. Some of these benefits you won’t find in other breads either:


Sourdough bread is chock-full of vitamins and while many other breads have these vitamins as well, the fact that the sourdough uses a microorganism culture means that they actually have a fair few vitamins you won’t find in normal bread.


Being made through fermentation means that sourdough bread has probiotics within it, much like kefir or sauerkraut. This makes it much easier to digest and adds healthy bacteria to your gut’s microbiome.


Sourdough is actually higher in protein than other kinds of bread. This is important – especially for vegan or vegetarian people – as proteins are an essential nutrient that help to regenerate and build body cells and promote muscle growth throughout our lives.

Without protein, we would become weaker and more susceptible to problems in our bodies.


Sourdough bread also contains a lot of fiber. Fiber is a substance that helps keep our guts and digestive tracts healthy, thus ensuring that everything in our body is running nice and smooth.

Considering how intertwined our overall health is attached to our bodies, this is particularly important to maintaining a healthy body, mind, and immune system.


Sourdough bread is a kind of bread that is made using a starter culture of bacteria that naturally causes the bread to rise and gives it a distinctive flavor.

Using this starter also provides a lot of health benefits to the bread that otherwise would not be there.

Jenna Priestly
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