No, regular sourdough bread is not gluten-free. Beyond Celiac does not recommend that those with celiac disease eat sourdough bread unless it is clearly labeled gluten-free or has been made safely at-home with gluten-free starters/ingredients.
There are rumors/misinformation online about sourdough bread being safe for people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. Some brands have even falsely claimed their wheat-based sourdough breads were safe for those with celiac disease. While the natural bacteria may make it easier to digest, and the fermentation process decreases the amount of gluten, it still does not reach 20ppm (parts per million) or less of gluten, which is how the United States defines gluten-free foods. It is important to note that even if someone with celiac disease doesn’t experience symptoms after eating sourdough bread made from wheat, that damage may still be happening to the villi.
If you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, be sure to use gluten-free flour for the starter and gluten-free ingredients for all of your sourdough baking.
Visit our page detailing step by step how to make gluten-free sourdough starter and an easy sourdough bread recipe here.
Recommended gluten-free sourdough starter brands: