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This Quick Butternut Squash Sourdough recipe is simple: combine buckwheat flour, water organic apples and a pinch of active yeast to create a pre-ferment on day one. Then on day two mix your bread ingredients with the pre-ferment and let your bread dough rise for a couple of hours. Bake your loaf at 450 degrees F until crispy on the outside. Find the recipe at

Quick Butternut Squash Sourdough

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  • Author: Chantal | Fresh is Real
  • Prep Time: Day 1 - 10 minutes, Day 2: 30 minutes + 2-4 hours (hands-off time)
  • Cook Time: 55-60 minutes
  • Total Time: 3+ hours
  • Yield: 1 loaf
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Oven-baked
  • Cuisine: Allergen-Friendly, Plant-Based, Gluten-Free, Vegan
  • Diet: Gluten Free


A gluten-free sourdough loaf usually requires creating a wild yeast starter. That process can often take at least seven days. This version is a little quicker. On day one you will prepare a pre-ferment (10 minutes). Day two is for mixing the rest of your ingredients (30 minutes), letting your dough rise (2-4 hours), then baking the bread (1 hour). To bake this recipe, you will need a Dutch oven, bread pan or baking stone. With the help of some unbleached parchment paper and a little baking rink hack, your gluten-free loaf should not go flat!



1 cup buckwheat flour, divided*
1/3 cup organic green apple, diced**
(or organic grapes, quartered)
1 cup water, divided
1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast***


1 cup sorghum flour 1 cup oat flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup arrowroot flour
1 tablespoon psyllium husk, whole
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast***
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup cooked butternut squash, mashed****
1-1/4 cup pre-ferment*****
1 cup water, room temperature/warm******


Before you begin, please watch the how-to video.

Day 1 (morning) – pre-ferment 

  • In a glass jar, combine 1/2 cup of buckwheat flour, 1/3 cup of chopped apples, 1/2 cup of water and 1/8 teaspoon of active dry yeast. Mix well, cover the top with a coffee filter (thin cloth or double lined cheesecloth) and secure with an elastic band. Keep in a warm place in your kitchen.

Day 1 (afternoon) – pre-ferment 

  • Add 1/2 cup of buckwheat flour to your pre-ferment jar along with 1/2 cup water, mix well, cover and keep on the counter until later.

Day 1 (bedtime) – pre-ferment 

  • Move your pre-ferment jar to the refrigerator overnight. *******

Day 2 – bread

  1. Remove your pre-ferment from the fridge.
  2. If you don’t already have cooked or canned squash on hand, prepare some for the following steps.
  3. To a large mixing bowl, sift and add all your dry ingredients and mix well. Don’t forget to mix or else everything will clump up once you add the wet ingredients.
  4. Add olive oil, squash, pre-ferment and mix a little.
  5. Add 1/2 cup of water to start and mix, add the other 1/2 cup and keep mixing. It’s important that all ingredients are well combined. If the dough seems a little dry, add another 1/4 cup of water, mix, and that should help.
  6. Cover your bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm area of your kitchen. Let dough rise for at least 2 hours, up to 4 hours.
  7. After the 2-hour mark, you can start preheating your oven to 450 degrees F. If you have a Dutch oven pre-heat it at the same time. You will want your oven to be hot for baking. I recommend a minimum of at least 30 minutes.
  8. Once the oven is hot, and your dough has increased in size, you can start preparing for the next step.
  9. With the help of a large plate, place your flat sheet of parchment paper on top, then your baking ring, and transfer your dough to inside the ring. Optional: you can sprinkle your loaf with a little flour and score the top.
  10. Now pick up the flat sheet with baking ring and dough on top (moving carefully) and transfer your dough to your preheated Dutch oven. Be careful the Dutch oven will be hot!
  11. Cover and bake in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes, then 25 minutes uncovered, and finally 5-10 minutes with the loaf directly on the rack without parchment paper. You will know that your bread is ready when you tap it and it sounds crispy and harder to the touch. On average 60 minutes is enough.
  12. Let cool completely! Do not give in to the temptation of cutting into it too soon! Letting it cool for a few hours is necessary! Enjoy!


* You can sub buckwheat flour for brown rice, sorghum, or even millet flour. ** You can leave the skin on the apple. Cut the apple into small bite-size pieces; you will be leaving the apples in to bake. If you don’t want apple pieces in your recipe, just cut a few larger pieces. That way they will be easier to remove. You can score your large apple pieces to facilitate the wild yeast magic. *** For an alternative to active yeast, add 2 tablespoons of active gluten-free brown rice starter to the pre-ferment. For the bread part, simply leave out the 1/2 teaspoon of active yeast. The rising time might vary on this version. **** In a pinch you can use pumpkin purée, mashed sweet potato or even canned squash. To cook squash, I dice 1-inch pieces and cook them in water. If you want to use the cooking water for the bread recipe add about 2 cups to start, some of it will evaporate when cooking. In which case you can add more regular water for the recipe. ***** The pre-ferment should make about 1-1/4 cup, if yours made a little extra, use it, and then adjust the water you add to a little less. ****** You can use spring, filtered water or reserve the squash cooking water. Start with adding 1/2 cup water to your bread ingredients and mix. Add more water if the dough is too dry, up to a total of 1-1/4 cups. ******* If you forget to transfer your pre-ferment to the fridge, don’t worry. I’ve tried it both ways without problems. Moving it to the refrigerator slows down the fermentation

Important If you must avoid gluten, please make sure all your ingredients are certified gluten-free. If using a Dutch oven while baking this recipe, please make sure that the handle of your pot is oven safe.

How to store This bread can be stored on the counter, covered with a tea towel for at least one day. Transfer to the refrigerator in a bag or glass-covered dish for up to 5 days. Slice and freeze your bread if you want to save it for a more extended period.

Flour substitutions You can replace buckwheat, sorghum or oat flour with millet or brown rice. The recipe tested and shared is the combination that I feel works best for this loaf.

Baking tools – Dutch oven, a bread pan or baking stone – Unbleached parchment paper – 8 to 9-inch baking paper ring hack (or springform pan with the bottom removed) – 1 (or 2) 12 to 14-inch flat unbleached parchment paper sheet(s)

To make the baking ring hack You will need: One (1) 8 to 9-inch parchment paper ring (or springform pan to fit in your Dutch oven) – Cut a piece (about 28 inches wide) of unbleached parchment paper. Fold in half (lengthwise) and then in half again to create a thicker band. Once folded, connect the two ends to form a ring (the size of a small head) and staple on the outside. See post pictures for example.

Additional baking instructions

To bake with a Dutch oven: Follow recipe instructions (see above). To bake in a bread pan: You will need to line the bread pan with unbleached parchment paper and transfer the dough to the pan once ready to bake. You will not need a baking ring for this version. You do not need to preheat the pan. The total baking time for a loaf baked in a bread pan should be around 55-60 minutes. You don’t need to cover the loaf when baking. To bake with a baking stone: Place your parchment sheet with the baking ring and dough directly on top of the preheated baking stone. The total baking time should be around 55-60 minutes. This method might create a crisper bottom but should work. Please note that I haven’t tested this method with this recipe but have for other similar recipes.