Author Topic: Grapes in wild yeast starters  (Read 2837 times)

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Offline Essen1

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Grapes in wild yeast starters
« on: July 22, 2008, 02:08:12 AM »
"Grapes are used by many bakers to kick-start their natural starters", according to Nancy Silverton of the La Brea Bakery in LA.

I went through all my cook books today, during a brief power outage, and lo and behold found a book I didn't even know I had:

Nancy Silverton's Breads from the La Brea Bakery: Recipes for the Connoisseur.

She suggests, when trying to get a natural starter going, to put some whole grapes in it. I assume unwashed because she goes on to say that the wild yeast that resides on the skin aides in cultivating a healthy natural starter.

Thought I'd pass that info on.
Mike

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."  - Albert Einstein

http://thehobbycook.blogspot.com/


Offline sourdough girl

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Re: Grapes in wild yeast starters
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2008, 04:03:11 PM »
Mike,
That's one bread book I don't have... but WILL buy!
The "experts" have differing opinions on the use of fruit to jump-start a starter (some say that the yeast on the fruit is specific to the fruit and will not thrive in a flour/water mixture) but I have to tell you that when I started my Puget Sound beast (which is fermenting on the kitchen counter right now) I used unwashed, carefully inspected Italian plums from the tree in my back yard.  They were covered with a white, powdery "bloom" and were very ripe.  I have made many starters using just flour and water, but THIS one was active sooner and smells better than any before, so I tend to agree with Ms. Silverton.  Some experts will say that it is just the sugar in the fruit giving the yeast more food, but if the flour is plenty of food, why would the sugar make that much difference?  I don't have a science lab in my kitchen, so don't know for sure whether the yeast I have captured is from the air or the plums... but I DO know that it is not from the flour because I nuked all the flour I used to start it AND to feed it for over a month. 

So, I think the use of fruit with a yeast "bloom" on them certainly helps!  JMHO!

~sd  aka  mots
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Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Grapes in wild yeast starters
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2008, 04:32:28 PM »
Silverton's book is the most frequently used bread book in my house. Since her starter creation, activation, and use differs from mine, I deconstruct her recipes to get the baker's percentages and then merge them with the way I like to use my starters and prepare mix my dough.

Offline SteveB

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Re: Grapes in wild yeast starters
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2008, 04:53:53 PM »
All that is really required for the creation of a healthy starter is organic whole grain flour.  The desired wild yeast and bacteria already reside on the bran of the grain.  An easy method to begin a starter can be found here:

http://www.breadcetera.com/?p=58

One does not need to use the grapes or large quantities of flour recommended by Silverton.


Offline elsegundo

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Re: Grapes in wild yeast starters
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2008, 12:01:20 AM »
Nancy Silverton technique can be viewed on the PBS/Julia Child site

Here is the link -I hope it makes it

http://www.pbs.org/juliachild/meet/silverton.html#


Btw (I think you asked the question elsewhere) autolyse is a resting period process of 20 minutes for flour, water, yeast, and salt to allow the flour to absorb water.  See Best Bread Ever by Van Over page 31 to see the process developed by Calvel. Another great book.

Offline Essen1

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Re: Grapes in wild yeast starters
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2008, 03:18:16 PM »
El segundo,

Great video.

Yes, I was the one with the autolyse post, but I mixed up the correct terms.  ???

Peter pointed that out to me and provided more in-depth info.
Mike

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."  - Albert Einstein

http://thehobbycook.blogspot.com/