Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Catching Wild Yeast for Sourdough

I tried catching wild yeast for Sourdough...

Step 1: Crush some green grapes and put them in cheesecloth:

Step 2: Make a sachet our of it by bundling and tying with string, and submerge it in a mixture of about 1 c. flour and 1/2 c. water (it should be like pancake batter):

Step 3. Let it sit 12-24 hrs. It will foam and smell sort of like beer. Mine actually did foam, but I didn't get a picture of it because I forgot!!

Step 4. Stir and keep in the refrigerator, use as you would any sourdough starter in a bread recipe.

This is what happens when you leave it out too long:

It began to smell pretty bad... was probably plenty of bacteria in it...lysteria, MRSA and who knows what else, total disaster ;)


Emma C said...

Hi, Evie!

This should work just fine--you might need to refresh the sourdough a few times to get it going. That is, discard a portion and replace the discarded portion with equal parts water and flour. Try doing this every day for a week and see how things look. If it's ok, at that point, you can leave it for a week or so. It's only really "bad" when if you see red growth on the top. Other than that, the "good" bacteria and wild yeast in the starter keep the pH level low enough that "bad" stuff won't grow. Who'd a thunk it?!

Some other thoughts if you decide this batch is bad and want to start over:
*Use filtered water.
*You don't actually need the grapes so much--the yeast will grow in the sourdough anyways. Some recipes say to use grapes to start because the white film on the grape skin IS actually wild yeast, but like I said, you don't need it necessarily.
*If you have it, using starchy water (like pasta water or water used to boil potatoes) is really good for getting the starter going.

Good luck! Keep me posted! (P.S. And apologies if this came off sounding really snobby or condescending! I just LOVE sourdough and get so excited when people making it on their own!!)

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