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Old 03-15-2004, 09:36 AM   #1
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General Questions and Chat

 How do you encourage
natural free-floating wild yeast
to start a sourdough bread start?
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Might the juice of organic grapes (presumably unwashed when bought) be a good source of wild yeasts? Any experience with this?

Thanks!

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Old 03-15-2004, 10:32 AM   #2
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Somewhere along the line I've heard something about organic grapes being used as a sourdough starter. It could one of a handful of bread books I've read, but the best bet would probably be Peter Reinhart's The Breadbaker's Apprentice or Shirley Corriher's Cookwise : The Secrets of Cooking Revealed.

Sorry I can't be more specific than that, but I definitely heard it, somewhere :)
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Old 03-15-2004, 11:54 AM   #3
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Just curious: what is the point of using a wild yeast of unknown performance when commercial yeast is so readily available?

My Thompson Seedless is just beginning to leaf out, and I plan to try using whatever yeast forms on its fruit this year to make a starter, but them\n I a sort of a nut.
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Old 03-15-2004, 03:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldcoot
Just curious: what is the point of using a wild yeast of unknown performance when commercial yeast is so readily available?

My Thompson Seedless is just beginning to leaf out, and I plan to try using whatever yeast forms on its fruit this year to make a starter, but then I'm a sort of a nut.
Commercial yeast for sourdough starter is not available to me here. I envy you having Thompson Seedless coming along but they're not available here except as thoroughly washed ones in Safeway. But this August I'll try looking for wild yeasts on local wild grapes.
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Old 03-15-2004, 03:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldcoot
Just curious: what is the point of using a wild yeast of unknown performance when commercial yeast is so readily available?

My Thompson Seedless is just beginning to leaf out, and I plan to try using whatever yeast forms on its fruit this year to make a starter, but then I'm a sort of a nut.
Commercial sourdough starter yeast are not easily available here. I envy your Thompson Seedless starting up already but look forward to collecting yeasts in August or September from local wild grapes.
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Old 03-15-2004, 04:41 PM   #6
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Blanch, if you have Safeway, you have commercial yeast - Fleischmann''s, SAF, Red Star, or ? Variously called active Dry Yeast, Rapid Rise Yeast,, etc. In foil or plastic packets.

Add the contents of a packet to a cup of water and a cup of flour, set aside for 3 days, and Voila! Sourdough Starter. Mix that with more flour and half a teaspoon of salt, and voila again; french sourdough bread (after baking, of course.)

If you want to keep your sourdough starter goig, it will need to be fed frwuently. I suggest doing a Google search for "soourdough starter", where you will find a plethora of advice on maintaining it.
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Old 03-15-2004, 05:33 PM   #7
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Until I was struck with the desire to "go wild" I've been using a starter:
http://ww2.kingarthurflour.com/cgibi...77173815184917

which is in the Baker's catalog at:
http://ww2.kingarthurflour.com/cgibi...23231213308848

Thanks for the suggestions!
blanch a.k.a. Marcel Blanchaer, M.D.,C.M., Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry & Human Genetics, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada
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Old 03-15-2004, 06:34 PM   #8
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As usual, I am still suffering from a congenital case of acute hoof-in-mouth disease: me, advising a professor of biochemistry on the subject of yeast!

But, heck, now that I've gone this far........

The wild yeast on grapes is on the skin of the grape, so washing will remove most, if not all of it. It gets into the juice in the crushing operation..

I intend to simply rinse my grapes in a cup of water, and use that to start my starter.. Since there will be very little yeast, I expect it will take a while to grow enough yeast to be appreciable.
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Old 03-16-2004, 09:27 AM   #9
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I intend to simply rinse my grapes in a cup of water, and use that to start my starter.. Since there will be very little yeast, I expect it will take a while to grow enough yeast to be appreciable.
That's a great idea! Let us know if that works
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Old 03-17-2004, 02:22 AM   #10
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I would first buy the natural "free-floating wild yeast" dinner with a few drinks. By then it should fall into my hands. Then I would ask if it wants a night cap. Once it says "yes" I would intorduce it to my sourdough bread mixutre. I would dim the lights and turn on Barry White. And then leave the two alone. Next moringing... boom BADA..bing, I would have bread! he he he.....
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