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    Messing with sour dough

    I recently acquired some stone ground red spring wheat from the farmers market in my neighborhood. Last Sunday I mashed up some organic red grapes which sat on the counter for 3 days, and then strained. The juice was added to a cup of the flour. I removed a cup of the slush the next day and added another cup of the flour and a cup of water, this was repeated daily and now there is a jar of bubbly stuff siting there.
    My intention is to mix a cup of flour and a cup of water with a cup of the starter to make a small amount of dough for making a pizza. Does this sound like a workable idea?
    Spike C
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    Senior Member Deckhand's Avatar
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    Spike thanks for this post will be following this. My last attempt was an epic fail.

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    PierreRodrigue's Avatar
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    I have been reaping the benefit of a new batch of sourdough. The grape approach is very interesting. I'm not a pro by any means, but the yeast on grapes should impart an interesting flavor. Look forward to hearing how it turns out!


    Feel free to visit my website, http://www.rodrigueknives.com
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    Senior Member wenus2's Avatar
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    Spike, the answer may be no in the short term, but yes in a week or so.
    You are feeding too frequently for a new starter, you need to starve out the baddies or a while then proceed.
    Please read this: http://www.fornobravo.com/pizzaquest...-starters.html

    Then you will be good to go.
    Your idea is sound though. The hydration will need to be adjusted on the fly most likely, and you will want a bit of salt in the dough.

    I like to keep my starter a chowder-like consistency, that is up to you though.

    Good luck!

    Oh yeah, and the yeast is on the outside of the grapes, so if you ever have to redo sometime you can skip the mashing step.
    I say this because a three day maceration, depending on the grape, may add some color.
    When I lived in Portland my starter would produce a green liquid sometimes, it's ok just pour it off. Red is bad though, if you notice pink or red I have seen it advised to just chuck it and start over, not something you should consume I guess.
    -Enjoy the ride. *** All statements made herein are my personal opinion and nothing more, regardless of tone or context. ***

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    The grape must is a method championed by Nancy Silverton. I found this website to be an excellent reference and use his techniques to make my own starters from local stone ground whole wheat: http://www.sourdoughhome.com/startingastarter.html

    -AJ

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    Senior Member mpukas's Avatar
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    +1 to sourdoughhome.com. Read eveything in it, and try to read most of his references.

    I've messed w/ starters for years, but I've never tried the grape method. If you're going to keep a starter, you've got to be serious about it. It's like having a cross between a pet and house plant.

    My theory is that you can start you're starter a number of different ways to get it established, but eventually, if present, the naturally occuring yeast in your area will take over and you're starter will develop it's own unique taste based on that. If you don't have much/any naturally occuring yeast (I live in a high alpine desert environment, that's hot and dry in the summer and cold and dry in the winter, and I don't think I've got much to work with here), then you're cultivating and trying to maintain what ever you started with.

    Spike - I'm not sure that the grape juice method will work. As said above, the yeast on grapes is on the skins, so using the just the juice you may be making alcohol. In contrast to what Wenus said, when I started mine I fed mine twice a day, discarding half each time, for about two weeks (as per sourdoughhome.com's instructions). Once established, I keep it in the fridge and use at least half at least once per week, and fed w/ equal parts water & flour plus salt and some type of sugar (cane sugar, honey).

    But alas, after about 9 months or so of this method, mine recently turned red, and I think I have to chuck it. It the past several weeks I've been adding/using different types of flours/grains (brown rice flour, buckwheat flour) for feeding, trying to avoid gluten, and as an experiment. I think something about the type of flour/grain I've been feeding it may have allowed other bugs to over populate.
    Shibui - simplicity devoid of unnecessary elements

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    Quote Originally Posted by mpukas View Post
    +1 to sourdoughhome.com. Read eveything in it, and try to read most of his references.

    I've messed w/ starters for years, but I've never tried the grape method. If you're going to keep a starter, you've got to be serious about it. It's like having a cross between a pet and house plant.

    My theory is that you can start you're starter a number of different ways to get it established, but eventually, if present, the naturally occuring yeast in your area will take over and you're starter will develop it's own unique taste based on that. If you don't have much/any naturally occuring yeast (I live in a high alpine desert environment, that's hot and dry in the summer and cold and dry in the winter, and I don't think I've got much to work with here), then you're cultivating and trying to maintain what ever you started with.

    Spike - I'm not sure that the grape juice method will work. As said above, the yeast on grapes is on the skins, so using the just the juice you may be making alcohol. In contrast to what Wenus said, when I started mine I fed mine twice a day, discarding half each time, for about two weeks (as per sourdoughhome.com's instructions). Once established, I keep it in the fridge and use at least half at least once per week, and fed w/ equal parts water & flour plus salt and some type of sugar (cane sugar, honey).

    But alas, after about 9 months or so of this method, mine recently turned red, and I think I have to chuck it. It the past several weeks I've been adding/using different types of flours/grains (brown rice flour, buckwheat flour) for feeding, trying to avoid gluten, and as an experiment. I think something about the type of flour/grain I've been feeding it may have allowed other bugs to over populate.
    Have heard of Flaxseed sourdoughs that work (in San Fran) but never a buckwheat one...interesting. Currently have a Rye Sourdough starter that is flourishing in Tahoe. Use it probably once a month for an all-rye bread. Seems that less is more with rye starter and breads--straight rye that is. Impressive that you at least tried a non-gluten starter, would imagine that there is no attraction for yeasts to grow on these flours as compared to glutenous flours in general.

    Also, working with an all-white sourdough that is twenty years old and steady at work...

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    Thanks for all the input so far, I really appreciate it! Today is day 7 and the starter looks good. I think I will keep feeding it for a bit longer before the first bake.
    Regarding the skins and juice, the first 3 days the skins were with the juice to let the yeast get going, then the skins were removed and replaced with local stone ground wheat.
    Spike C
    "The Buddha resides as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain."
    Pirsig

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    Senior Member Johnny.B.Good's Avatar
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    I feel dumb reading this thread.

    Hope it works out Spike.

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    Senior Member Crothcipt's Avatar
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    You know what Bourdain said about those that made bread? "they are nuts. We cooks are all nuts but the bakers are a different kind of nuts. I mean they call up on their days off and say stuff about how it will die."

    That is from memory so please don't quote me. Good luck with your venture Spike. You all are going down the really nutty venture into the food world.
    Chewie's the man.

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