The Fresh Loaf

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La Brea Bakery Sourdough Starter

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jonswifelori's picture
jonswifelori

La Brea Bakery Sourdough Starter

I finally decided to start the grape sourdough starter from the book "Nancy Silverton's Breads from the La Brea Bakery.  My mother-in-law also wants to start it, so I have included pics of the first 40 hours of fermentation.  I did exactly what was stated in the recipe...One pound of red or black grapes (I did dark red-purple grapes), 2 pounds lukewarm water (78 degrees F), and one pound three ounces or unbleached white bread flour (I used King Arthur).  The recipe called for organic-pesticide free grapes...but my store didn't have them.  I got normal grapes, and just rinsed them under cool water.  I put them in a double layer of cheese cloth picked up from the local hardware store.  This is the pic from just 2 hours after all the ingredients were mixed.


 


P.S....I have also wrapped my little baby with a towel all over.  I peek in on it about every 2 hours.


jonswifelori's picture
jonswifelori

This next pic was taken 12 hours after the first...The mixture has separated and a layer or liquid is sitting on the top...


jonswifelori's picture
jonswifelori

Ok...this next pic was taken about 12 hours after the last one.  I checked on it all day.  What happened was little bursts of batter and bubbles started erupting in random places all over.  Then throughout the day, more and more eruptions. By the time I took this pic, the starter had erupted completely through the separated liquid layer. Sorry about the color variation in the photo (a little yellow) 


jonswifelori's picture
jonswifelori

Ok...now it's been about 12 hours later since the last pic.  The starter is now seething with bubbles, and I can also see some of them moving and breaking, and forming new ones...slowly...


Also I can already smell something through the tight plastic wrap. It smells pretty "cheesy".  I pulled the plastic wrap off to get a good whiff...and to my surprise...it doesn't really smell cheesy.  It smells yeasty, slightly alcoholic, fruity (from the grapes I presume) and just a little bit nutty.  It doesn't smell unpleasant.  I can't help but think that my starter is just a little too much active.  As of 5PM today (EST) it will be about 48 hours.  I think the starter is growing about a day ahead of it's self, according to what the book says.  Again, sorry for the yellow color variation.  I will try to take the next pic with a little more natural light :) 


jonswifelori's picture
jonswifelori

I took this pic at 5:37 pm EST.  Looks like the bag of grapes is inflated.  I can see the lumps from it.  Next pic will be tomorrow morning :)

Barbara Krauss's picture
Barbara Krauss

I made this starter using Nancy Silverton's instructions and after 3 years, it's still going strong.  Nancy demonstrated this method of using grapes to create her sourdough starter a few years ago on an episode of Julia Child: Cooking With Master Chefs.  It used to be available on line, but I haven't been able to find it. 

jonswifelori's picture
jonswifelori

I just took this pic at 11am EST.  I can see that the bag of grapes is inflated.  I still have to wait until tomorrow to give it a feeding, and then on the 10th day, the grapes come out.


jonswifelori's picture
jonswifelori

Oh, boy...the smell has permeated the kitchen :)

jonswifelori's picture
jonswifelori

OK...I took this pic this morning, Friday, the morning of the 4th day.  Today was the day to give it a little food since "being born".  Before I removed the plastic wrap, I noticed that the tight plastic was "sucked in" like there was a vacuum in the bowl.  I pulled the plastic off.  First thing I noticed was the bubbly mix was just floating on top of a thick layer of purple-red liquid, and that there was a flour sludge on the bottom of the bowl.  The bag of grapes was also part of the floating bubbly mix as the bag had become inflated.  I added the water first, and then the flour and then reached in and incorporated the mix.  I had to really work the bottom to get that sludge to mix also.  The smell was sharp, almost like vinegar.  The mix was also more watery than when I had first made it.  I finished by swishing the grape bag around and then tasted what was on my hands.  It was sour-y, and a little fruity.  Not horrible though.  I did smell yeast also.  Well, now I let it rest again until day 10.  That's when the grapes come out, and I feed it again.  :)


jonswifelori's picture
jonswifelori

I just had to show you guys how active this little thing is!  Just 10-15 minutes after I mixed all that...I checked in on it...WOW!!!  It has separated again and is now starting to have little bubbly eruptions...and the liquid on top is slightly red-purple-brown.  Wow...this is so exciting to watch!


Marmaris's picture
Marmaris

Hi there! The other day I set my grape starter too and now have a question. Yesterday it was bubbling and grew about 1 cm. Today it exfoliated and stopped growing. There are a lot of bubbles on top and it's sparkling like champagne. Smells good, tastes sweetish. So, what am I gonna do> Shall I feed it today or better wait another day as suggested?