The Fresh Loaf

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Capturing the outdoor wild spores

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LindyD's picture
LindyD

Capturing the outdoor wild spores

While reading through all the minutiae at the various cyberspace sourdough sites, I came across some comments at King Arthur stating that the best time to start a sourdough culture is in summer and fall. Which makes sense, as wild yeast spores would be really abundant at those times.

With that in mind, have any of you placed your flour and water mix outdoors during summer and fall to catch your local spores? Covered with cheesecloth, naturally, to keep out the flying beasts.

If so, was there a discernible difference over starters created indoors in the dead of winter? This is something I'd like to try this summer, as I have an abundance of wild blackberries, raspberries, juniper, and cherries, around and about.

 

 

 

 

JERSK's picture
JERSK

   You may be able to capture wild spores, but most of ones you'll get are present on the grains that are used for the flour. In the long run they will be the micro-organisms that will dominate your sourdough. You can, apparently, make starter from fruit waters. There is a link on this website about that.

mkelly27's picture
mkelly27

Lindy,

As I see it, you are probably 50-75 miles north of me so our flora is similar.  My latest starter is about 9 months old and it was made from yeast I harvested off of those wild grapes we see growing in the woods around us.  All of the berries will have this whitish cast on them (I call this blush), this is wild yeast.  Take whatever berry/fruit you find with the blush on them and soak them (whole, do not crush) overnight in warm water.  remove and discard the fruit and use the water to mix with the flour of your choice for your starter. It will have to go through the usual development stages but it makes a nice strong starter.  It will not have any characteristic flavors regardless of host fruit/berry

_______________________________________________________

Redundancy is your friend, so is redundancy

zozio32's picture
zozio32

I found starting my own starter quite easy.

I've kind of follow what's on this website on the "Lesson" category. I've used my normal white bread flour (not even wholegrain) with some "sweet" water (I add a bit of honey, and let some raisins soakin in the water for half an hour).

And that was just a week ago.

I baked my second loaf with it this morning, brilliant, I am sold to it.

I fed the starter with different kind of flour , white, wholegrain and wholegrain spelt during the first 3 days, then I kept half of it in the fridge, and use the other half. And I just fed it a few hour before using it yesterday.

So I don't know what kind of spore are available in Scotland air right now, but what's in the flour seems to be enough.

LindyD's picture
LindyD

I've read the fruit water thread but I'm more interested in the wild spores that are carried in the air. I have no problems getting a starter going or using one. My curiosity is aimed at what's outside in the summer months, especially in view of the comment at the KA site and Hamelman's connection there, and whether there will be much difference over my indoor created starter.

I know there are spores in the flour but there's much more to it than that, given Lactobacillus sanfrancisco is found only in the San Francisco area and the end result for all of us is regional.

Mkelly, I'm about 15 miles north of Gaylord; a bit under 50 miles from Big Mac, where the snow depth is about three feet in most places and the current temperature is 2F. I'm making notes to set up wild yeast "traps" later this summer. Cabin fever must be setting in. :-)

mkelly27's picture
mkelly27

My first adventure into wild yeast almost 15 yrs. ago, was demonstrated to me using a leaf of cabbage from the gargen with that lovely white cast to it.  Lindy, I know your area well as I hike and camp in the pigeon/sturgeon river area often.  Me, I'm in Clare east of the interstate, out amongst the Amish  

_______________________________________________________

Redundancy is your friend, so is redundancy

blackjava's picture
blackjava

I baked with starter a few years back but haven't done it in a while. I think I will start again. I have also read that a great way to make a starter is to set it outside and let the wild spores gather. This is a method I am going to try. I live in orchard country so there should be some nice wild spores in the air.

If you are using plants and wild berries to gather wild yeast, how do you know whether it's been treated with pesticides?