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GrapesGrape Sourdough Starter
The following Italian sourdough starter, or biga, uses the wild yeast naturally present in grapes. The fruit also provides the sugar on which the yeast feeds.

Recipe Conversions

CAUTION
Kids, please don’t try this at home without the help of an adult.

 

   
What Do I Need? .


• 1 bunch organic grapes
• 2 cups white bread flour
• 2 cups water



• a glass bowl
• a wooden spoon
• a towel
• a strainer

 
   
What Do I Do?

 

1. Crush the grapes slightly, and measure out about 2 cups into a glass bowl. Add the flour and water.

 
 

2. Mix with a wooden spoon until the batter has become thick and gooey.

3. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and let it sit at room temperature overnight.

4. The next day, check the starter for bubbles of gas coming to the surface, a sure sign of fermentation. Be patient: This can take as long as 5 days in some environments.

5. Once the starter has begun to ferment, strain out the grapes and “feed” the starter with a bit of flour and water.

6. You can use the starter right away, or you can let it sit for another few days. The longer you let the starter ferment, the stronger the flavor of your bread will be; after about 4 days, chances are it will be too sour to eat.

 
7. If you aren’t ready to make bread right away, or if you’ve made enough starter for several loaves, you can freeze your starter and save it for later. Simply divide it into 1-cup portions, wrap each one in 2 layers of plastic, and put them in the freezer.  
   

8. To bring the starter back to life, let it sit in a glass bowl overnight at room temperature. When the yeasts “wake up,” the fermentation process will start again.

 

Did You Know?
The acids in sourdough help prevent mold growth and staling.
   
What Else Can I Try?  
Sourdough breads take advantage of the flavors produced by “wild” yeast and bacteria. Once you’ve made a sourdough starter, you can put it into action with this bread recipe. Share & Discuss
Talk about your results.

 

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