Saturday, May 06, 2006

Sourdough Starter :Day 1

I remember as child when in San Francisco getting some San Francisco Sourdough bread. What a treat! This sour dough bread is unique to San Francisco since it has a wild yeast starter with a unique strain of bacteria called Lactobacillus sanfrancisco that is only in the bay area. This bacterium makes the unique crust and sour flavor. Bakers in SF have starters that are very old and are kept alive by feeding and proper care.

Bread was always an important part of my familys meals while growing up. We had bread with every meal. Even if we happened to have a bowl of cold cereal (which was not very common) for breakfast you still had toast with it. The bread was not anything exotic but usually just slice of bread from the store. I think this may be part of my passion for good bread

The sourdough I make here in Kansas will not be the same as one made in California or any other place. They will all have their own little characteristics. Sourdough can also be a little cranky. If it is a little too cold it might take a long time to develop. If it is too warm it might grow too fast. It all depends on the flour too. One type might have more gluten. The differences are endless.

This will be day one of the starter I will be making. My last batch I accidently ruined it so I am starting over again. I wanted to wait until it was warm enough and there is hopefully enough yeast around to make a good batch.

There are all types of methods and ingredients used. We will use the method done by the La Brea Bakery in Los Angeles. This method of making yeast takes 14 days.Their are some other methods to grow yeast that use other fruits and ingredients and take shorter periods of time but this sourdougth method takes 14 days. Believe me if you do it correct the results will be worth while. Makign bread is an art and the more you do it the better your results will be. Once you make this starter it if you care for it you will not have to make it again. Think of it as you baby. So here we go. I will begin poting pictures of my progress. It is a lttle cool here in Kansas so I am a little worried about the temperture. I might have to use a heater and a seed growing pad.

1 pound red or black grapes
2 pounds (4 cups water) 78degreess F
1 pound 3 ounces (3 3/4 cups) unbleached white bread flour

Make sure everything is very clean. If you get bateria growing before the yeast it will ruin the batch. Mix the water and flour in a 1 galloncontainerr. Place grapes in a double layer ofcheeseclothh and then form a bag around the grapes.Squeezee the bag ofgrapesd into the mix. Stir. Swirl the bag int the mix and then push to the bottom. Cover thecontainorr tighly and set an and area around 70 - 75degreess F. Tomorroww we will work on it some more

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