Ingrients & Directions
2 c Bread flour
2 1/2 c Water
1/2 lb Red grapes, stemmed
The grape starter is from Julia Child’s new Master Chef book($17.95
Retail). It is a recipe given by Nancy Silverton. It takes 10 days to
complete but is then yours for life.
Wrap the grapes in well washed cheesecloth, tieing the corners to
form a bag; lightly crush them with a rolling pin (to release the
sugar to mix with the natural yeast on the skins; just like making
wine!) and immerse them in the flour water mix. Cover tightly with a
lid or plastic wrap secured with a rubber band. Leave at room
temperature for 6 days, stirring once or twice a day for the six days.
The bag of grapes will eventually appear inflated, and liquid will
begin to separate from the flour base. The mixture will begin to
taste and smell slightly fruity, and the color will be strange. That
is as it should be. By the sixth day the bag of grapes will have
deflated, the color will be yellow, and the taste pleasantly sour;
the fermentation is complete. The starter is living but weak, and it
needs to be fed.
Remove the grapes and squeeze their juices back into the starter.
Stir it up thouroughly and transfer it to a clean container.
(Although you can use it after just one feeding, the starter will be
stronger and healthier with the full treatment) You can refrigerate
it until you’re ready to proceed.
Three days before you plan to use it, stir 1 cup flour and 1 cup
water into the container, blending well. Let stand uncovered at room
temperature until it bubbles up – 3 to 4 hours – then cover and
refrigerate. Repeat this for the second and third day.
Store the starter tightly covered in the refrigerator where it will
keep perfectly for 4 to 6 months.- after which it’s a good idea to
pour off all but 2 cups and give it another feeding. Before using the
stored starter for bread, however, give it the full 3-day feeding
schedule once again to restore it and to tone down excess sourness.
This is the starter for the Olive Bread recipe which follows. From: