Thursday, April 26, 2012

Organic Apple Sourdough Bread Starter

Making the starter from organic apple peels and organic bread flour,
 6 weeks ago
I am sad because it appears that my sourdough starter may be dying or dead.
 
The sourdough starter today -- flat and no bubbles.  Are you still alive?
I fed it per all the instructions I could find, but it seems to have lost its mojo.

My first experiment - scoring the top before baking

Nonetheless, I have had a great time learning how to make sourdough bread over the last 6 weeks.

It all started one Saturday when I saw the PBS show called New Scandinavian Cooking,*(see note below)  featuring one of their chefs, Andreas Viestad.

We love Scandinavia, and Norway, in particular and Andreas was visiting an apple farm on the West coast, in Hardanger, near Bergen, Norway where the terrain is just beautiful.

It is all about "Earth" from the powerful steep mountains, the impact of the Atlantic ocean, to the protection and deepness of the inner fjords.   The rainy, misty hillsides are dotted with fruit trees and farmland.

Andreas visited a wood fired bakery where they were making sourdough bread using apple skins as the basis of their fermented sponge.  As he bit into the freshly baked bread he said that he could taste the apple in the background.

I thought "wow!" That bread looks incredible.  I wonder what it would taste like.  We have spectacular apples here in NYS.  I wonder if I could do that, too.
Starter can be made with the peels of apples, or grapes, or other unprocessed fruit

He showed how you make the sourdough starter:   by peeling organic apples and using the peels mixed with organic flour and water and a little sugar.
Yeast is naturally in our environment, on the skins of fruit, like apples, but also grapes, and the like.  It can be captured and fed with sugar and flour until it becomes alive.  It takes about a week to develop the sponge.

The sponge is then used to start the bread instead of regular store bought yeast.  It can be replenished with more flour, water and sugar. 

Andreas said that he knows people that have kept their sourdough starters alive for years, and have passed their starter on to friends, who pass it on to their friends.

Well, the next Saturday, when I couldn't stop thinking about it, and hemming and hawing, I decided to try.  This project is way out of my comfort zone, but worst case, I would be out the money for the flour.  We could eat the apples. 

I looked up his recipe, and this is all he said!  Not enough directions, in my mind.

Sourdough Made with Apple Peel
(from the New Scandivian Cooking website:  www.scancook.com)

Ingredients:
4 apples, unprocessed
3 cups water
2 tablespoons sugar
3 1/2 cups wheat flour

Preperation:  (note from B: That's how it was spelled on their website.)
 
1 Peel the apples and put the peelings in a sterile glass with the flour and the sugar.
2 Add the water and put on a loose-fitting lid – the dough needs to breathe.
3 Leave it in room temperature for 4-6 days until it starts to bubble and froth.
4 It is important that the sourdough develops in a draft free room. The sourdough keeps for a week in the fridge without needing to be fed.

So, I had to do some research.  I started with James Beard, as I usually do, and he is NOT a fan of sourdough bread! 

Next, I considered where did I learn first about sourdough bread?  It was San Francisco while visiting family there.  


Success:  The first San Francisco Jr. League cookbook had sourdough bread and instructions, but neither used the organic fruit peel starter method (they used yeast), so I had to adapt the instructions and the recipe.

Next, I will show you how to do it.   It's actually not hard at all. 

Stay tuned!

B

*New Scan Cooking says their show and food is :  Inspired by the culinary revolution in Spain and the Italian Slow Food movement, top Nordic chefs, Nordic Ministers of Food and key actors within the gastronomic field are strieving to develop a vital and attractive New Nordic Cuisine. 
http://www.newscancook.com/

7 comments:

  1. This might help with culturing the yeast:

    http://sarabakar.se/blog/2009/10/29/levain-pa-applen/

    på svenska, but Google Translate works ok. Good luck!

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  2. Thanks for the link, John! I was just thinking about starting a new sourdough starter and this will be very helpful.

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  3. Do you have a link to the post where you show us "how to do it?" I also saw this episode of the New Scandinavian Cooking, and it made me want to create yeast from fruit. Last year I tried different fruits with moderate success.

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    Replies
    1. http://www.newscancook.com/tv-series-guide/episode-9-a-world-of-apples/

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  4. I can't find the link to how you did it, nor sourdough on your recipe box. Did I muck up following links? Or did this bomb entirely? Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. I am not sure why you couldn't find it but I copied his recipes here for you.

      From Andreas Viestad's website

      Sourdough Made with Apple Peel
      INGREDIENTS
      4 apples, unprocessed
      3 cups water
      2 tablespoons sugar
      3Servings: 4
      PREPARATION:

      1
      Peel the apples and put the peelings in a sterile glass with the flour and the sugar.

      2
      Add the water and put on a loose-fitting lid – the dough needs to breathe.

      3
      Leave it in room temperature for 4-6 days until it starts to bubble and froth.

      4
      It is important that the sourdough develops in a draft free room. The sourdough keeps for a week in the fridge without needing to be fed. 1/2 cups wheat flour

      Sourdough Bread
      NGREDIENTS
      1 cup loose sourdough (see recipe)
      8 cups wheat flour
      3 cups water
      4 tablespoons rapeseed oil
      2 teaspoons salt
      When baking with sourdough you need to remember that the bread is alive. Before you get to know the sourdough you have no way of knowing how long it needs to rise – you have to wait and see, and get to know it. If it takes too long, you can gradually add a little yeast. Then you won’t have a sourdough-risen bread, but you will get that good taste.
      Use a baking stone or pizza stone if you have one.

      Servings: 2

      PREPARATION:

      1
      Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and knead well. Leave to rise in a sheltered, but relatively cool place over night. The dough should be quite loose, but if it gets too loose, it will have trouble rising.

      2
      Divide the dough in two bread pans and leave to rise again in a warm place.

      3
      Preheat the oven to 520 degrees. Make cuts in the loaves, put them in the oven and reduce the temperature to 360 degrees. Bake for 45 minutes.

      4
      Let them cool off on a grate.

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