Making the starter from organic apple peels and organic bread flour,
6 weeks ago
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
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
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)
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!
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.
*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.