Baking with Grape Yeast

Lock down in South Africa forced me to look for things to do at home to stop myself from going mad. One thing I found was baking so I started experimenting. Things like the South African staple, rusks.

I even tried my hand at croissants – after many a failure I got that right too.

But sourdough bread was what got me started. I used the normal flour fed starter.

Then I heard that you could use fruit fed yeasts as a starter. I had some grapes to hand and they got pressed (pun intended) into service. I put the grapes into a jar, gave them a rinse to get rid of any stray dirt but to prevent the natural yeasts from being washed away. I then crushed them and added enough water to cover them and then left them to do their bit which they promptly did.

After 3 days I strained the crushed grapes out and added new grapes – white grapes this time

And let them fizz up again. I strained the juice, made a 70% hydration loaf using a mix of unsifted wheat, spelt and sifted wheat flour,
I did the usual sourdough things and baked the bread.

The crust was nice and crunchy. And the inside? Well see for yourself.

The bread is a bit more dense than bread made with white bread flour as the spelt and unsifted flour have less gluten.
And the taste? Not so much of the sourdough flavour, more fruity and a little sweet.
My only complaint is that the fruit starter requires a lot of maintenance. It is worth it for special occasions, but for day to day baking, stick with the flour fed starter.


Lock Down Sourdough

When we were locked down due to the pandemic, I learnt how to make sourdough bread. Long and drawn out, it is a great stress reliever and you can eat the stuff too. Highly recommended.