Wild Grape Starter

Wild Grape Starter

29 Reviews 3 Pics
Recipe by  Sharon

“Use unwashed, organically grown red or purple grapes for this recipe. The white powder found on the skins of the grapes is yeast. If you wish, you can switch to bread flour on the 5th day. The starter is fully active and ready to use in 9 days.”

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Adjust Servings

Original recipe yields 1 cup starter



  1. Stem grapes into a medium mixing bowl. Crush with hands. Cover with cheesecloth, and set aside for three days at room temperature.
  2. After three days there should be bubbles in the grape juice, indicating fermentation has begun. Strain liquid, and discard skins. Return to bowl, and stir in 1 cup whole wheat flour. Set aside for 24 hours at room temperature.
  3. Measure 1 cup starter, discard any extra, and transfer to a 1 quart glass or ceramic container with a lid. Stir in 1 scant cup bread flour and 1 cup water. The mixture should resemble a thick batter; add more water or flour if necessary to achieve this consistency. Cover loosely with lid. Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours. Repeat the following day. Some activity should be noticeable: the mixture should be starting to bubble. Repeat twice more. You will need to discard some of the mixture each day.
  4. Starter should be quite active. Begin feeding regularly, every 4 to 6 hours, doubling the starter each time. For instance, if you have 1 cup starter, add 1 cup bread flour and 1 cup water. Alternatively, store in the refrigerator, and feed weekly.

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Reviews (29)

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Kendall Gray

Kendall Gray

Most of the starter recipes you're likely to find either _cheat_, by using commercial yeast to kick start the process, or are- quite honestly- too fragile in their early stages. In the former case, you create a colony of whatever strain of commercial yeast that you used. Which sort of negates the point of _making_ your own starter; using home grown yeast. In the latter case, you all too frequently end up with a smelly paste that is _definately_ not starter. I know this to be fact, as I've tried, made and discarded many substandard batches of starter in my career. _This_ recipe, on the other hand, works perfectly, rapidly and dependably. It creates a batch of wild yeast- soon enough enfluenced by whatever yeast are floating around in your area- and creates a powerful starter. Powerful enough that no additional yeast is needed to leaven any recipe. (My advice to substitute this starter for packaged yeast in any bread recipe- leave out a cup of flour, add a cup of the starter. Add more flour, if needed, to get proper texture.) Readers might be interested to know that this starter also well replicates the artisinal starters used in high end commercial recipes. Meaning that- quite often- I have seen professional bakers scrape together all manner of thin skinned fruit, let it sit for a few days and use the fermented juice as a starter basis. I really like this starter. In fact, I've just pulled a batch of it from stasis in the fridge- make certain to pour o



I used wine grapes from a local vineyard. This makes a very fast "sourdough" starter, with a less sour flavor than my regular sourdough. It has worked in all my favorite sourdough recipes that I have tried it in. If you live in a dry climate, as I do, start it in a large jar, instead of a bowl, to reduce the surface area for evaporation of juice.



I used store-bought red grapes with good luck. The flavor is truly San Francisco sourdough.

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Amount Per Serving (1 total)

  • Calories
  • 729 cal
  • 36%
  • Fat
  • 4.9 g
  • 8%
  • Carbs
  • 167.8 g
  • 54%
  • Protein
  • 19.4 g
  • 39%
  • Cholesterol
  • 0 mg
  • 0%
  • Sodium
  • 15 mg
  • < 1%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet



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Sourdough Starter I


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Herman Sourdough Starter