Thursday, April 29, 2010

Taking a Trip to Breadtopia

This great sourdough starter video is from Eric at Breadtopia. Eric was one of my fellow nominees for most innovative video content in the Saveur best food blog awards, and as you'll see in this clip, he's a great teacher.

One of my very few regrets with the pro food blogger lifestyle, is having almost no time to visit and watch/read other people's blogs. When I first started out, I would spend a few hours a day surfing the web. Now, I'm pretty much limited to a few minutes here and there, and it's sad knowing I'm missing out on so much great content – like this lesson.

This video shows a very clever method for making a sourdough starter using pineapple juice to increase your odds for success. I hope you enjoy it, and please check out all the other great videos on Breadtopia. Enjoy!

Photo (c) Flickr user grongar


Luatica said...

Very interesting info. But Im also very impressed with the miniwhisk. It would go great with your freakishly small wooden spoon.

Anonymous said...

Informative, for sure, but just a little long-winded, and a reminder of why I like your videos so much!

Chris K. said...

I also enjoyed the freakishly small whisk.

Pineapple juice. What a fantastic idea! I may have to a rye starter with this technique... if you haven't tried it, home made sourdough rye is amazing.

Grams Pam said...

Ok, Chef John, here's a Wish from your loyal viewers: we must have a freakishly small WHISK to go with the freakishly small wooden spoon from last year!

BTW - I enjoyed the video and will pop over to his site and leave him a note saying so.

Eric said...

Nice link Chef John. As a member of the artisan bread movement, I bake with sourdough several times a week and help others get over the early obstacles. Getting a starter built and healthy can be daunting if you don't use the pineapple solution.
BTW the microbiologist that discovered the best way to start a starter and developed the procedure is a women named Debra Wink, who Peter Reinhart credited.

There is a very large artisan bread group over at Some of those members are also active here I see. We like like good food!

Eric said...

Hi John,

Thanks for the very nice post.

Guess I'd better hurry up and add a freakishly small whisk to my store ;).

Chris K. said...

Burning question for anybody in the know:

I've been told not to use metal utensils or containers when working with starter cultures.

I don't know. Maybe it's just an excuse to break out a freakishly small wooden spoon.

Does it really matter? In the video Eric uses metal utensils. So I'm guessing not. Food myth or no, an explanation would be appreciated.

Chef John said...

always wondered about that myself

Eric said...

The stainless steel thing is a myth. Every commercial mixer in the world is made with stainless. I think that was from the days when a bowl or spoon might be reactive. That said however the best tool in my bread tool kit is a plastic scraper. I couldn't get by without it.

Eric said...

A scraper like this one

Luatica said...

About the metal thing, Im thinkng that metal is very conductive so it might get warm or cold very quickly , while wood is not so it helps a steady fermentation i guess. Or something similar i got told ages ago.

But i guess if like this guy you use something acid like pineapple juice, you don't want to use aluminium. Also think some stuff doesnt go well with copper or iron, but thats about it.

Anonymous said...

How long can you store the starter?