Grape Sourdough Starter


52 people made this

This really neat bread starter goes from grapes and wholemeal flour to a sourdough yeast starter in just 9 days. Uses fresh unwashed red or purple grapes.


Serves: 1 

  • 500g grapes, unwashed
  • 1 cup (120g) wholemeal flour

Preparation:9days  ›  Ready in:9days 

  1. Place grapes into a medium mixing bowl. Crush with hands. Cover with cheesecloth or muslin then 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 then discard skins.
  3. Return to the bowl then stir in wholemeal flour. Set aside for 24 hours at room temperature.
  4. Measure 1 cup starter, discard any extra. Transfer to a 1 litre glass or ceramic container with a lid. Stir in 2 1/4 cups 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.
  5. 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 3/4 cups bread flour and 1 cup water. Alternatively, store in the refrigerator and feed weekly.


Use unwashed, organically grown red or purple grapes for this recipe. The white powder found on the skins of the grapes is used as homemade starter yeast for bread. If you wish, you can switch to plain flour on the fifth day.

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Reviews (5)


I used shop-bought red grapes with good luck. The flavour is truly sourdough. - 14 Jul 2008

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 definitely not starter. This recipe, on the other hand, works perfectly, rapidly and dependably. It creates a batch of wild yeast - soon enough influenced 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. 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. - 14 Jul 2008


I used wine grapes from a local vineyard. This makes a very fast "sourdough" starter, with a less sour flavour than my regular sourdough. It has worked in all my favorite sourdough recipes that I have tried it in. - 14 Jul 2008

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