La Brea Starter and Rustic Bread

Recipe by Diana Adcock
READY IN: 144hrs 25mins
YIELD: 1-2 loaves




  • For the Starter~.
  • Stir the flour and water together-mix well.
  • Tie the grapes in clean doubled cheesecloth.
  • Lightly crush grapes, swish through the flour/water mixture then submerge.
  • Cover tightly with a lid or plastic wrap.
  • Leave@ room temp.
  • Day 3-Lift out the bag of grapes and squeeze their juices back into the starter.
  • Stir up the starter to incorporate juices.
  • Day 4-Stir in 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of water into the container, blending well.
  • Let stand at room temp until it bubbles up, around 3-4 hours.
  • Cover and place in the fridge.
  • Day 5-repeat day 4.
  • Day 6-repeat day 5.
  • Now you are ready to use this starter.
  • It will keep for 4-5 months in your fridge.
  • Rustic Bread~.
  • Measure flour into the bowl of a large food processor and add the 2 cups starter.
  • Measure out the the rest of the ingredients and mix together the milk and water.
  • Turn on the processor and pour in the water/milk mixture in a thin stream.
  • Add the three T. olive oil in a thin stream.
  • Add the yeast and process for 25 seconds.
  • Add the salt and process 5 seconds more.
  • Your batter should be a bit like soft cooked oatmeal.
  • Let rest, in bowl for 5 minutes.
  • Process for 20 seconds.
  • Lightly oil a large glass bowl and scrape in the dough.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and let rest until doubled, around 2&1/2 hours.
  • Punch down and turn out onto a lightly floured board.
  • Let rest for 5 minutes.
  • Knead for 8-10 minutes or until smooth and elastic, adding a small amount of flour if needed.
  • Form into 1 or two round loaves.
  • You can place rounds onto a lightly flour dusted baking sheet-no baking stone needed OR Place a baking stone in the center of your oven and preheat to 500 degrees 30 minutes before baking.
  • Let rounds rise until doubled, around 1&1/2 hours.
  • Place baking sheet into center rack of oven OR GENTLY place raised dough rounds onto the hot stone and spritz oven with water.
  • Close and reduce heat to 400 degrees.
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until done, spritzing oven a few times.
  • Knock on the loaf and if it sounds hollow it's done.
  • (very scientific, I know!) Remove to cool on a wire rack.