Natural Kauai Rambutan Starter, Bread & Pizza


Natural Kauai Rambutan Starter, Bread & Pizza

This was a starter I made naturally using Rambutan. An amazing fruit from Hawaii. Some of these increments were weighed then after batteries ran out some eyeballing but since I have been doing this for 25 years I feel pretty good about everything and the outcome, especially with the ingredients I had to work with. I took as many pics as I could. Very cool experiment. Was crazy how fast this starter took and it's super strong. I'm giving to chef Erin on Sunday and baking a pizza Sunday night in a Viking home oven.

Friday evening - 1 1/2 lbs flour 1 1/2 lb water 2 Rambutan slightly crushed in a cheese cloth.
Submerging this was difficult because it wanted to float to the top so a bowl that is not to wide is recommended for depth. Room was about 75 degrees, humid and the bowl was covered with a cheese cloth

Saturday morning 9am I opened the cheese cloth and the water settled to the top. This typically happens later which I thought was very interesting. I discarded 8 oz and added 8 oz of flour and no water. I felt with the humidity it didn't need more water because the PH seemed like it was going way off. Changed to a cleaned container and covered.

Sunday morning 6:30am I opened the cheese cloth and the starter seemed better with less water settling to the top. Smell is getting strong. Took out approx 8 oz and added approx 8oz of flour only. Covered

Sunday night 9:00pm - big smell walking into the house. Opened and checked the starter. Looks amazing and smell incredibly strong. Will check tomorrow

Monday morning - 8 am - strong smell. When stirred all water was on the bottom not the top which was interesting. Maybe I didn't mix it well enough but honesty I think I did. Took out approx 8 oz and added approx 8oz flour only. Stirred well

In a separate bowl I added approx 16 oz of starter to approx 32 oz of flour and approx 8oz water stirred and covered.

Stirred and covered original starter again

Now I have 2 starters one dryer than the other. I will discard cheese cloth with Rambutan. Keep at room temp both covered

Tuesday - checked both in the morning. Took out 8 oz from each starter and added 8 oz flour. Mixed both well, kept out for 2 hours covered then placed in fridge

Wednesday - afternoon - checked and everything looked fine

Thursday - did not check

Friday - afternoon had my wife take both out of fridge, had her discard 8 oz from each. Replaced with 8 oz flour and little water. Mixed, covered and put into fridge

Saturday 10am - took both starters out of fridge, mixed dough again and flipped over bottom to top. (Reason the top was a little dry, my wife may have not mixed it well enough) kept at room temp for 5 1/2 hours. Used 5oz starter in approx 20oz of flour in final mix.

Flour 100% - 10% King Arthur Bread 90% Gold Medal Bread
Total hydration - approx 65-66%
Salt 2%
Oil 2%
Sweated condensed milk 2%
Sugar 2%
ADY .50%
Natural Starter 25% King Arthur Bread
Starter hydration near 65-70%

Mixed by hand

Sunday night took my dough out at 2:30 then cooked at 5pm - At 24 hrs the dough came out great even with an oven that kept shutting down for some reason. See pics of the bread and pizzas. Cooked at 500.
I would like more salt so I would go up 1/2% or possibly 1%. Super sweet in flavor. The bread came out amazing and the pizza was great. The oven shut off towards the last pizza. I use sweetened condensed milk on occasion and this worked out perfect. I would use different flours for this and all bottled water for the entire process but I used what I could get on this island with the little time I had. See pics enjoy..

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Tony Gemignani admin
posted almost 4 years ago

Save 0

What a beautiful fruit, I never even knew existed until now. It reminds me of a lychee. One of my friends who was from another country introduced lychees to me years ago in high-school and he could not believe that I had never heard of them. The grocery store did not exactly put them in the fruit section and they also kind of hide them in canned goods or a ethnic section, if they even carried them. I think he actually got his from a speciality grocery store. I have learned to make the TIGA and POOLISH starters, but I still have many questions regarding starters. Does a natural fruit-based starter not require refrigeration at all? Is a natural starter usable longer? Would a similar recipe also work with lychees?

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Matthew D.
posted almost 4 years ago


When I start any starter typically its at room temp. Because the temp and humidity was high and also using this type of fruit that may have reacted differently than others I have used in the past like fig and organic grapes after some days I thought it was better to slow things down by making it less hydrated and placing the starter into the fridge. Basically long story short this starter started incredibly fast in this environment. This type of starter when it is ready can have a part of it discarded and then refreshed with equal parts flour and water. Kept in a fridge you can do this every 3 days approx. depending on hydration and the actual stater. You will see me do this as I mention above in my notes. Also I think it would great to try it with Lycee. Hope this helps

Tony Gemignani admin
posted almost 4 years ago


Love what u'r doing! Is yeast still needed, for bread & Pizza, or can a strong starter like this work alone?

Pam Kellstrom
posted over 3 years ago


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