Whole Spelt for cold weather starter - works every time
It's been raining for days in Southern California and that means my place is cold and damp. The kitchen cools to 58F at night and hits 65F during the day. The best solution is to bake every day. The gas oven is cheap to run and doubly efficient when it's taking the chill off and baking.
After a few chocolate cakes and several loaves of banana bread I decided it was time for a new starter and sourdough. I hadn't kept a starter for a couple of months but that's because I know I can get one up to speed in a week. In my 25+ years of baking I've never found a better cold weather starter flour than whole grain spelt.
I used orange juice, squeezed right from the orange, for the first 4 days and then switched to water. 1 tablespoon of whole grain spelt flour at 100% hydration on day 1, adding the same for each of the next 3 days. I had a viable starter in 7 days. I then split it out to 4 containers and added whole wheat to one, whole white wheat to one, all purpose to one and fed momma spelt before putting her in the fridge.
Here are my new friends. Momma spelt at the top, now 10 days old, about an hour after doubling and peaking, and her siblings below.