Hello, this is my first question here. And though I'm no stranger to bread baking, this is my first attempt at sourdough bread. I'm using Peter Reinhart's Seed Culture > Mother Starter > Barm > Sourdough Loaf method. I started last Tuesday, and on Saturday night had what I thought was a viable mother starter. So I proceeded to the barm and baked the bread today.
(All measurements were by weight and not by volume. And I used King Arthur Bread flour--but not the high gluten stuff.)
It tastes wonderful, but it's very dense and heavy. The loaves contain several large bubbles near the top of the loaf, but the rest is moist, and the crust quite clearly did not brown properly--it's splotchy, almost bruised-looking over where the bubbles are.
When I made the dough today, it seemed very wet, but I was able to handle it and make the boule shape; the loaves, however, spread out during the final proof--rather than rising. This happened despite the loaves having a very smooth and even surface.
Does anyone have an opinion as to what happened? And further, any ideas how I might fix the problem?
(I am thinking of discarding half my mother starter and feeding it, then leaving it out at room temperature overnight.)
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