Help for a beginner
I baked this bread yesterday and I would like some expert help on how to turn it next time into a more edible bread.
I'm a beginning home baker. I've been tinkering and making various attempts at baking bread for a couple of months now. I find bread baking a wonderful and amazing art. It is so complex that I sometimes get very frustrated. Finding this great site helped a lot and I'm beginning to make small steps in the right direction.
I've made my first attempt at sourdough bread two days ago, after using Peter Reinhart's method for creating a starter from scratch. His method calls for an acidic environment and creates it by using pineapple juice. Since I didn't have pineapple juice, I experimented with fresh lemon juice, diluting 1 part lemon juice with two parts water. It worked. In the course of several days I enden up with two lively starters, one made from organic whole wheat and one from non organic ww.
I then wanted to try out my starter. I decided to use a simple recipe - 100% organic ww. The dough was at 85% hydration, 1.8% salt. My starter was at a little more than 100% hydration and I calculated that about 10% of the flour came from the started. Besides being my first sourdough bread this was also my first 100% whole wheat bread too. The 85% hydration was based on recipes I've found on this site, and not on my own experience.
After many failed attempts at hand kneading out of a desire to master 'the real way bread should be mixed' I decided this time to mix by machine with our kenwood something or other - I don't know the exact model name.
I just put everything together in the mixing bowl, attached the dough hook and let it mix at the lowest speed for about 7 minutes.
As I should have expected the dough was so wet and sticky I couldn't really handle it. It also never formed a ball around the dough hook. I attributed this to the wetness. Is that correct?
Since I couldn't handle it I just let it rise in the bowl for about 3.5 hours. It didn't double in volume - it maybe got to 1.5 its original size. Then tried somehow to knock it down, stretched it and folded it crudely in thirds and transferred it to a bread pan. It was already late at night so I put it in the fridge. In the morning I saw it didn't rise at all in the fridge and took it out. It stood at room temp until the evening and only rose an inch (to approximately 1.5 its original volume). It didn't seem to be rising anymore and I could see small bubbles on top of the dough. Fearing it would collapse I warmed the oven to 200 C and baked it for 40 minutes, using steam (does that do anything for a bread pan loaf?) for the first ten minutes.
There was no oven spring - it maybe even deflated a little. It came out moist and gummy - when cut little long wet bread flakes come off. It tasted good and had a nice sour flavor (a little too sour) but was very moist.
What went wrong - why didn't it rise more? Why was it doughy? As with other breads I've made when I cut it these very light colored crumbs appear (at the bottom of the first picture). I know it's a sign something is wrong because I never get it with good loaves of bread. What does it mean?
Your help would be much appreciated.