Hello and first problem
Hello, Fresh Loafers. This is my first post and I need to learn the ropes but I'm happy to have found this site.
I am also in need of some problem solving help. Short version: my sourdough doesn't develop a skin and goes flounder instead of springing up.
Longer version: I'm more familiar with conventional commercial yeast breads. I could make sourdough but I was making it like more conventional bread and the crumb was coming out pretty tight. I set a goal to achieve an open irregular crumb and a tight boule shape. In the process of working my way through this I discovered the stretch & fold technique. It immediately gave me the crumb I was looking for but I'm not getting a skin that could contain the oven spring. At least I think that's the current problem.
In my first attempt, the skin ruptured and I got a sort of doughnut shape beneath the skin where all the folds converged on the center. I put that back on the bench, did another stretch & fold, tucked it into a ball and it baked into a yummy thing more like a ciabatta than a boule.
Any tips on how to get a tight boule with an adequate skin?
Thanks so much!