Success, at last!! I hope...
I feel like I must brag a little bit, with this loaf that I just pulled out of the oven. After much trial and tribulation, and lots of loaves donated to the garbage can, I think I mostly understand how to bake a GOOD loaf of sourdough bread.
To start from the top, I had decided to try baking a loaf of bread, after being unsure of whether or not I had rehabilitated my starter. as well as the days being really hot. It had been behaving a bit weirdly still, but I thought, "What the heck." So what I did was use the Norwich Sourdough recipe as a the basis, and kind of did a weird mix of that with the Tartine method.
I did half of her recipe, so to break it down, the ingredients list went as:
450g ap flour
60g rye flour
180g whole wheat starter
11g of salt, dissolved in 25 g of water
I mixed the ingredients by hand, let it autolyse for 30 minutes. After that, I only did 3 stretch and folds at 30 minutes each. I had contemplated doing a fourth, but I had noticed the dough had been rising quite quickly, so I stopped it there. After the third stretch and fold, I let it sit for 30 minutes, at which point I did a quick and dirty pre-shape, let it bench rest for about 15 minutes, and did the final shaping, and dumped it into the banneton. I stuck it in the fridge at about 9:45 PM, and pulled it out at about 9:15am. I had noticed that when I pulled the loaf out, it had expanded in size up to about 1.5 times. I let it sit for about 45 minutes on the counter while the oven heated up, baked it at 475*F for 20 minutes with the lid on my DO and 450 without the lid for another 20 minutes.
Upon removal of the bread from the oven, I could hear it singing and crackling away. For the time being, I am thankful that I cannot smell the bread due to an on going cold, thus reducing the temptation to hack into it right away. But I cannot wait to let it finish cooling down to cut into it for lunch later.
A couple things to note, mostly for myself, but I had let the dough rise about 1.5x it's size each, during the bulk fermentation and final rise stage. As well, the days have been reaching about 30*C externally, and about 23-24*C inside the house. Bulk fermentation was about 1.5 hours, and final fermentation was about 12 hours.