1st Sourdough Problems
This is a neat place with a lot of good information and this is my first post. Over the past week I have been working on the "Basic Sourdough" recipe in the Bread Baker's Apprentice. I have tried to make starters before but never had any success. Following the directions, I first made a seed which, much to my delight, actually grew to about 3x on day 4. I then created the barm (also went well) and proceeded on to the basic loaf. Everything seemed to be going fine until I sliced the loaf for the first time and found that it was very dense on the inside. All of the co2 bubbles were maybe 1mm. Obviously I didn't get the rise/proof that I needed, although I waited 6 hours for rise and then 4 hours for proof. I am trying to figure out what I did wrong. The only part of the recipe that I didn't fully understand is when you go to make the actual bread you mix barm, flour, and water. The amount of water was not specific, but said to make the dough like... I don't recall exactly and I don't have the book in front of me, some kind of french bread I believe. I didn't know what that was, so I just guessed. I followed the stand mixer instructions (perhaps that was problem #2) and the dough was very tight. I was not able to pull it into a window or even close, but at that point I thought it was too late to add any water.
Could the poor rise / proof be because of low hydration? Can someone tell me what I should look for when mixing this dough in my KitchenAid? How "sticky" should it look?