Sourdough too Wet ?
Hello, I'm brand new to these forums, so sorry if I mess up on any form-etiquette. I've just used Richard Bertinet's sourdough recipe from CRUST. Unfortunately with his recipes, I've found that almost all of them require 15 to 20% more water than he calls for. I emailed him directly to be sure I wasn't crazy and he confirmed that American flours are often "stronger" and absorb more water.
Anyway, his sourdough is the only exception to that rule and I'm not sure why. I don't have to add any water because it's plenty sticky as-is. I "work" it like he shows (and I've become pretty decent at this) for about 15 minutes, then add salt, and continue until it's nice and cohesive.
However, when all is said and done and the loaf is finished - it tends to have a few large holes rather than evenly-spaced, smaller holes throughout where the bread puffs up. It also seems a bit wet-ish or soft sort of in the middle. Either I'm just too new to know that sourdough is supposed to be that way, or I'm doing something wrong. I did 2 loaves today and one came out with large bubbles as I described above. But then the second loaf came out with a huge cavern. I mean, it just is hollow and all the actual dough is at the top or bottom of the crust with a huge hole.
I read a previous post that suggested this is due to improper shaping. But I wonder if it's related to my wet-ish problem -- and the fact that unfortunately CRUST isn't well suited for the types of flour I'm using. I love Bertinet's method and find it theraputic to work the dough -- it's my favorite part. But it's tiring to feel like I have to test every recipe 10 times before I am sure of how to get it right. And even then, I'm inexperienced so I'm not sure what is really "right".
Thanks for any advice!!!