Vermont sourdough a little tough?
I have been baking Vermont Sourdough regularly since I first discovered the recipe on this forum last Spring. It's my no-fail, go-to recipe almost every week.
Lately, though, I have noticed that the crumb on this particular bread has been rather tough, and the crust has been a bit hard. I'm not sure exactly how to describe it, other than it takes some noticeable mandibular muscle mobilization to masticate.
Now, I'm not sure if something has changed, or if I'm just getting picky. I follow the recipe closely, so I don't think I'm messing that up. I use KA AP flour and what appears to be active starter (it's a looser starter, just a bit thicker than a batter -- I usually feed it it 1:1:1 -- and it doubles within 4 hours, triples within 8).
To those of you who make this bread, does my description of its crumb sound right? Or do you achieve a lighter loaf? My only suspicion is that I'm under- or over-proofing it. I usually shoot for 1.5 hours, but almost always put it in the oven sooner because it passes the "poke test" (i.e., a dent remains when I poke it with my finger). Perhaps I'm being too aggressive in my shaping (or not aggressive enough)? Too many variables!
I'm planning on making a massive amount of this stuff this weekend, so I would love to hear any advice or thoughts about it.
Thanks so much!