Elasticity of sourdough dough - light at the end of the tunnel?
I made Hamelman's vermont sourdough with 10% wholewheat again yesterday (I've decided that I'll make this particular bread repeatedly till I get the hang of sourdough, seems to be the best way to learn). This time, I hand-kneaded the dough with the Richard Bertinet technique after a 20 min autolyse. Dough came together surprisingly quickly and developed a lot of strength in like 2-3 mins, it was really elastic but not too extensible - I almost got a full windowpane, but not a full one. I decided that that's sufficient because I'll do folds (plus the dough had some wholewheat after all). I did a fold at 1 hour, dough had developed a lot of extensibility, but elasticity was much lower than an hour ago. After that fold, I did another one at 2 hours, dough again had a lot of extensibility, elasticity was about what it was an hour ago. I did not retard the dough. I proceed to preshpae. After preshape, and rest, when it came to shaping, the dough again had a lot of extensiblity, but it didn't have much elasticity, I couldn't really get a tight skin around it, dough strengh was just not there. In the end, bread had a rather flat profile - tasted good, had good crust, had good volume too, just that it couldn't hold up the shape and height. And for the first time, I baked under a bowl, and I got massive oven spring too!
Net is that at the end of the knead, dough had lots of elasticity, but it didn't really maintain that elasticity despite stretch and folds. I don't think I've seen this with commercial yeast dough, but I could be wrong. Is it the case that for sourdoughs, you need to knead more in the beginning to develop more strength because of the acidic dough? Or is there another trick with sourdough to maintain dough strength? I understand that adding ascorbic acid helps, but I would rather learn to do this right than work around any technical issues I have with additives...
EDIT: In the past, in another thread, I was advised that I need good elasticity and that means mroe stretch and folds. That would mean I'd need the change the recipe to do more folds at more frequent intervals till I get the requisite elasticity (more frequent because I want to avoid changing the time recommended for bulk ferment). After typing all the above, I've been thinking about it more - I think that is probably my solution?