want to improve the texture of my sourdough.
So, I've made several loaves of sourdough from my starter, and the flavor is all there. Sometimes a little less sour than I would like, but usually all there. So far, I have just been making a very basic bread (KAF White Wheat, starter, water, salt), and have sometimes branched out to adding some rye flour into the final loaf, but nothing more exciting than that.
I let my sponge sit overnight in the over with the light on, and it rises up nicely. The next day, I build up the final dough, let that rise until it is doubled (an hour or two) while I go to the gym. When I get back, I punch the dough down, knead it some more, shape into a ball, and let it rest half an hour. Then I punch it down, shape again, and let it sit another half hour. Then I divide in two loaves, shape and stick in the respective proofing containers and let rise about an our.
I proof my boules in a banneton, and my loaves, I proof in a clay baking dish.
About half an hour before baking, I soak my baking stone for 15 minutes, stick the stone in the oven, and start the preheating to 450.
I then turn the boule onto the stone, give it a slash, and stick the clay pan beside that, after giving that a couple slashes.
The end result of this longwinded yammering is that I have a very dense loaf, with a very stiff crust, that has a nice tang to it. I'd like to lighten this a bit, and get more of those nice air pockets. I'd also like to get the crust more crisp than hard. Thinking if I knead longer, and maybe add some more water for a wetter dough, I'll get those air pockets, and, if I add some fat, I'll get that crispy crust. Can anybody confirm/refute that, or offer other advice? More important to me is getting that nicer crumb than what I have, at present.