Need help - uneven loaf
After making several conventional loaves in the bread machine, I've started to experiment using a starter. Just a simple one - some flour and water and a bit of yeast that goes into the fridge for a day, bring it to room temperature and throw it in with the rest of the ingredients (subtracting the amount of water and flour that went into the starter) and finish the loaf on normal bread cycles. I generally reduce the yeast when I do this - for example I reduce 2t yeast to 1/4t in the starter plus another 1t when I make the loaf.
This has worked stunningly with my favourite wheat/rye recipe, but twice now it's failed on my three-seed recipe (mostly white flour, some wheat flour, plus a few tablespoons of poppy seed, sesame seed and flax seeds).
I've made the three-seed recipe just fine on the normal cycle with no starter. But the last two times I've made it have had the same effect: the loaf seems to rise unevenly, one half is light with lovely uneven holes, the other half is dense and you can even see the folds in the dough (one loaf even had a "cowlick" sticking out the dense end!).
Now just in case that's not confusing enough, the second time this happened I used a slightly different technique because I hadn't made a starter the day before - I put in the normal ingredients, ran the dough cycle, and when that finished I ran the wheat baking cycle (longer cycle including resting time at the start). I thought the extra rising time would be like a cheating starter, but it ended up with an uneven loaf again. I can't remember if I used the full allotment of yeast, I might have used less yeast that time too.
So what's going wrong? Any ideas?