Oven Spring / Crumb Problems
So, I dove into the world of sourdough a couple months ago! I've had some moderate success, but am still getting the hang of things.
Right now, I'm working on the Tartine basic country bread recipe. The bread tastes great, and the crust is delicious. However, my oven spring is really lacking. At this point I've tried baking it about 7 times, and this was my most recent attempt:
The crumb is fairly dense and has some air holes but it's not anything like it should be:
My starter is very active and rises/falls predictably. I don't think that has been the problem.
After reading about the bulk time being generous in the Tartine book, I reduced it to about 2.5 hours and let it proof for about 3 hours on the counter (72-75 degrees). The oven spring was better, and the crumb was more bread-y and less dough-y than previous batches.
I stretch and fold every half and hour during the bulk and the dough gets noticeably firmer throughout the process. When I do the initial shaping and leave it for the bench rest, it flattens out with big fat round edges like it looks like in the book. I get good tension on the boule before it relaxes.
I do the final shaping and get it nice and tight and let it rise. At this point, it seems that the dough relaxes, rises slightly, and becomes very soft. By the time that I am ready to bake, I flip it out of the proofing bowl into my hand, and it immediately de-gasses. I've found it very hard to move it at this stage without having it lose its shape. I've considered flipping it directly into the dutch oven, but I don't know if I can pull it off without burning myself.
I'm determined to get this working! Luckily, it has tasted fantastic, so it hasn't been for nothing. I'm looking forward to the day where it turns out just how I want it to! For reference, I've been using KAAP and Arrowhead Mills Organic Stone Ground WW flour.
Thanks in advance for the help!