Brick or bread? I can't tell! Please help!
Hi guys, first time poster here on the forum looking for some help.
About two weeks ago, I suddenly got the urge to make some sourdough. Little did I know what I was in for. Turns out there are about a million ways to make the starter alone --- Pineapple juice, orange juice, plain water, 100% hydration, 67% hydration, rye flour, AP flour, white flour, it was all too much. Before my head exploded, I finally settled on the starter recipe from the handbook section of the website (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/handbook/sourdough-starters). I've been feeding this baby for 10 days now. It now smells nice and sour, and doubles in volume about 12 hours after each feeding.
Confident in my starter, I decided to bake my first bread using the recipe from wild yeast blog (http://www.wildyeastblog.com/2007/07/08/my-new-favorite-sourdough/). However, I had to make some minor adjustments:
1. I reduced everything by one-half
2. From my understanding, the starter I have is a 50% hydration starter. So, I used 135g starter (12hr after feeding) + 45g water to make the 180g of 100% starter called for in the recipe.
3. Didn't have any rye flour on hand and used wheat+AP instead of rye+AP.
First time through the recipe, I let it proof for 2.5 hours as called for in the recipe. However, the dough didn't rise a single bit and I got a cinderblock out of the oven. Second time though, I left it to proof overnight (12 hours) and got a decent but below-expectations bun. Basically, I can't figure out why my bread isn't rising like it's supposed to and it's killing me. I try to keep the dough in a warm place (my room) for as long as I can but it's November and I don't have the heat on downstairs where my kitchen is. Is that what's holding back my starter? Is it the water that I added to convert my 50% starter to a 100% starter? Is it the starter itself? Is it the wheat flour? I don't even know where to begin to troubleshoot, and any help would be greatly appreciated. Help!