I've been trying to do too much at once. It occurs to me today that although my sourdough has been going for over a month now, I've yet to really bake anything successful with it (except for the buttermilk cluster, which was an exercise in accidental genius and a lot of time, I think). The problem is, I'm usually going after recipes that are so wacko or are so much my own creation (throw some spelt in here, whole wheat here, lower hydration, etc) that there are too many variables to tell what the issue is.
Tonight for a fried I was working on making a sweet Amish friendship white bread recipe, with a tangzhong (which, as it turns out, there are no good internet resources for figuring out how to do a conversion for), and also a sourdough starter. This...was not a good idea. Too much going on! So I bit the bullet, continued winging it, and added the imprecise tangzhong and sourdough anyway as well as some regular proofed yeast.
I'm hoping this will come together. The tangzhong loaf a few weeks ago was the most brilliant brilliant bread I've baked in a long time and disappeared at a party. But I'm eminently frustrated by the sourdough ciabatta rolls which are struggling to come together in their proof box. The yeast just never seem to come back from the deep sleep.
I'm going to spend the next few weeks focusing on strengthening my sourdough (I noticed that after feeding it bubbled, but stopped bubbling UP. This is no good. I need to go back to basics), baking with instant yeast, and working on a spelt tangzhong (is it possible?) and my stretch and fold and technique with super hydrated doughs.
I'm super frustrated that I don't have enough time during the day to do things like feed my yeast x3, pull dough out of the fridge to warm up, etc. Toting dough to work isn't the brilliant or convenient idea I'd hoped for now that the boss is back...