Sourdough doesn't bake through properly
Hello, first post here.
I've been baking for about a year now but only seriously since around January. I finally have had some success baking with sourdough after months of miserable failures. My kitchen is very hot (78-82F year round--the heat in winter is insanely strong) so I've been proofing in a cooler with ice. I got a wireless thermometer to keep in there that shows it stays around 65F for a day.
I've made a few loaves successfully using this method. But this past weekend I had two failures trying to make focaccia where they simply did not bake through. I could have kept them in the oven for an hour and they still look sickly, translucent and totally gummy. In other words, they're inedible.
The thing is, I made the exact same dough except using dry yeast and it baked through beautifully. I made two to make sure I wasn't crazy, and then repeated the sourdough experiment for yet another failure.
Is this a problem with acidity, or could it be just because I'm not getting enough rise out of the sourdough? I've been using very little but very active starter. I make a sponge from my storage starter (which is brown rice flour, but that shouldn't matter--I use just a tiny bit of it as an inoculum, if you will) that I let rise until it starts to fall back down. The yeast appears to be very active. This same process has worked for me with loaves, so I don't know why focaccia is giving me so much trouble. I had the same problem in the past trying to make pizza.
Certainly I had more rise from the dry yeast, as one would expect, but I had some rise out of the sourdough. It had a normal sourdough smell that I get when I proof at these lower temperatures. Room temperature gave me very strong, astringent odors that remained (lightly) after baking.
Any help is most appreciated!
100% "Better for Bread" flour
3% starter, around 80-100% hydration
For the dry yeast version I substituted a very small amount of active dry yeast for the 3g sourdough. For a 800g dough I used a 1/4 teaspoon. Both versions proofed for about 24 hours at 65F in the cooler, plus a few more hours in the pan at room temperature (~80F).
Thank you kindly!