Flat but tasty sourdough
Just getting started with sourdoughs, I made a tasty but relatively flat loaf. I have a few thoughts on what may have caused this but would appreciate any feedback or suggestions for improving my process. Background info: I used an active (more liquid than firm) starter, unbleached King Arthur flour, followed a recipe for SF Sourdough from Ortiz's "The Village Baker", and produced two loaves - 1 free form (the one that collapsed), and one in a loaf pan, which rose nicely (though I haven't tasted that yet; had to freeze it due to a business trip).
1) Ortiz's book suggests taking a small piece of dough from the first proofing/fermentation, putting it in a jar of water at room temp and when it rises to the surface, the bread is ready for baking. He suggests two proofs/rises with a total time of about 10 hours: first rising 1 hour, second 8-9; OR, first rising 6-8 hours, second 4-6 hours. I followed the latter, but 1 hour after putting the dough in water, it rose to the surface. I decided rely on the 10 hour total time suggested in the recipe, and ignored the floating dough helpful hint. How reliable is the floating piece of dough as an indicator that the dough is ready for baking?
2) Trying to achieve larger holes, I used a wetter version of the dough than I'm used to. It rose nicely in a banetton but when I turned it over onto a tray (to slide onto a baking stone), it ended up half the (vertical) size, appearing almost collapsed. Is this a consequence of working with wetter doughs or might I have done something wrong with the transfer out of the banetton, or both?
3) Is there a point where a second rise can go too far, where I may have missed the peak point? I realize that at some point I need to develop my own feel but for now I'm following instructions and recipes. What happens if I let the bread rise too long in the second proofing? Can it be fixed or is it best to start over?
Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.