Can't source strong flour
Since this is my first post I'd first like to thank you for creating and maintaining such a resourceful website. There is so much information about bread making that still feel overwhelmed even though I've been reading it for the last couple of days.
I created my starter a week and a half ago with the intention to get into sourdough breads. During that time I watched a number of videos on kneading (Richard Bertinet's method), stretch and fold techniques, and etc. in order to have an idea what process to follow. Yesterday I finally had some free time to bake a loaf so I went to the store to buy some white flour (I feed my starter with wholemeal wheat flour). I live in Bulgaria and the flour types here are quite different from the ones in the US or even in Western Europe. It turned out that the highest protein flour I could find had only 9.5% protein content which is lower than even the AP flour you have in the US. Having no choice I had to settle with it and I didn't think it would make such a huge difference. Well, it does. It looks like low-protein flour absorbs way less water than US AP flour does which means that kneading the flour is a nightmare because it basically sticks so much that I can't get it of my hands. The bread which I tried was a 60% hydration one and I used Bertinet's method of 'kneading' but even that didn't help and the dough was more of a pancake batter than bread dough. Today I tried another one with a 50% hydration level and it's a bit better but even after 15-20mins of stretching and beating it still sticks to the counter. What can I do in this case? If I increase the amount of flour I'm worried that the dough will turn out too dry but otherwise I can't handle it..