Still working on the Breadtopia No Knead recipe
The original recipe asks for:
143g whole wheat
300g white wheat
and either 1/4 yeast OR 1/4 cup sourdough starter (which in my case amounts to 66g--for some reason the original recipe just adds that flour/water on to the rest of the dough, which then amounts to 476g flour and 376g water-143+300+33 flour, and 343+33 water)
The yeast version turned out ok, even if it still was pretty firm. Then I moved on to the s/d version. That didn't go so well. It was considerably denser. I played around with different bulk fermentation times and final proof times, as well as percentage of starter to dough. Nothing really changed. Most recently I messed everything up by adding 182g of starter to the dough while subtracting 91g water/91g flour from the original recipe (443-91=352, and 343-91=252); I think in part it got messed up because I changed the feeding ratio of the starter too abruptly and it took forever to peak (10 hours). The result was super wet dough (and I didn't even use the full 252, but a fair amount less which I can't remember because it was obvious I would end up with soup) and a dense loaf of bread.
So yesterday I made another attempt. This time I used 100g starter and factored in the 66g, as if they were actually part of the recipe, in addition to the 443g flour and 343g water. So I used: 476-50=426 for flour--143g whole wheat and 283g white--, and 376-50=326 for water. I started with under 300g of water to add to the flour just to not make the same mistake twice and end up with soup, and worked my way up to 304g water, which amounts to 75% hydration, if I have this correctly. It was a shaggy lump, and quite manageable. I let that sit overnight for 16 hours, and did one s+f, as instructed, let that sit for 15 minutes and final proofed it for 1.5 hours. It was much better than the last loaf, less dense and not gummy. But for the life of me I don't get how I'll ever get a loaf with holes and light crumb out of this. Unless Eric is cheating on the Breadtopia website, his loaf always looks great, a far cry from mine!
One thing to add: maybe I'm not picking the right time to consider the starter "peaked". I carefully watch my starters, being a newbie, and still make marks on loaf making day on the container to make sure the starter isn't rising any longer, after it has had a dome for a while and tripled in size. That seems to me to amount to a peak. Am I wrong on this?
The dough is never what I would call bubbly in the morning, although it certainly looks doubled. Yeah, there might be a few teensy bubbles here and there, but nothing major. And during the final proof there never any bubbles, either, although, when I do the poke test, the dough springs back ca half way pretty quickly, so I don't think I'm over proofing.
Another factor in this is that once I've made the dough, at ca 6pm, the room is still fairly warm (ca 70F). Once I go to bed, over the course of the night, from ca 9pm onwards, the temp drops, until it reaches 63F in the morning at 7am. This varies, depending on how warm the previous day was and how cold the night is. I turn on the heat then and the room gets up to 66 or so until I do the s+f. After that, for the final proof, I stick it in the micro wave with the door slightly ajar, and the temp is at ca 69 for 1.5 hours. I have a B+T warming box, but that, too, fluctuates a lot with the room temperature. Would it be better to have consistent, say 69F, throughout the night?