Sourdough Dough Turned to Soup!
I have a question regarding the hydration of a sourdough leavened bread.
I have been using the "Country Blonde" recipe for my initial forays in to artisan breads. The book lays out a recipe for a 78% hydration dough as follows: White AP flour: 90%, whole wheat: 5%, Rye flour: 5%, Water: 78%, Salt: 2.2%, Sourdough 80% Levain: 21.6%. (Hydration calculation takes in to account water from levain).
When I make the dough as specified, I get good gluten development from stretch and folds, but after the specified 12 hour bulk fermentation, the dough has degraded and turned a bit thicker than soup. Extremely slack and unmanageable. Not useable. (The bulk was done at 70° and never "tripled" as specified by Forkish.)
I cut the hydration down to 73%, and still had a wet dough after bulk fermentation, but it baked up a tasty, though very flat, loaf.
My guess is that my sourdough starter is affecting the gluten development from enzyme activity and the acidic level of the starter, as expected.
My question is whether my starter is different than so many others used in so many recipes calling for high hydration? My starter pH is right in line, smells great, seems to add plenty of leavening and great taste, yet it seems to "melt" the dough more than others.
I know I can just keep cutting back on hydration, say try 68% to try and get a loaf that is not so flat, and also reduce fermentation time, but why am I getting such different results from the countless recipes out there?