I have been baking bread a few years, initially in a bread machine but more recently using the machine only for mixing and kneading the dough.I have a plain white bread recipe that gives me a perfect loaf every time without exception.
Recently I decided to try to convert this to a sourdough loaf, so took advice from various websites and created a starter using equal weights of rye flour and water which I kept in a cupboard that contains our hot water tank and has a constant temperature of 28deg C (82.4deg F). After 7 days of feeding (during which I changed to white flour), the starter was very active so I decided to try it with a loaf.
I deleted the instant yeast I normally use in my bread and put in 150g of the 100%H starter. To compensate for this I deleted 75g each of flour and water. I used the bread machine to mix and knead then placed the dough in a bowl in the warm cupboard to rise.
This took just on 9 hours till it had doubled in bulk and I thought everything was going well until I removed the dough from the bowl to knock it down a bit. The dough had turned into a very wet and unusable mushy paste.
I gave it another try this time using less water and making a much firmer dough, but after leaving for 8 hours the dough had doubled but was again a sloppy mess.
Can anyone advise how a dough that normally works well behaves like this when all I have done is replace the yeast and some flour and water with the starter?
I would very much appreciate any advice anyone can offer.