FWSY help needed - Pain de Campagne
I need help! I'm working on learning to make artisan bread, and I've been at it for a few months. I recently started going through Forkish's book and the first few recipes went great. I started my levain and have been maintaining it regularly (and I discovered today that there's a lot of derision on this site about it, but bear with me, I'm learning, and I had to start somewhere). My levain seems quite healthy, and I've made a few loaves with it, I just seem to have a problem with the Pain de Campagne. I follow his instructions for weights, folding, etc. and I can definitely feel the dough building strength with each folding over the first couple of hours. (Oh, and it's usually within 1 degree of the target temp after mixing, so I think I'm doing ok there.) Then, when it reaches 2.5x its original size, I go to shape it - and it's an almost unshape-able blob of dough. Seriously, I don't mind working with a wet dough, but when it's sticking to everything and there's no way you can even pick it up, it's a bit tough to shape. I made the whole wheat version and it was beautiful to work with. I tried the overnight blond and got a runny mess. I don't know what to do. I'm focusing one at a time though, so with the Pain de Campagne, I'm debating - should I reduce the amount of commercial yeast used? Should I shorten the bulk rise time? Should I do more folds? Should I be using the levain earlier than the 6-8 hours after feeding? Other people seem to have no problem with this recipe, so I'm really puzzled about what's going wrong...
As an aside, I wish he gave more detail on what to look for to know when the starter is ready to be used (such as when it's at x% of its peak volume or something), because maybe mine is at a different point.
I'm so frustrated. I want a bread with a nice firm, toothy crumb WITHOUT that awful, strong sourdough tang, and the first time I made this dough and wrangled it into a shape, it was great (air pockets were huge though...). I'm just so frustrated that I'm getting almost goop. Any advice would be great!
(And please, be nice, don't tell me I'm an idiot for trying or something; I need help, not a bashed ego - I'm doing quite well at that on my own.)