NOVICE SEEKING HELP
I have made several loaves in the past two months by following the instructions (timing and recipes) in Ken Forkish’s excellent book FWYS. I have used various yeast and hybrid doughs – I have not yet tried only levain. I have had a few problems that I hope someone may be able to help me overcome.
I have varied feeding the (half-sized) levain to ensure a homogeneous blend: I add the 200g of water first, dilute the 50g of yesterday’s levain, then I add the 250g of pre-mixed flours and mix using a spoon. I put the fed levain into a cupboard at a temperature of about 25C (summer in Australia). It doubles in volume from about 500ml to 1 litre in 24 hours. I’ve also used about 1% salt, rather than 2% for the dough. From my reading, these changes should not make much difference.
• The height of the loaf is always less than half its diameter.
• My levain does not float when I want to use it at the specified time, so I wait until it does – which upsets the schedule but still I do not get enough rise.
• The loaves look good but the crumb seems too moist.
Suggestions to get it right would be appreciated, thanks.