Long time lurker, first time poster. I've been attempting sourdough since December of 2018 with very few good results. I've read books and spent hours online and for the life of me I can't figure out what's going on. My levain is active and passes the float test prior to baking. I typically go for 75% hydration, 10 % whole wheat and about 1.8% salt. I have tried adding more and less lavain. I bulk ferment between 3-5 hrs and cold proof for 12 hrs. I bake in a ditch oven at 475F for 30 mins covered and 15-25 uncovered depending on how it looks. The past 3 weekends I am.having the same problem. The loaves rise unevenly...have a tight dense crumb and usually one big hole in them. Like a big pocket of gas expanded and left a crater.
Am I underproofing? Overproofing? Is it my shaping? I will try and post a picture but honestly I just uncovered a loaf and threw it in the trash in frustration. My new years resolution was to bake bread or try to and this is the longest resolution I've kept up! But I am getting to the point where I feel like giving up. Baking has always been my Achilles heel. I can cook well and have worked in restaurants professionally but baking has always intimidated me.
I used Ken forkish's book as a baseline btw.
Any help would be appreciated greatly!