I started baking sourdough in the summer using Patrick Ryan's recipe and technique:
The recipe calls for kneading rather than autolyse and stretch and fold.
My first few bakes produced very decent results- lively, vibrant dough with great oven spring and a nice open(ish) crumb. My starter lived in th fridge and was fed roughly X1 per week when I was baking.
Over late summer I fed my starter less routinely, sometimes leaving it up to two weeks between feeds, although it wasn't dead and would puff up nicely when fed. However, my bakes since then have produced pretty disappointing results- the dough is lifeless, slack and very sticky meaning it is difficult to shape. It doesn't really climb the banneton, so often sticks and just spreads out, pre bake. I get a mixed and often uneven oven spring, with sloped (rather than round) edges and a crumb comprised of large cavernous holes and dense gummy bits.
The research I've done suggests that what I'm getting is a 'fools crumb' and this is due to poor gluten development. To prevent this, I've tried to make my starter more active by feeding it more regularly but this didn't help. I've also read that fools crumb can be caused by an overly acidic starter (caused by leaving it too long in the fridge between feeds) so I've tossed my original and started again from scratch. However, this has also not helped.
Does anyone have any suggestions?