Looking for help
Hello, there, I'm a new wannabe sourdough baker and a new member as of today. I've looked through several of the posts here, and so far I haven't found any references to the problems I'm having.
First a little history. I started my starter (is that redundant yet?) in April, and it was slow starting. I didn't see any results for about three weeks. Finally, though, she (her name is Karina V. if you want to call her by name) began to look more lively, and is now very active. But--
Now the problems. First off, I live in Mexico, and in searching for bread flour--even at China mart--has turned up more hen's teeth than what I was looking for. Likewise rye flour--visit a bread shop, and they always tell me that that other place probably has it, but that other place sends me to another place, with the same result. I've finally discovered an AP brand name that promises a whole 11% protein level, so I'm sticking with that for now.
Now Karina is very consistent at doubling between feedings--usually about 8-10 hours in, but she has the consistency of a thin pancake batter when I feed at 1:1:1. So I'll feed a bit more flour (like 10:10:11 or 12), getting a thicker consistency, but once she's eaten all the goodness, she returns to the pancake batter stage. I do give her about 25% whole wheat from time to time as a little treat
Float test? Need a life preserver.
What prompted me to search for this site is my umpteenth attempt yesterday. Karina had been resting in the fridge since her last feeding, so I pulled her out a few days ago to fatten her up with a few feedings, and yesterday seemed to be a good day to test her out on yet another "Even if you're a complete idiot, you can be successful with this recipe" video. Followed it to the letter, gram for gram and minute for minute, and was really optimistic even though putting the levain into the water would have required me to call the fire and rescue team to bring her up from the bottom. Then, after the second or third stretch and fold, things began to go south--like all the way to Antarctica. It lost its definition, began to be very sticky and loose, and wouldn't pass a windowpane test, so I gave it one more coil fold. Now, after spending the night in the fridge, that dough is resting in a loaf pan and hopefully rising for a normal boring loaf today.
Sorry for the length of this post, but I wanted to give as much information as possible. I'm sure a lot of experienced bakers out there are rolling their eyes and saying "paaaaah!" but I don't want to give up.
Thanks for any help anybody can give me!
edit: been reading other threads, and discovered everyone wants to know the ingredient list, so I thought I'd add this: Recipe called "Easy Sourdough Bread Recipe/Tartine Basic Country Bread" from The Regular Chef (here--https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNzJLP61nnQ)
Proof once again that "easy to do" is easy to say.