Pepping up a sluggish starter?
For a while, my starters (white and rye) were very active, rising dough quickly and making light, open crumb. Now I'm getting very sluggish rises and dense, chewy crumb (most notably the white starter) from the same recipes. I do get a huge oven spring out of them, so *something* is alive in there!
I feed or use the starter once a week. When feeding, I keep about 4oz and add 2-3oz of flour and 3-4oz of water to make a poolish-like mother starter. When making plain sourdough, I make a firm starter from the mother starter, like French bread dough.
I've tried overnight proofs in the fridge, and using a pan of hot water in the oven to simulate a proofing tent.
Any suggestions on making my starter more zippy are welcome :)