I need some help troubleshooting my spongy crumb...
I'm quite new to this, and really happy I found this site. My starter is about a month old and I'm having some problems with a dense kind of spongy crumb on the loaves I am baking. I'm hoping someone can make some suggestions so I can get a better result.
I feed my starter about every 3-4 days (kept in the fridge), and I feed it a 1:1 ratio of BF/cold water.
The starter shows signs of life, but doesn't double per say in the fridge. It does show bubbles on the sides of the container and on the top -- so I think it's doing OK. About 2 weeks ago my starter looked really inactive so I gave it a boost by adding a packet of red star dry active yeast to it. I've made several loaves of bread since then -- and the ones I made immediately following the introduction of the DAY had the best rise but the worst taste (not like sourdough at all, but like white bread).
Since then I've baked at least 4-5 loaves of bread, so I think my wild yeast is starting to take back over. It has a more sour smell to than before, and the bread has plenty of rise.
I use 500g starter, 300g bread flour, 91g of water and 16g of kosher salt when baking a loaf. I mix this in a KA mixer with a dough hook for about 1.5--2 minutes and proof for two hours. I form a loaf without punching it down, by gathering the sides of the ball together to make a smooth round loaf and proof another hour. I'm baking it 15M at 450F, covering it with foil (my oven has a lot of hot spots) baking another 15 minutes at same temp, then basting it with clarified butter and baking at 400F for another 30M.
The crumb seems weird -- hard to explain but it is sort of dense even though there are lots of uneven sized holes in it. Spongy almost. Not entirely pleasant to eat. Not bad, but not the same thing I've experienced with loaves purchased from a bakery.
Any suggestions would be appreciated! (thanks in advance to any readers/replies)
PS: Here's a picture of the bread loaves themselves. Picture of the crumb below.