Prefermentation- failed; rising- probably too much; taste- bland
I'm new to this forum and to bread making. In fact, I had a miserable time at my first attempt today. I'm hoping I someone can explain what went wrong so I can understand it. I have looked online for hours trying to sort it out but nothing seemed to fit my experience.
First, I live in Boulder at about 5,500 ft and am aware that this affects rising times. And, my house never gets above 65. Depending on the site, people give different suggestions, some contradictory, some make sense. But, many have suggested using the prefermentation method to help with our rising problems. This is the recipe I used: foodandwine.com/recipes/crusty-white-bread (couldn't paste the link).
I made the prefermentation and let it ferment for 12.5 hrs (suggested 10-14) It was starting to pull away from sides so it may have over ripend. And, i used a metal bowl (I'm thinking this had some effect.)
As suggested, I tried to dissolve it in warm water before mixing it with the flour but a big handful of it would not dissolve after 30 mins of squishing it by hand. So, I dumped all of it in, mixed and let sit for 30 mins.
Added salt water, but who knew sea salt doesn't dissolve fully- it said to use kosher, so I used the water and dumped the salt granuals. The dough did not absorb all the liquid- it was still gooey and wet, so I added flour and kneeded until it seemed like a dough consistency.
1st rise for 3.5 hrs, 2nd for 2.5. The dough had more than doubled in size during it's first rise. It got somwhat flatter in it's second and bigger.
result: looked pretty but the crust was crunchy and the crumb was gummy and had no taste- well like too much flour
I did scale measure and temperature control my ingredients. Obviously I was doomed from the start but wanted to continue to see what would happen. However, I'd rather not spend another whole day making tasteless bread. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I have looked on several sites about high altitude baking but there isn't anything that's concrete.