First SD loaf - moderate fail
So I finally baked with my first starter on the weekend. I was very excited!
I was going to make this loaf: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/23061/extremely-sourdough-soft-sandwich-bread-most-shreddble-soft-velvety-ever  But I made the recommended levain the night before and it didn't even have one bubble in it by the next morning. So I went to plan b and made this one instead: http://www.wildyeastblog.com/2011/07/14/soft-sandwich-sourdough/ , but followed the kneading and shaping instructions for the first recipe. (Apart from missing the reference to kneading on speed 2-3, so it took a long time in the Kenwood Chef)
The result was not a complete failure, but after 6 hours proofing it still hadn't risen enough. I baked anyway, hoping for a miracle. It came out looking more like a cake than bread, but the crumb isn't too bad and the taste is pleasant. Would've taken photos but it was a late night and I'm not a morning person either.
Now for my questions to the hive!
1. I just read another thread about starter ratio. And only just notice that that second recipe uses 50%+ starter! (If you are supposed to compare it to water/flour in the recipe, that is). So might that be why my proof took so long? I was going to try this same recipe again tonight, put it in the fridge overnight and then let it proof for 8 hours tomorrow, but now I'm not sure if it's worth it?
2. When I checked the levain for the recipe I originally wanted to make after 24 hours, it did have plenty of bubbles in it. It was too late to use it, so I put it in the fridge. Can I still use that? Or will the yeast have been starved by now?
3. If either of the above recipes are not feasible to start on tonight (I want to bake tomorrow night!), can you recommend any other sandwich bread recipes that you've tried? I'm trying to please an 8yo who has gotten used to super-soft white bread and hasn't liked any of my home-made bread so far. I want to make it SD because it's healthier and I love the idea of it.
Thanks in advance!