dense sourdough bread
I have been playing around with my sourdough starter and trying to make some darn good and artisan style bread. but i find my breads are lacking that nice big holey open crumb. it has great flavor though and looks nice. what i do is use a fairly thick starter (like very very thick pancake batter) i ferment my starter with water and flour over night, i use a combination of whole wheat flour and bread flour. this is usually about 12 hours or so. then i mix in the rest of my flour, salt, sugar, and im ashamed to admit... but i also add some active dry yeast then mix it up and let it knead in the machine for a couple minutes, little as possible, and end up with a very wet and sticky dough, i let the whole mess rise for about 2 hours, then i punch it down, cut it in half and put it in my molds to bench proof. i let it proof for about an hour and then i put it into a 400F oven onto taracotta plate, slash it and bake it about 40 to 45 minutes or so, until they look brown. is my method ok? should i do something different in my methods? or would a hotter oven give me more oven spring? also i forgot to mention that i have a pan of water in the oven to provide steam. all your advice would be very appreciated and helpful. thankyou.