Yesterday morning I started a batch of my basic all white SD dough. I had meant to include some white ww and a little rye for flavor but I was having a senior moment and so today we are enjoying white sourdough. I have been experimenting with varying the amount of starter in the batch to effect the final consistency. I find that the smaller the amount of starter I use, the more slack the dough is when it's time to form. With that in mind one could simply add more flour to stiffen up the dough but in my experience the condition of the starter is not a stable value so my thought is that I should learn to adjust the amount of starter based on how healthy it is at the moment to arrive at a consistency I can work with.
Today I am using 50g of active starter to rise 1100g of AP flour (Harvest King) at 65% hydration which works out to 710g of water. This is double the amount I have been using for this bread. The usual 2% salt is 22g. I mixed all ingredients in a bowl by hand and frisaged on the counter, gathered into a ball and let it rest for an hour covered.
After the rest, the dough is smooth and elastic. I now get to enjoy the maneuver I feel is the single most helpful in the kneading step, the French Fold. In just a few moments of French folding one can transform a slack untrained mass into a well formed and tensioned dough. There used to be a video here showing this maneuver but alas I think it was taken down by the poster. Anyway the bulk ferment is planned for 12 hours in the oven with the light on.
Dividing, shaping, PAUSE 10 mins, and shape into boules for the final proof of about 1 hour. With a little creative cutting of parchment I can manage to get two boules in the oven on a cookie sheet. I boiled a cup of water and placed it in the oven alongside the dough. After an hour, I pulled the water glass, slashed and baked from cold at 425F for 30 minutes + -.
The dough spread like a turtle and I feared I would be submitting these as "out takes" but to my constant surprise the oven sprung as advertised and all is well after all.