High Hydration Nightmare
Ladies and gents,
I have a problem. I guess the first step toward resolving the problem is admitting that you have a problem. Well, I have a problem. I cannot handle high hydration dough. I just fail. Miserably.
Yesterday I watched a video of some French guy doing a high hydration recipe, using this lifting, stretching and folding technique. Here is what happened in his video:
1) He mixed the flour and his yeast and the salt I guess
2) He added an almost obscene amount of water :-)
3) He mixed it into a sticky goop
4) He turned it over on the work top
5) He started stretching and folding
6) You could see the gluten tightening
7) As he kept going the dough became silky smooth
Now, I use a sourdough starter, and I'm making a light brown bread with Italian tipo 00 (probably about 12.7% protein) and a brown "malthouse flour" at about 12.3% so things are a little different, but I tried to stick to the above method as best as possible. Because of the sourdough I also decided to autolyse the flour first...
This is what I tried...
1) I mixed flour and about 90% water and left it to stand for 1/2 hour
2) I added salt, mixed that in, and then mixed in an amount of levain equal to the original amount of flour
3) It, too, turned into a sticky goop
4) I turned it over on the work top
5) I started .... well, to the best of my limited ability, to stretch and fold.
6) At first you could indeed see the gluten tightening. It seemed like everything was going swimmingly... but then
7) It's almost as if some kind of "glue" starts oozing out of the gloop. Suddenly it's as if, rather than getting smoother, it starts getting stickier again.
And then it all went horribly wrong