Sourdough problem/question oven-spring
My name is Kate & I am new here. I am an experienced bread baker but new to sourdough. I have a son with tummy issues and the new diet he is on is no wheat - except for long fermented sourdough breads which apparently have all the bad stuff digested by the yeast & bacteria.
I have a starter going and it is sour and strong (doubles in 4-6 hours when fed). I feed it with half wheat & half white and a touch of salt (my theory being that I will select for starter critters that perform well even with a bit of salt mixed in). So far I have stored it on the counter & not in the fridge.
So here is my problem. If I ferment it on the countertop it overproofs rapidly and I don't get a long enough rise to destroy those bits that make tummies unhappy. I have switched to just one shaping & one long proof so I don't overdeflate the dough (I need to practice my dough handling for sourdough - with yeast bread I have always punched it all the way down and still gotten great big holes and delicious bread - but when I did this with sourdough I got a really dense loaf). So I make the dough, knead to develop gluten, form loaves (in loaf pans - helps wetter dough keep its shape) and either let it partially proof and put it in the fridge or put it in the fridge right away. Either way I am getting what seems to be underproofed bread and no oven spring (I use a humid oven since I love that thick crust big holes of artisan type loaves - never done them in a pan before though). Even after I take it out & put it in a warm environment it refuses to rise much more (I even tried a heating pad). Can the cold permanently retard my wild starter? It doesn't when I bake normal yeast bread. I have refridgerated dough before so I could bake fresh pitas every day and it was fine.
I have thought for next time I could create a cool rise box using a cooler and some cold water to let it proof at a cool temperature for a long time without chilling all the way down.
Thanks for your patience with a newbie.