Mixing problems with FWSY White Bread With Poolish
Hi, I've been a long-time lurker but I am so frustrated I decided to make an account. I love Ken Forkish's White Bread with Poolish recipe, but no matter what I do I cannot get the dough to not have gigantic lumps of flour in it. I'm using KAF AP Flour, SAF Red, and tap water.
I have tried powdering the salt, adding the salt later, adding only some of the water at first, adding the flour to the poolish instead of the poolish to the flour, creating a well and mixing in a circular motion (hard to do, because the poolish has such a high volume compared to the dry flour in which I create the well), not using the pincer method and just mixing it... No matter what I do, there are huge lumps of dry flour encased within the strings of gluten from the poolish. The only way that I can even remotely get the lumps out is by absolutely smashing, twisting, and squeezing the dough in my fists (so it squelches between my fingers) for close to twenty minutes!! This causes a really dense, closed crumb because I'm destroying the gluten, and even though it's delicious, the texture is not right and I'm clearly doing something wrong.
I thought maybe the lumps would just come out on their own, but they don't, and when I just left the lumps and mixed using the pincer + fold method there were weird dense gluten streaks in my loaf that encased the dry flour. They didn't come out.
The only thing I can think of is that I am a 5'0" woman with tiny, tiny hands. Sometimes it's hard for me to even encircle my fingers all the way around the dough while trying to use the pincer method, and my wrists tire really quickly. Maybe I lack the appropriate strength to mix the dough appropriately this way? I don't own a stand mixer. Can someone help me figure out how to get these lumps out of my dough?