Flour (in the Netherlands) has become weaker??
I have been baking sourdough since 2018 and I have always used supermarket flour to provide the bulk of the flour in my doughs. Partially because of financial reasons and partially because I actually really like the flavour of flours that are lower in protein. The flour tends to be finely ground white flour with a protein content varying between 10g protein/100g flour and 12g/protein/100g flour. For the people in the Netherlands that have access to the same flour, the ones I use are the patentbloem from Aldi (10g protein/100g) or the patentbloem from the Jumbo (their homebrand, 12g protein/100g). Usually I can push the hydration of the Aldi flour to a maximum of 72% hydration and the Jumbo flour to 75~78% hydration with great results; great oven spring and a very soft crumb. However in the last few months the flours seem to be weaker than ever and it seems to be the same for other flours found in the supermarkets. Even when I go as low as a 65% hydration or lower, most of them struggle to hold themselves together, are all very sticky and the dough becomes slack in no time.
I was wondering if anyone else has noticed the same thing? I initially though it had something to do with my sourdough starter, but even with regular instant yeast and low hydrations, the doughs are generally slack and don't want to brown as easily as they used to. So has anyone noticed the same thing happening to them or does someone know more about it?