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1

That's quite normal. Hand kneading aligns the gluten well, and stretch-and-fold aligns it better than other methods, due to simple mechanics. The aligned gluten can hold the expansion gasses better. When you knead by mixer or autolyze, the resulting gluten tends to be directionless, more like a sponge than like shingles. The difference may not be too ...


0

Some people think cultures tend to develop from microorganisms pre-existing in the flour rather than from the local environment. The idea was put forward by proponents of other types of wild fermentation (e.g. lacto-pickles) and is backed by experiments with sterilized flour. I first learned of this on pizzamaking.com. It sounds like your culture has aquired ...


1

Using a starter with insufficient activity is basically the same thing as forgetting to add yeast to a non-sourdough loaf. If there's very little activity in the starter, then you don't have an established colony of wild yeast so there's nothing there that will make the dough rise. At this point, your bread is pretty much a loss. You could try to turn it ...


1

given the advice, I tried the following: sprayed water over the dough before putting it in the oven put a large thin metal pan on the shelf below the pizza stone when I turned the oven on put plenty of water into the pan 10 mins before putting the dough in first 20 mins had the pan in, then removed for another 20 mins. here is the result will work on ...


2

Keeping the starter in the refrigerator is a fairly common practice, and does not degrade the quality of the starter. In fact, you can also freeze a starter...or even dehydrate it for longer storage. As you point out, this just reduces its activity, and the frequency of feedings. Of course, when you are preparing to bake, you should remove it from the ...


3

with no photo of the crumb it's hard to know whether there's also a proofing issue but irrespectively let me tell you that it's notoriously difficult to get a consistent ear at home unless you bake the bread in some sort of hot enclosure (dutch oven, cast iron pot with lid etc). That is my experience at least. Sure, the cutting makes a difference so as to ...


-2

Sourdough ear is made by folding and pinching the bread to the shape. ALso this process is more successful in a dutch oven. You have to score a diagonal line. Also steam plays a role in sour dough bread making.


2

If you look at your top photo on the left hand side you'll see you do have an ear at that one spot. The trick is to make your cut at an angle to give the edge a shelf to build up. I'm betting you cut straight down into the dough and not at a sharp angle.


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