I made my first sourdough loaf yesterday, from a stiff starter than I began a little over a week ago following a recipe from a cookbook. The bread turned out okay, with a lovely sour tang and a good crust, but quite heavy and chewy. The starter seemed very slow to increase in volume, and I wonder if this may be due to the cold weather. I kept it for 9 days at room temperature, feeding it every couple of days. Room temperature in that time varied from 2 degrees C on cold mornings to 15 C on evenings that we had the heater on (I'm in Canberra and don't like to have the heater on too often or too high, being a bleeding-heart greenie). Am I right in thinking that the temperatures had something to do with the slowness of the starter and the density of my bread? What is the answer? Are wetter starters more active? My recipe was for a stiff, dough-like starter, not the wet starters that I see in pictures on this site. Should I rest it for longer when it is cold? Should I try again straight away with the leftover starter, or should I wait until summer before I try again?