I'm making bread for the first time with a firm starter, i.e. 1T batter starter (which is in active mode), 1T water plus 1/2 C flour. This is kneaded to make a very firm ball; it's supposed to quadruple in 8 plus hours. Well...it's way past 8 hours now, and it hasn't risen significantly. Apparently, this may mean the starter is not active enough. I've just dissolved a pinch of that dough and mixed in flour to make a not-as-stiff dough. We'll see how it goes.
Would like to hear from those of you who has made bread from a stiff starter. Ta!