I am new to sourdough. I have been playing with it for about 8 months now and have maybe 150 loaves under my belt. I have two good starters that I use, one that I am fermenting an added cupof cracked grain mix in the starter (Red Mills 10 grain) and a standard starter. I am getting great flavor, good sour and a fairly consistent loaf.
The issue is that my bread comes out "cakey". I get small uniform holes and cake like crumb that is fluffy and reminds me more of a store bought bread rather than an artisan style sourdough. I use an AP flour. I pour half a gallon of starter into my bowl, add a Table Spoon of sea salt and then add 1 1/2 cups of flour. I stir till I get ribbons, then mix by hand until I get a ball. I remove from bowl and knead and add flour gradually untill I get a ball that is springy and does not readily stick to the counter. I proof the dough in two bread pans which usually takes around 4 hours for the standard starter and 12 hours for the starter with10 grain. I bake the bread at 400 degrees for 40 minutes with a pan of water under the pans on the bottom rack. I get a good crust, great flavor and good sour, but the bread is fluffy and cakey rather than holey and chewy.
How do I get that shiney dough with large holes and chewier?