Originally Posted by OceanMomma
My starter was very active when I first caught it. The problem with that was it would rise so much it would collapse while you were baking it. My friend the baker told me to put it in the fridge to rise to slow down the rising process which worked very well.
Mine collapsed onthe first rise yesterday, because it was 78 degrees (F) in my house. But it was okay on the second and third rise, and baked up just fine. Usually it's between 65 and 70, so I let it rise at the cool temperature for 3-4 hours the first time, 2 hours the second rise, then shape it and let it rise 2 hours the third time. That way I have the 7 hours of fermentation. Then I slash it, spritz it and bake it at 450 degrees (F) for 25 minutes, spritzing with water every 3 minutes for the first 9 minutes. I put it on a layer of parchment paper on one of those air-bake cookie sheets (it's aluminum, that's why I use the parchment paper) and put it in the middle of the oven, and the bottom never burns that way. It comes out great!
But I do cheat and put in organic yeast as well as the sourdough. Otherwise it's too brick-like, since I use mostly whole wheat flour. I used to use completely whole wheat flour, but again, the brick effect. So it's about half and half now.