My last batch of dough was odd. By way of background, I'm probably on about my 8th batch since fall, so just finished pies 29-32, or so. Using the Italian starters, switching whimsically from Ischia to Camaldoli and back. IIRC I used the Ischia here, and my starters had gone a while without feeding. They seemed "grumpy," as I've termed it, thick level of hooch, but seemed to revive as usual.
My theory is that they weren't as lively as I supposed.
I've been working off a basic recipe from Reinhart's "Crust and Crumb" to establish consistency as I now work through topping improvements, and I plan to go back to the crust soon to try different styles. My crusts have been coming out good, then better, and of late very good if I may say so. I took up some poster's advice on stretching the dough and got the pies thinner and larger last time, my crowning doughs.
So I was puzzled this time when I took 2 doughs out after a few days of retarding in the fridge and found them, well, what I was calling "dead." I shaped a disc, then picked up the dough to stretch, and it just shredded. Second disc, same thing. I was about ready to throw them away in disgust, when I thought "No, I'll eat my failures." Oddly, when I combined the doughs and made a larger single pie by patting it out by hand, not only was the dough alive, but it had a very nice rise to it. Clue one was that it was much more sour than previous doughs.
I had thought that the doughs might have needed more time to warm up prior to handling, but the next 2 doughs from the same batch reacted the exact same way. Fell apart, combined to a larger thicker pie offered decent rise, much more sour than usual.
I also considered that I might have overworked the dough.
Do the pros here think it possible that there was a combination of overeworking the gluten and perhaps a starter that wasn't fully revived, or one of those possibilities alone?
I'm finding that starters are very much a "feel" thing, and that I get different responses each time, though this was the farthest from the norm...
Thx in advance...