Welcome to Community Loaves. It sounds like you know your way around your levain. The Purist definitely favors a slow bulk. There could be a difference based on flour alone, simply because the fine bread flour is milled so “freshly”, it could be more enzymatically active than the Bob’s Red Mill. I’m not confident that will explain the full difference. Thankfully you will have a comparison to provide at the end of the next week. I’d love to hear a follow-up report.
Hi. New to CL and very excited to join this amazing organization. I’m an experienced sourdough baker, and in gearing up to bake for CL, I decided to try a test loaf following the Purist recipe. I already bake with Trailblazer but don’t yet have my supply of the Fairhaven Fine Bread Flour, Whole Grain. So for the latter I subbed Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat flour (again, I’m just test baking…I have the Fairhaven on order). I’m finding that my bulk ferment is very slow, the dough is very tight, and I’m starting to doubt this will be a successful test loaf. I’m pretty sure my levain is not the issue; it looked great had all the characteristics of levain that was ready to go). Kitchen temp is just around 70 degrees; so not hot, but in the range. My guess is that the Red Mill Whole Wheat is not at all a substitute for the Fairhaven and that the hydration for the recipe isn’t right for Red Mill flour I’ve used. Thanks for the feedback.