Some of the testers have reported in and the results are mixed. A few had great success while others found the whole project a gloppy mess and frustrating. Much of the problem is in my directions, which many found to be incomplete or unclear. Another issue is not knowing what the dough should look and feel like, or how to fix it if it is too wet. Some just poured it into a pan while others were able to form and shape it. The discrepancy may have something to do with the various types of flour in use but it could be from other factors, like the starter and the mash. These are things I will try to address and fix when I get more of the test results in. Remember, this is frontier territory so we're creating something new together and, in the end, there just may be too many steps or too many places where things can go wrong to make this concept work. We'll see. I continue to find interesting pieces of information on the mash method, some of it dating back to books written 100 years ago, but no one has really put all the pieces together before for home bakers. I obviously have some kinks to work out in this to make it more user friendly and your feedback has been fabulous so far, ranging from, "This is the best whole wheat bread I've ever tasted," to, "Are you crazy, have you been inhaling too many fermented grain fumes?" and the like. Hey, this is a work in progress....
A quick comment for those still about to test the dough: if it seems too wet ("gloppy" is the word I've heard a few times) feel free to use additional flour to make a dough that can be formed into a loaf rather than poured into a pan. Track how much extra flour it took, if you can. Also, the longer you mix the dough the more likely it will get softer and stickier as the water in the mash begins to break out. This will contribute to the gloppy feel. If so, fold in additional flour but try to minimize the mixing time.
For those still struggling with their starters, more feedback has come in indicating that aerating it each day by mixing, stirring or kneading does seem to make a big difference. Some of the organisms, yeast in particular, needs that oxygen to reproduce. In commercial yeast factories they pump air into the liquid yeast vats to stimulate budding, which dramatically increases the number of cells. See if aeration makes a difference in your starter and let me know.
More later. Thank you for all your hard work so far.
May your bread always rise (especially these test loaves!),