When I worked at a bakery we mixed everything in a big spiral mixer, and everything mixed until it would pass a window pane test (even whole wheat). But when it came to the fermenting (first bulk rise) sourdough got a strech and fold every hour for 3 hours while French dough (poolish) did not. This, combined with the great videos I've seen here with French peasant bakers mixing levain-based bread by hand gave me cause to think about no-knead bread.
A heads up to all bakers who use an autolyse in their bread baking -
Teresa Greenway (a home bread baker of consummate skill who has been sharing her knowledge on her blog - http://www.northwestsourdough.com/discover/ - for many years) has posted two entries exploring the effect of an autolyse (the technique of mixing water and flour from your bread recipe and allowing it to rest for a period of time in order to develop the gluten in the bread dough).
I love this website! It's a real treat if you are a home baker and want to grow in your skills.
Over the weekend I decided to crack open my new copy of Peter Reinhart's "The Bread Baker's Apprentice" and branch out from my year-long self imposed focus on perfecting a few selected artisan bread recipes. I really wanted to try a few high hydration recipes to get more comfortable with them. Rich Man's Brioche looked and sounded pretty exotic, so off I went to buy the truckload of butter called for in the recipe.