I have been baking nothing but the basic country loaf now for several months, and my breads have always come out pretty good, though varying considerably in flavor.
I am a weekend baker and have wanted to get my bakes done early Saturday instead of late Saturday night or early Sunday. So I decided to take another stab at doing things backwards.
Friday morning, I took my starter out of the fridge (last fed, a week earlier), and created the leaven.
Friday night, I mixed the dough and 90 minutes later, I added the salt and did one turn 30 minutes later, before placing it in the fridge.
Saturday morning I took out the dough, and did another turn. About an hour later I shaped and let it proof at 69 degrees, for 4 hours before baking.
The breads had a decent amount of oven spring. The crumb was a bit dense. The flavor was okay.
I would not say it was my favorite bread. I reheated it on Sunday afternoon and it went over very well. I thought it was a little chewy and maybe a little gummy, like it was under baked slightly. The second loaf I cut this morning and made a sandwich out of it. I do prefer less holes because it is easier to make PB&J without big holes running through my bread. Again, the bread was a bit chewy but not too hard to eat. Gave my mouth a workout. It did not taste gummy. The flavor was okay. I had a piece with butter and that was delicious.
So, it is not a ringing endorsement for baking bread for early Saturday afternoon, but I know that if I really need bread for Saturday, I can get it done in a pinch. I might try it again with the proofing done at a warmer temperature, since the dough stayed pretty cool throughout the proofing.