My first SD: Third time is the charm!
Before I say anything, let me say thanks for the generous advice I've received!
I did it! This was my 3rd attempt, and it's pretty close to perfect. My culture was 16 days old, yesterday. I began my pre-ferment at 7:00 pm yesterday, then at 7:00 am this morning I built the dough. I could never figure out why Hamelman continually suggests "tasting for salt to be sure it wasn't forgotten." I always wondered why someone could forget the salt. Well, twice now I've almost forgotten it, since it is added after the autolyse. My dough still took 6.5 hours to less-than-double, I gave it two folds during that time. I proofed the loaves for about 1 1/4 hours, crossed my fingers and popped them in the oven. I bought a probe thermometer yesterday....wowza...what a difference that makes, too. I started the loaves at 460 degrees, after 10 minutes I lowered the temp to 435 (due to browning). I now know that I've been pulling my loaves at about 160-170 degrees (internal temp)...way too low! I had to lower the temp to 400 to keep the crust from overbrowning, and finally pulled them out when internal temp hit 200. So, I started at 7:00 am and have bread at 4:30 pm (great bread!). The crumb color is hard to discern in the pic since I didn't use a flash, but it's a great color. I've learned so much by failing multiple times and asking for help. Though I know I have much more to learn. Thanks again for the great advice, encouragement and support! Now...just gotta hunt down a good bottle of wine!