Week One, Anadama Bread, up and posted! Here's a money shot of how it turned out:
Check out our posts here: http://akuindeed.com/?p=3178
Your bread looks lovely! The big holes you are yearning for come with high hydration doughs (like ciabatta and baguettes). You will get to those soon enough!
I try to assure as high a percentage of hydration as I can when working with the dough (I lightly oil my hands so as to keep it as sticky as I can without the need for more flour).
Still, I can't seem to get those big big holes, even in my rustic loaves. Not sure why.
For my sourdough mini baguette's I have found through the years that keeping the dough as wet as you can while still being able to handle it, plus gently degassing by folding the dough rather than punching and totally deflating it seems to help a lot. I do a folding of the dough into a letter shape in the bowl, then pull (or flip bowl over and let it fall out) it out onto a very lightly floured surface. I then turn it over so the top of the dough is what was the top in the bowl. It should look roughly square. I then do a roll of the dough like you would if you were making a baguette and handle it gently trying to keep the bubbles contained inside the gluten. If it fights back I stop and let it rest a little while and then try again, because if I get impatient and try to force it I end up with sandwich bread crumb, good in andama bread, but bad in rustic loafs. I have noticed no real difference in whether I knead it with my kitchenaid at the start vs doing the letter fold in place of kneading, both develop the gluten. The real key is the wetness of the dough, and how you handle it after the bulk rise. Learning to be firm, but not fight the dough. I really do think that your Anadama bread came out very nice though...
I have some pictures of how I do my sourdough here...
If you notice I cut the shaped log into pieces and then reshaped again, which was a mistake. I should have cut them into pieces and then stretched them after a short rest period. Just works much better. I have a lot more pictures of the anadama bread too at:
It's rather fun sharing our pictures and learning from each other.
I always keep my doughs very wet (I oil my hands to help), so that's not it. It must be the degassing/shaping that leaves me with small sandwich bread holes.
I'll check out how you do your sourdough.
I looked at your pictures, you are far more gentle with the dough in the shaping process than I am. I wonder if this is what is killing my chances at large air holes. You seem to just fold, without much pulling or stretching. I definitely pull and stretch - and punch down- quite a bit.
I am firm with my dough, but not so much so that I am totally degassing it. You will feel the air bubbles under the surface as you roll and stretch the outer skin. The whole idea is to keep a good portion of those bubbles in while you stretch the outside and tuck in the middle as you roll it into a long baguette shape it will naturally get longer as you roll. If you feel it fighting you and shrinking up then just let it relax for a few minutes and try again. I use very little oil or flour for this, because I develop the gluten using my kitchenaid it keeps it from sticking to my hands as long as I don't hang onto it for a long time. You can also develop the gluten using stretch and folds, but if you look at how to do those you will realize that most people do them early on in the bulk rise and then allow the dough to simply rise once enough gluten development is felt.
Hope this helps.