shape before ferment, or ferment then shape?
I've been using Dan Leader's "Local Breads" and while I've had some good results, I've also had some problems. Most have to do with typos and errors, such as a baker's % sayingi it's 32% but when you do the math on the actual weights it's more like 130%. In that case it turns out the % was correct, not the weights. And there has been more than one error. So I am cautious about what I read and always have an eye to what changes I might have to make on my own. I also recognize that the focus audience is more likely a home baker and not a professional. I sort of fall in the middle in that I don't bake like a home baker but I don't do it professionally either.
One recipe calls for shaping the dough into flutes and then refrigerating the flutes for 12-24 hours. My question is, why is it necessary to shape and refrigerate as opposed to bulk refrigerate and shape just before proofing? My experience has been that with the shaped flutes on a floured couche or parchment, it all sticks eventually. The recipe also calls for removing the shaped flutes 2 hours before baking. The combination of the sticking flutes and what appears to be prolonged time out in the open, contribute to over proofed and collapsed flutes. I intend to try it differently this weekednd, by bulk proofing in the refigerator for 12 -24 hours, mostly depending on my schedule, and then shaping the flutes and proofing them right there. But I don't expect to proof for more than an hour, 45 minutes shpuld do it. Any thoughts?