Novice needs some crumb advice [Vermont Sourdough]
Hi everybody! This is my first post, so please be kind to me ;-).
I've just started baking bread. Got a sourdough going, ordered Hamelman's Bread (very nice!), a baking stone and some bannetons. Bakes 5-6 loafs which were sort of successful. Quite compact crumbs. Probably due to lack of proper kneading.
Yesterday I baked a Vermont Sourdough bread (65% hydration), and for the first time I kneaded the way I was supposed to I think (slap and fold technique, roughly 15 minutes, dough became nice and smooth, elastic. Windowpane test I would say medium to high gluten development). I basically followed the recipe, and the final proofing in a banneton was done 20 hrs in the fridge. During that proofing, the loaf more than doubled in size. It retained its shape nicely when I transferred it to the peel & slashed it (no signs of degassing or sagging). Baked the bread. See pictures below.
Ovbviously I was very happy with the outcome: beautiful crust & ear. The crumb is nice and moist, feels elastic. Now for the question: the holes are not very big. Are they supposed to be bigger (for a 65% hydration bread)? Is it possible that the final proofing might have been too long? Or am I expecting too much and is this loaf just fine as it is (I am actually quite proud of the result ...)?
Anyways, I love this site, has been hugely informative for me already and I hope I will learn a lot from you guys!