I'm very new to baking, just started baking a month ago. I picked one of those recipes listed on Mr. Bertinet's book, "Crust". The reason why I chose that particular recipe was simply it looked delicious to me.^^ But I now regret that I may have picked something that is too much to handle for a novice baker like me.
Let me first make a brief summary about this recipe before I start asking questions.
Step 1: Make the ferment (which is going to be incorporated into the final mix later on)
125g strong white flour
5g fresh yeast
You mix all the ingredients very well and leave them in a warm place(25-30 degrees celsius) for 2-2.5 hours
Step 2: Make the dough
strong white flour
You need the above ingredients as well as the ferment for the dough and mix them all together well.(I didn't write down the specific amounts because of copyright issue) Then, you need to work the dough using his slap and fold method until it is smooth and silky.
Step 3: Rest the dough for about an hour
The instruction is pretty self explatonary, so I won't add anything here.
Step 4: Reshape the dough and rest it for another hour.
He says that this step is carried out for the purpose of adding flavor to the bread.
Step 5: Proof and bake
Divide the dough into smaller pieces, glaze them with milk syrup(sugar+milk), proof them for two hours and bake them until golden underneath and top.
This is what the final product looks like.
Now it's time for me to ask some questions.
Q1) I'd like to know what is considered "ripe" in terms of the state of the ferment. Here is what my ferment looks like. Is this what it is supposed to look like?
After I rested my dough for the first time, here is what I got.
It was a little difficult to work with because it was sticky. I saw some bubbles being formed inside the dough.
Q2) Is this an indication of something gone terribly wrong? I think I worked the dough as much as I could-up until the dough was smooth and cohesive(about 20 minutes or so)
When I divided them into smaller pieces and shaped each of them into a ball, I saw some air bubbles developing underneath the dough as you can see in the following image.
Q3) Again, is this a bad sign?
Here is my final result. It's a little embarrasing to post it here because it is no where near what it's supposed to look like. For some reason mine didn't get as browned as Mr's Bertinet's version even though I exactly followed his instruction in the recipe-baking at 180 degrees celsius for 18-22 minutes depending on its size)
Q4) How come mine didn't brown enough?
Overall, I'm not satisfied with the result. I'd like to know exactly what should be done to replicate Mr. Bertinet's bath buns. Any help and comments would be appreciated. Thank you.
p.s. I'm baking from Korea. English is not my first language. So please pardon me for any grammar mistakes.^^