Wanting more of a challenge, but-
I've been very quiet on here the last few months, b/c RL has been pretty crazy. But I have been baking regularly, 2-3x a week, 2-3 loaves per bake, and have been really pleased with the progress I've made. After some experimenting I had great luck with Trevor J. Wilson's Champlain Sourdough. It's pretty much the perfect bread for my family texture-wise, since what we want is a good sandwich loaf that can also be used for bruschetta and garlic toast and dipping and the like, and this gives us a really nice, soft, open crumb with a great chewy crust, and not such large holes as to make condiments a disaster.
I have to say that things improved drastically when I went from trying to steam my oven with hot water poured over cloths in a tray plus spritzing and just started overturning a stainless steel bowl over my loaves for the first 25 minutes. I'd still like to see a bit more oven spring, but over all I'm super happy.
I definitely have more work to do with shaping and judging my proof, but overall this has become a pretty easy recipe I can just trot through without much difficulty... which is my problem now. I'd really like to mess around with higher hydrations and different techniques--slap and folds, the rubaud method, just... generally more challenging. But my family loves this bread. We go through half a dozen or more loaves a week and when we run out and I don't have more ready to go it's a tragedy.
Any suggestions for recipes that might get me a similar outcome? Not an overly dark but chewy crust, soft interior but not super open, and... not *too* much of a jump ahead technique wise, b/c I'm definitely still a beginner. I'm looking at maybe giving this one a try--http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/52167/san-francisco-sourdough-twist-bucharest . Any thoughts about whether this would be a good next stop for a novice hoping to move into intermediate level sourdough baking?