Why Recipes are structured the way they are?
I am a recent inductee in the world of amateur artisan baking and i have some questions that i have not been able to find an answer to but i never remember to write them down, i just remembered this one while one of my pretty much daily lurking sessions on TFL so i figured i would create an account and see what all the veterans had to say about it. One of the things i don't understand is hard to explain so i will give an some examples. In Tartine bread CR says to bulk ferment for 4 hours, shape, and then proof for 4 hours. Could i do a 7 hour bulk and a 1 hour proof or a 6 hour bulk and a 2 hour proof? Why are specific times given? Are there different functions to the proof and the bulk that i am not understanding? what about a 1 hour bulk and a 7 hour proof? one speculative answer i have come up with is that after the bulk you are supposed to degas the dough and then the proof is to introduce more gas is that correct? why do different recipes break up the bulk and proof into different amounts even though the total amount of fermentation is the same? what am i missing?