Getting the hang of it - first big holes!
I've made basic bread for years, but am just now getting into the specifics of crumb and crust, folding and long proofing.
After many failures, today I have had a breakthrough!
First, a dark, denser, square loaf. This dough was in the fridge overnight, and was pretty wet and sticky, but not unmanageable. I did a rise, knockdown, knead session before stashing it in the fridge over night, and then letting it slowly warm up while folding it over every half hour or so (when it felt ready again). Baked at 500 for 10 min, reduced to 375. A little too dark, I think.
And a closer look at my first big holes!
That turned out pretty well, but I decided to try for a second loaf. This time I created sort of a stiff sponge (1C flour, water until it was sticky, a bit of buckwheat honey and 1/4 tsp yeast), kneaded it, let it rise in a warm area, and then chilled it for several hours. When I got home, I cut it into pieces and added it to 2.5 cups of flour, some salt, 1.5 cups of water, and another 1/4 tsp yeast, and mixed it until it was sticky and sort of spread when turned out on my cutting board. I let this rise over two hours, folding every half hour or so, and this time could /really/ see the difference the folding made! When I first turned this out, I couldn't really handle it, it was very slack and sticky. After the second fold, it had a nice smooth 'skin', and by the third and fourth it had a nice tension.
I was doing little gleeful happy dances with this one. I did it right, I did it right!
Just out of the oven. It sprung up really well, my slashes were pretty deep, I thought. There was just water and some sea salt on the top for the crust.
I let it sit for a while, and then cut it open
It's not perfect, but it's the best I've ever done. And it tastes lovely, especially with a bit of butter.
One more, slightly blurry, slightly different angle
I have no idea what shapes these would be classified as, or what genre of bread save for 'whole wheat', though the top loaf has about a half cup of white mixed in.
I'm going to have to hold off on further loaves for now, lest I be up to my ears in bread!