It all just started making sense....
OK at the risk of seeming like a bit of a loon...but I thought I'd share my thoughts...
I was watching the Julia Child video(s) for french bread (with Danielle Forrestier)...and it all just started making sense.
It wasn't the techniques being demonstrated as such, although they are very valuable in their own right.
No, it was all the theory, instruction, recipes and technique that I've been reading suddenly started to make sense...less an 'instruction manual' and more like I'm starting to internalise the interconnected factors and processes that affect each other. Flour, autolyse, friction, temperature, proofing time, resting, tension, shaping, scoring....it all started clicking in place mentally. I can see where and why I've been going wrong in the past. I'm starting to get a 'feel' for how things are done.
Now the practical application? That's a whole different matter...and that's going to take a load more practice before I get anywhere near competent. But as far as theory and understanding go...it's starting to make sense!