I'm VERY happy with my second sourdough bake!
Waiting to cut into this last night about killed me (as I stated), but it is perfection in my book.
I used this recipe with the exception of using a bit more water as I made it with freshly ground whole wheat flour. My starter recipe is wild-caught yeast that I have been feeding with 50% whole wheat flour and 50% organic rye flour. In this recipe, it said to reserve some water for folding/shaping, but I didn't. I just used a bit more water (as needed) during that stage. Oh, and I didn't mix so many flours - I used commercial King Arthur bread flour for the white flour (50% of the total) and then the freshly ground hard white whole wheat flour for the other 50%. I also didn't have diastatic malt, but since that is optional in this recipe, I don't consider that a change (though I am going to get some).
I kneaded with my DLX mixer and then I used my proofer to keep it at the recommended temp. I've never done a special fold technique for building strength before or for shaping, but I found this easy to follow and I could feel it doing what it was supposed to do with each fold. I did this 4 times.
I then baked in my two pans - one a cast iron dutch oven and one a stainless steel roasting pan.
It looked super promising last night and the crumb and bite and taste this morning is was sublime. My husband, from Croatia, said that it reminded him of a bread people would go to along the Adriatic coast just to get this hearth-baked bread while on vacation. He said it was hard to believe that my loaf was made in a home oven.
And then he said, and this is a man who does NOT give false flattery, ever - said, "This is the best bread I have ever eaten. You always make excellent bread, but this is stepping up a notch or two. It's perfect."
And without Youtube and folks here who gave links for upping the game of baking bread and sourdough, I never would have achieved such loaves!
Now... to see if I can ever repeat it! Photos are of: whole loaf, half loaf, quarter loaf