I have survived my first baking-centered weekend, and all in all, I consider it a success. I tried Floydm's daily bread recipe on Friday night/Saturday, and it turned out pretty well. Like some other people, I wound up adding extra flour (at least I think it was extra...I don't have a scale yet, so my measurements may not have been entirely accurate). I had trouble getting the poolish and the autolyse to blend thoroughly, so I wound up with some lumps in the dough that seemed to bake into dense little knots in the final product. Perhaps next time I could start with a wetter autolyse, mix it with the poolish, and then add more flour as necessary. Does that sound like it would work? Despite the "knots," I did get a pretty good crumb, and the bread was pretty tasty (especially with the cabbage, potato, and cannellini bean stew that I made last night).
On Sunday, I took a crack at Floydm's honey whole wheat recipe, which was simple to make and turned out quite tasty. I don't have real loaf pans yet (that will be my next purchase), so I wound up using those dinky little foil pans you get at the grocery store. Since the pans I used were so small, I cut some of the dough off of the loaves before shaping them, and I made two rolls that I just baked on a baking sheet. Everything turned out nicely, and I was particularly happy with the color of the crust and the amount of rise I got during secondary fermentation. My boyfriend has already eaten half a loaf since last night, so I guess it's a hit!
Does anyone have any opinions on whether or not it's a good idea to proof shaped loaves directly on the baking sheet that I will bake them on? I don't have a baking stone yet, so I'm baking everything either on a sheet or in a loaf pan.