right moment to bake bread
Hi, I'm new to this forum and recently returned to the art of bread baking. Yesterday I tried Brother Juniper's Struan Bread (Peter Reinhart, Brother Juniper's Bread Book, 1991) with mixed success; it's such a wonderful recipe I'd like to perfect my results. My main confusion about bread baking at the moment is about the right moment to put the bread in the oven. I thought I was too hasty in the past, for scheduling reasons, getting a smaller dense loaf as a result. This time I waited till the loaf domed over the top a little more, and as it wasn't really very high, I waited patiently. I finally put it in the oven. I suspect I had let it get past its prime because it didn't really spring in the oven and it had a slightly bitter yeast taste. Not bad texture-wise, although I thought it should have been a little lighter since I used all white (hard wheat) flour, along with the other grains called for. So what can I do to (1) assess when to put the bread in the oven (2) assess whether I'm doing something else wrong? I'm aiming for a perfect loaf!