Success never sleeps - apparently, neither does failure :-)
So, like an Icarus who flew too high too fast, long before he learned how to build an airplane, last weekend I got too cocky thinking that I could do variations of my own, without having to research proper recipes. The result was two utterly lifeless loaves, which, albeit still edible, definitely wished they have never been baked at all.
Since I'm of a firm belief that we can learn just as much - if not more - from failures as we can from successes, I am posting it here as a warning to others like me: "Learn to crawl confidently before you do... well, practically anything else".
I started with the same simple SD recipe I used a few times before, but decided to split the dough into two parts and make two battards, one with Kalamata olives and sun-dried tomatoes, and the other with walnuts and figs. After autolyse and final mixing, I allowed the dough to BF for 1 hr. (It was supposed to be 30 min, but it took me much longer than expected to prepare the extra ingredients.) I then did one set of stretch/fold, divided the dough, flattened each half, spread additional ingredients, and did another couple of stretch/folds. I am not sure where exactly I went wrong, other than I think I loaded waaay to many "extras" into the dough. Each battard was about 460g of dough, and each received about 70g additional of mixed extras. As you can see from the photos of the crumb - if you can even call it that - that was definitely too much.
I followed that by my usual stretch/fold every 30 min 3 more times, but the dough, especially one with olives and tomatoes, never became elastic as I expected. I shaped it the best I could, placed into well-floured bannetons for overnight retardation in the fridge, then warmed up for 2 hrs in the morning before attempting to bake. Both loaves stuck to the banneton badly, the one with olives and tomatoes worse than the other one, to the point that both completely ripped when I tried to extract them onto the baking sheet. I baked with steam for the first 15 min, and they did rise in the oven just a tiny bit, but nowhere close to be called loaves of bread.
I definitely learned my lesson; now I just need to figure out what that lesson was. :-) Happy baking everyone!