but I ate it before I could take a picture!
This bread was much fluffier with bigger holes in it than any bread I'd made previously. And, judging by the two thick slices my boyfriend ate after claiming to be "not hungry" was that tastiest. Actually it was so tasty we pretty much ate all of it before it even had time to cool down. It had nice big holes in it, and a nice crispy crust. Not punching down the dough really made a big difference and improved the texture enormously. Also, some seasame seeds on the top added an extra something and made it look like a real bread. However, I must have overproofed it because it hardly expanded at all in the oven. Maybe next time I leave it to proof before going to work I'll put it in the fridge (I only worked for 3 hours today).
Well I actually made two loaves. The second one was a bit of a gong show. I didn't want it to develop a skin so I put a plastic bag over it for the second rise. Well of course it ended up sticking to the plastic terribly and by the time I got it off I deflated it completely. And it was already overproofed so there was nothing left for the yeast to eat. I didn't know what to do to save my stupid, completely deflated dough. So I ended up kneading some more flour into it, letting it rise for about 45 min and then baking. This one (a boule) actually expanded quite a bit more during baking compared to the other one. But seeing as I already ate a whole loaf of bread I haven't started on the second one yet so I don't actually know how it turned out yet. It does look like bread however, which I am happy about seeing as I pretty much destroyed it earlier. (there i got a photo of the other one. the one i ate right away was better though)
I'm feeling like maybe I have to much water in the dough: it's really super sticky and annoying to handle. Maybe I'll try it with more flour next time. Also, my slashes are totally not working at all: even in the second bread which expanded more during baking it sort of exploded down by the side instead of on the slashes. I'm thinking this is related to my dough being too wet? Also, I'm over proving it. Also, I shouldn't let it expand and touch plastic and get all attached to the plastic thereby deflating it.
Not punching down the dough really made it way better. Also using a mix of whole-wheat and all purpose flour was better than all whole-wheat. Steam = more delicious crust. Sesame seeds are good.