After browsing through some of the recent posts, I'm having trouble keeping the keyboard dry. I really am going to have to try some different recipes.
In the meantime, here's a little run-down on my latest effort.
When I took the culture out of the fridge, it was looking very flat indeed. But I expected that with a feed and overnight on the bench, it would have transformed into its usual bubbly self. Imagine my dismay next morning to find it still sitting there looking sad and depressed. My mood almost matched.
Thinking about it though, the temperature had been a little cooler through the night so I opted to provide a little warmth by transferring it to the oven with the light on. Lo and behold, after a couple of hours, the beasties were back in fine form.
I am not sure that a degree or two in temperature should have made such a difference or whether the balance of beasties has changed through regular storage in the fridge. Perhaps some of the long timers can comment on this.
Anyhow, I made the dough the Pane Francesa recipe ingredients but I adjusted the proportions to more closely follow the 1:2:3 formula talked about in other posts. This resulted in a higher hydration dough than I had been using but I haven't calculated the difference. The dough was certainly softer and slacker that previously.
From mixing through autolyse, short kneads, bulk ferment with stretch and fold followed by pre-shaping and shaping accounted for close on five hours all at room temperature which by now was back into the 19-20C range. Then there was something over 3 hours proving before baking.
Once again provided steam for the first 15 minutes. I noticed that the loaf was still quite flexible when I removed the steam tray and the baking paper. Possibly I should have left a bit longer for the loaf to set more.
In any case, the result was just fine. A bit of asymmetric spring - but hey, the sandwich fillings don't mind.
Some commentary suggests this can arise from different depth of cut in the slashing. So many variables, so many skills to master!