This bread did not have a chance for survival from the beginning. It was a busy day yesterday...was multi-tasking. I started with neglecting to catch my starter at its peak. By the time I remembered, it had exhausted its feed...but...I still used it. My plan was to make a half-wholemeal strong/half wholemeal-plain loaf. Then, during mixing, the dough felt somewhat dry....so I added about 150 ml water. Great Scott! I forgot to add the preferment.
So, in it went and to compensate for the extra wetness, I added rice flour (don't ask me why I did it) and hulled millet. After adding more than 150g, it still felt decidedly wet...so I left it alone. Few short kneads and into the fridge it went...will deal with it in the morning. Next day at noon, I formed it, popped it into the fridge for another half an hour while I performed my other job as a chauffeur. Since, this felt like a disaster, I just made a long slash...er...actually 2 because I wanted it deeper....couldn't deal with more disasters...remember, my slashing handicap?
I was so surprised to see it nicely springing in the oven. Sure, there's the (rustic) crater or 2, but this has got to be the largest grigne I've had so far. *Happy Dance* Cut the bread within less than 20 mins. The bread is not perfect but it is very soft and tasty (with a close crumb), has a thin crispy crust. Mmmm....
All that pep talk in the [url=http://www.sourdough.com.au/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=183]Regrettable Bread thread[/url] stayed at the back of my mind throughout the mis-process...
For instinct read experience. You are an experienced cook in many fields TP, and as others will find as they bake more, you will develop "the feel".
The experience for when the dough "feels" right when mixing and kneading, the experience for when a loaf "feels" proofed enough, the experience when reading a new recipe that you "feel" that special care may need to be taken with some of it.
As Chembake wisely said, you will learn far more from your mistakes than you will from your successes.
As is often said, experience is a great teacher but unfortunately it gives the lesson before the answer.
Thanks...all...I guess I'm learning....