I have started making sourdough a while ago and still haven't managed to produce a nice loaf. I've had underworked, underproofed and overproofed loaves (flying saucers) following different recipes. I have done a lot of reading and tried to address the issues.
The latest loaf finally had nice oven spring (suspiciously late, though) and after cutting it open, this is what I saw:
The bread was made like this:
Everything mixed, autolyse 30 minutes, added salt and folded a few times, left for 10 minutes, folded again, repeated once and then 3 times with 30min intervals. Dough seemed very elastic (is it possible to overwork with this method? I was worried about that because the surface of the dough was shiny at this stage).
From the start of mixing the dough was left out at room temperature for about 4 hours, there was no significant size increase but it felt puffed up. Then I pre-shaped it and left it for 10 minutes, finished shaping, placed into banneton, covered with a tea towel and a shower cap.
Then it went straight into the fridge at 8 °C for 12 hours. I took it out in the morning and left to stand at room temperature (about 21°C) for two hours. I tried to decide when to put it into the oven by the finger poking method - the dough felt moderately springy with the indent filling only about half way. Then it went into the oven (250°C, reduced to 220° after 5 minutes) for 35 minutes. The dough spread out a lot after I put it onto my improvised peel, but it didn't seem as runny as my previous overproofed loaves. It rose fairly late into the bake.
Texture and flavour are not bad but as you can see, something is not quite right. What should I do differently? What is the best way to judge weather the dough has been worked enough and is overworking a real threat? And what is the best method for deciding whether it has proofed enough?
Many thanks for your help!