As I’ve said over the years, “The trick in becoming a great cook is learning the nature of what ever you’re learning to make!”
Nothing could be more true than in the case of becoming a baker. With each batch I learn more about how bread acts and feels. My hands are learning the proper way to handle the dough. When I started baking the dough would stick to my hands; now I understand how to keep the dough moving at a rate that prevents sticking.
I can now tell if I need to rework my dough at the bench rest in order to build structure. Each loaf is now standing up and more like a slightly deflated ball; where-as they used to look like a flat ball. And the flavor is now more uniform along with the sponge. This is real bread that stands up and can make a meal by it’s self; add a little herb butter or good cheese and a bottle of wine and it’s hard to beat!