Chau - Would you mind describing your shaping technique and proofing vessel? Your loaves have that beautiful, graceful, wide score that Chad gets in Tartine loaves and is shaped almost the same as well. Chad does some advanced folding - like stitching almost - and then gently rolls the ball onto itself. He then places it into a long banneton with that seam sideways. Any insight appreciated - understanding that the solution may really be just how well you can develop tension and a perfect proof.
Look at the sequence starting at 5:51:
John - this video is absolutely fustrating to watch. I have now watched it at least a dozen times and have only seen that "stitching" technique once and partially a 2nd time. The pictures don't seem to match up with the narrative for me.
At any rate, I'm guessing that stitching technique is likely just some fancy hand work. If you notice he stretches the dough over the top and tucks it under after the stitching. That builds the proper tension. To get the WIDE split, that is a function of tension on the skin. More tension equals a bigger split provided the dough is fermented to the same degree before baking. Meaning it still has potential in the oven to spring. If it's overfermented and there isn't a lot of room left for oven spring, then extra tension won't give us that wide split.
I do the same folding techniques as Chad shows in the book including that last fold over and tuck underneath... however, I have been proofing seam side down on the work bench without the use of a proofing tray. I started playing around with this technique after some conversations with member Bobino. Here is something interesting about proofing seam side down. If the loaf is allowed to proof out well, the distribution of large bubbles is more on the top/periphery of the cross section. You can see this in the first 2 loaves posted. This is part of what I was referring to about a loaf "telling" it's story. The nice thing about proofing seem side down is that you can monitor the surface tension. About 30m or so before baking you can retuck the sides and reshape the loaf if you want to refresh that surface tension. This method is a bit of a cheat as it is easier to get the desire surface tension prior to the bake compare to proofing seam side up. Seems to serve me better since I'm always switching ingredients and variables up and experimenting. It's at least one thing I can control consistently.
If you proof seam side up as Chad does, you have to build the right tension from the get go and not overferment or else the dough softens and that surface tension is lost. Notice how the loaf can flatten after you turn it out from a proofing tray? We can control that through gluten strength and tension in the dough prior to proofing. You can retuck prior to baking but that shows up as ridges along the bottom of the loaf. This technique is easier done in a commercial setting b/c for the most part, not much is changing in the workflow day in and day out.
Hope that helps.