(John, I've got a question below about the second half of my tests.)
My late-stage balling half of the tests are done. Both my SD and IDY batches did well on their first bakes. Both had outer-ring with that eggshell thing going on. The bottom crust was firm, but tender. My straight up All Trumps IDY batch had the same chew as normal, but was very tender on the bite.
The texture, on both counts, was the real winner with both of these. Just superb. Perfect amounts of tenderness, spring, etc.
I had a concentration lapse and worked my IDY ball too much. I had to let it rest a few times during stretch. It was still an easy bite despite that. Nice!
The enhanced stickiness of the SD was not there. I'm confident lowering hydration and using a more accurate scale for the LDM did the trick. I'll see how the stretch and fold half of the tests go next week.
So, the question. I did both of these batches at 58% hydration. Both of these batches mixed a few minutes less than they do at 60% and 61%. The upcoming stretch & fold is a different beast, though. From what I've read, having higher water matters. I would normally want to do tests with the same amounts of water as the time before. Does using such a low hydration invalidate or negate what the stretch and fold is trying to accomplish? If so, should I go up a bit next week?
Sorry that I won't have a great answer for you. But, what I do when I fold my dough is let the dough tell me how much I can stretch. High hydrations let you stretch a long way, lower hydrations don't, but I pull to just before the dough tears. And the next turn I do the same thing. You eventually get to a point where it just won't stretch and I stop. I still prefer this method to the mixer.