Hi Bob, thanks so much for your reply!
I'm not really having any issues with my dough. The ones last week at 75% turned out great. The ones today at 65% weren't nearly as good. However, anything to do with my oven limitations is not the issue as I used the same oven both times. I mentioned only hydration percentage because that's the only variable that is explicitly relevant to my question and the only significantly different variable between the doughs.
I have not been able to try a huge variety of flours, however it is clear to me that many people on this forum have. I'm wondering, in others' experience, how much variation is there from one flour to the next in terms of how "thirsty" the flour is, i.e. how much water is needed to obtain the desired consistency of dough. I know that some flours are more absorptive than others but I am trying to understand just how much it can vary.
The reason I am asking this is because I've read several people describing a 60-65% dough with, say, King Arthur flour as being a "wet" dough. Using my flour at 63% it was absolutely not what I would call wet. It was extremely easy to handle, I could easily knead it on the counter without any flour at all and it had little if any "flow" to it. When I think of a "wet" dough I think of something very tacky and sticky that, if left to rise on the counter without the confines of a bowl will mostly flow and spread outwards rather than retaining a ball shape and rising up. The dough I worked with today had none of these qualities. I'm trying to figure out if it's that my flour is much more absorptive than something like King Arthur or if I merely have a skewed perception of what a "wet dough" means.
I'm thinking that on Sunday I will test some different flours side by side at 70% hydration- more than today but less than usual - and compare results. I will use Roger's AP, Robin Hood AP (the other big brand out here) and a flour from a local bakery that mills their own flour daily from red fife, an heirloom wheat.