Thanks oldcoot .... was starting to peek around corners and only go out at night!
Yes - flour is probably the biggest problem in recipes. My ex-BIL's mother was a chemist for a large bakery and I know they did a lot of testing of the flour before they mixed up thousands of loaves each day - so they could get everything consistent. She and I talked about what she did once and I was totally amazed. Few recipes, unless they are from a flour mill, specify the flour used in the recipe ... how it was measured .... etc. The best we can do is a crap shoot ... stick with one type of flour consistently and adjust our recipes once we have them worked out. I make the same bread every week here in TX, using different bread and wheat flours than I used in CO, and there is about 1-cup difference in the recipe.
Some things you learn by experience - like you were saying. How are you going to explain that in a recipe?
I don't have the recipe in front of me ... don't remember which book it was in .. but it went something like:
... add enough water to the flour to make a batter the right consistency, neither too thick nor too thin. After allowing the batter to rise for a sufficient time pour out on the table and knead in enough flour to make the dough the right texture - the dough should be neither too tight or too loose.
It's a wonder humans ever survived on bread with recipes like that! How did they ever figure out how to determine if the rock was the right temperature???