In order to understand how it bread works, and how you can make it work for you, you need to understand the basics of dough and bread. The bread making process can roughly be divided into five basic phases:
Pre-fermentation. A starter you put together before you actually mix your dough that extracts maximum flavor and texture from your flour.
Primary fermentation. Assembling your recipe and giving the dough time to rise, while continuing to develop flavor and texture.
Degassing (punching down). Knocking your dough down and letting it rest and develop before you put it into its final shape. If you want lots of large, irregular holes, they continue to develop here. Interestingly, I have made some great bread complete skipping this step, or more accurately, blurring this step with the Shaping and Proofing step. But, more on that in a minute.
Shaping and Proofing (secondary fermentation). Cutting your dough into its final size and shape, then letting the individual loaves rise, the scoring the top.
Baking. Creating steam in your oven, baking your bread on a Pizza Stone, and then cooling.
You are now ready to start your Pre-fermentation.