The first picture looks common, and familiar. If you mix water with flour, knead a little bit, then you will get the flour dough. The real tricky part is kneading the dough to help it develop the protein connections which eventually becomes the whole structure of the bread.
Tip: always mix the water and other ingredients with the flour first. Then knead the dough for about 10 minutes. At last add the oil ingredients. The reason is that the oil will shorten the protein connections.
The upper two pictures show the "window". Please note that the window is not the holes on the picture but the transparent flour dough part. It is called window because the light can come through. When the dough is further stretched, the holes will appear. If you see the edges of the holes are clear, and smooth, that is the exact point that your dough is ready. No kneading necessary at this point.
Leave the dough in a warm place cover with anything to prevent the surface dry out. Usually it takes 1 hour for the dough to double its size.
Tip: If you are using milk or cream to mix with flour instead water, it may take longer to double. Cold water will also slow the process.
One hour later. From the picture, we can see that the dough has expended. A finger hole can test whether the fermenting process has finished. If the finger hole stays the same, after finger leave the dough, then it is ready to continue the next step.
Tip: If the air is leaking from the hole, it means the dough has been over fermented. On the other hand, if the finger hole is filled up quick by expansion of the surrounding dough, it is under fermented.
The upper three pictures show the inside structure of a piece of fermented dough. The structure will also become the finished product structure.
Now dough is ready to divided into pieces. Roll each piece into round shape, and leave it for 10-15 minutes. Then roll the dough into the final shape. At this moment, the dough can be rolled into any shape you like. I was trying to make a little croissant bread. Leave the bread dough again for 45 minutes for it to grow bigger. Then gently brush the beaten egg on the surface. Bake 25-30 minutes at 325F.
Once they are cooled, it is ready to serve.
Open the bread. We can many thread connections which bring up the texture and flavor of the bread.
Snow-flake-like-bread, would you like a piece.
1 and 1/2 cup of flour
4 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp yeast
1/4 cup whipping cream
some milk, depends on the dough consistency