I put out a loaf of bread to rise last night and just plain forgot about it. The final rise time should have been about 40 minutes. It sat for at least double that time, if not longer. When I baked it you could see that it had risen much more than usual. When I had a slice this morning I was surprised to find that the taste was still very good. The texture was a little more airy or lighter than it usually is but did not resemble Swiss cheese in any way. The bread is a dense artisan-style couronne but ended up a little more American-textured in style. If you hadn't had it before, you probably wouldn't have known there was a difference.
So my long-winded question is this: How is it that bread that had over-proofed for so long still came out pretty well? Is it just that this dough is very forgiving? I've been taken apart for over-proofed bread in competition before and have developed a dread fear of over-proofing now. Should I just get over it and not worry so much?