Katherine – I started making 5 loaves and noticed this problem. I hadn’t noticed it with the 4 loaf recipe. I follow the steps in the new instructions. I use the Classic recipe.
The clumps seem to be just the flour and water, so something left from the autolyse period. I’ve been mixing for up to about 20 minutes but don’t ever seem to get the full donut effect you’ve mentioned.
not sure if of what i need to do to fix this probelm.