That looks pretty good from the photo's. When you say that it's spongy, do you mean that it's dense or that it's wet? This is just a REALLY basic recipe to get you started, now you can build on it. You can mess around with hydration levels, proofing times and temperatures, extra ingredients, the list goes on. I tend to make my longer prove as the second one, so I'd give it an hour first and then a generous hour after shaping. That's just my experience though, and I'm sure others would swear by their own particular methods.
To let you know about hydration levels (I wasn't sure if you understood them from your above post):
The water content of a dough vs the flour content (by weight) is the hydration level. So 250g flour and 250g water would be 100% hydration, 250g flour and 125g water would be 50% hydration and so on. A lot of breads are in the 50 - 60% hydration level. I myself haven't had any real success working above 80%. At this wet consistency you cannot knead the bread, you have to allow the glutens to develop naturally and the fold the bread on itself until it comes together. The downside is that you usually need to use flour to stop your stodge from sticking to things, thus lowering the level of hydration. A wet dough will be fragile with lots of large holes in the crumb, as opposed to a robust, drier dough which will be much more uniform.
The main thing to remember with bread is that, although recipes are specific, they are not chemistry. If you have an extra 5g of flour in a 500g loaf, it will not stop it becoming bread. You actually have a lot of leeway if you remember that:
1) salt kills yeast, so don't oversalt or add the salt directly to the yeast
2) yeast needs time to work its magic - it goes like this: first stage - just starting, the yeast is yawning and stretching, ready for a day at work. Second stage - the yeast gets up, gets its breakfast together (spreading through the dough) and sits down to eat. Third stage (blue smartie and coke stage) - the yeast goes mental at how much food it has and balloons. Fourth stage - the yeast is full, there's only dregs left on the table. It lays down, nibbling at a few morsels. You want to bake just before the fourth stage, when the yeast is just getting to the expanding-pants stage! (Hope my little anecdote is amusing and useful!).
If you remember those two rules then you should be fairly set for developing your own bread in the way you like by experimenting.