The best solution here would have been N- development, so I would try to reshoot if possible. If you haven't worked out film speeds and development times for N- development for your preferred film (sometimes it helps to increase exposure with shorter development times to support the shadows), it would pay to run some tests first or bracket and make duplicate exposures, so that you can adjust development time after viewing the negs.
I haven't done much flashing at the print stage, but that is a technique that Les uses, so look at his book to see what he says.
Alternately there is contrast masking, if you've got the registration equipment.
If I understand your situation, you have a negative which is too high in contrast to print properly. If flashing doesn't work for you, then you may be able make an unsharp mask (unsharp positive of your camera negative) that would then be printed in a sandwhich with your camera negative to compress the contrast range of your camera negative. This would have the added effect of granting additional apparent sharpness within the print.
If you don't want to go to the bother of doing that, then you may want to return and reshoot the scene with your 4X5 and probably look to doing a pre-exposure of the film through a diffusion plate at a Zone III value (to support the shadow details) then follow that with a second exposure (without the diffusion panel) on the same sheet of film as the normal scene brightness would indicate.
The effects of this can be readily determined, for yourself, by assigning a value of one to a zone one placement, a value of two to a zone two placement, and a value of four to a zone three placement. Since additional stops of exposure are doublings of the previous value the zone three preexposure through the diffusion panel will have virtually no effect of added exposure at the higher zones.
This may still require a minus development (if the high values would be exposed too high). This would of course be determined by the metered values at the time of the exposure.
The effects of pre-exposure of the film can be observed in my image "Doorways" which is in the critique gallery. The scene brightness range of this image was on the order of 13 stops. Yet, the negative prints very nicely on grade two paper.
Hope that this helps. Good luck.
There are several ways to do this on the negative:
Preflashing - at zone II or so.
N- development, but this tends to compress midtones a bit much for my taste.
Compensating developer - something like Maxim Muir's.
Split developing - with split D23, Ilford FP4+ can hold details over a 16 stop range!
Aggie, could you just burn-in the doorway opening while making a print? (Cut a rectangular window mask.)
I doubt very much that Bruce Barnbaum will teach the unsharp mask techniques. He has a long time feud with the the guy that teaches that. Shit, my mind is a blurr. He lives in Michigan. l just don't remember his name. Someone will help me here. Bruce is a pretty explosive and dominate personality type and if were me I might not even mention it. I would take the neg and try and get him to print it for you.
The guy that teaches masking is Howard Bond, and his technique is very usefull. As to Barbaum, he is a wonderful printer but IMO opinion he does a lot of things by the seat of the pants and experience. Let us know how the workshop goes.
For your neg, just waint until they come up with the enlarging head for azo.... http://apug.org/forum/html/emoticons/tongue.gif
I have not met Mr. Burnbaum. But your depiction of his personality leads me to an understanding of how a conflict could arise between him and Mr. Bond. Since Mr. Bond, whom I have met, has some of the same personality traits. Does every well known photographer at some point in his or her evolutionary cycle turn into an a**h***? I wonder....