I made a loaf of bread yesterday for the first time. I did not have Instant Yeast so I used Active Dry. I did disolve it first in warm water, ( I did not use any sugar, as I was certain that it was fresh, as I had just purchased it). I used a Kitchen Aid Mixer with a dough hook, I let it knead for the required 10 minutes. Also my kitchen was a little cool, so I turned on a my Gas oven and warmed it to 170*.
I put the bowl in the oven, maybe a bit too soon. It did rise a bit, but the top was a littled crusty. I punched it down and put it in the now turned off, but still warm oven and let it rise again. It did rise a bit more this time. I then shaped it and put it in my loaf pan and let in rise another hour. It did rise but did not double. I baked it until golden, it rose to about a four/five inch loaf. I let it rest for a while and then tasted it. It was OK, edible at least. :)
The crumb was quite dense, which I like, the crust was a little crunchy, though I would have liked it to be more so. What I am aiming for is more European Style Bread. I know I need to practice a lot, and that is OK, as I am a very patient lady............plus I get to eat the test results. :)
My question is, do you think it was the yeast or the cool kitchen? Or maybe I did not need to knead it for the full 10 minutes using the Kitchen Aid?