First Loaf, first of many I hope
Hi all, I baked my first loaf last night and while am I quite proud that after eating it, I have yet to go to the hospital, I am a bit worried about the taste (or lack there of) and its density.
I used the following recipe:
1 - cup flour (non-bleached, non-bromated)
1 - cup water
1 - Tbsp. honey
1/4 - tsp. active dry yeast
I proofed the yeast in the honey water and added it to the flour, a quick mix and I let it sit in a metal contaner covered in plastic wrap for about 24 hours.
Rest of the loaf:
1.25 - cups water
1 - tsp. active dry yeast
4 - cups flour(non-bleached, non-bromated)
1 - tsp. salt
I proofed the yeast in the water (with a pinch of sugar), and combined everything in a mixer and let it run for about 5 mins.
I put the dough in bowl and let it rise for about 60 mins, punched it down, knead for 5 mins, and let it rise again for 60 mins. Punched it down, and let rise for another 45 mins. Punched it down, shaped the best i could and placed it in my oven. The oven had a pizza stone in it that had been warming in there for about 45 mins at 450. I also had a pan in there with water, which i kept pretty full by adding water to it every so often. Once the dough was on the stone, I sprayed the oven every min or so with water to keep it as moist as I could for the first 5 mins. I let it bake for 45 mins at 450 and it turned the most perfect color of golden-brown I have ever seen (yes, I am gushing it a bit, but it was my first loaf) :-)
After letting it cool on a wire rack over night, I cut a slice and was supided to see what I saw: Very dense at the bottom and getting less dense as you move toward the top. Even at the top, it was too dense, and it lacked all manner of flavor. The crust was just want i was looking for, crunchy-chewy but not so much that my teeth would fall out.
Can someone tell me what I did wrong? The density and lack of flavor was the only dissapointing thing about the whole thing, I enjoyed my time spent doing it and would love to get it right. Please send in any suggestions you have, I am eager to listen and correct my mistakes.