Trouble with A Loaf For Learning from Laurel's Kitchen
I love this book, and I love this recipe. The resulting bread is delicious. However, I've made it four times, and every time it has come out about half the height of what it should be. I follow the recipe exactly, using fresh ingredients and paying close attention to the quality of the dough. Everything seems to go fine until the proofing stage, where the dough rises, but not as high as it should.
When I poke the dough with my finger, the resulting dent doesn't fill in; the book says this indicates that the dough may have proofed too long, reducing its capacity to rise in the oven. But on my last attempt, it only proofed for 30 minutes in a microwave made warm and humid by boiling water. I just don't see how it could have proofed too long.
I'm wondering if I'm not adding enough water initially. I'm using the Arrowhead Mills stone-ground whole wheat flour, and I know course flours take up water more slowly. Perhaps I'm being too cautious, and the dough is too firm? What are some other symptoms of firm dough? As I've said, all seems to go well up until the proofing stage. People have recommended adding vital wheat gluten, but it seems like the recipe should work as it's written.