I'm running into a problem with my sandwich loaves. They aren't rising very high.
For example, last night I made some rye bread, and although the taste is great, they are a bit flat. The recipe I used is a combination of several I found on the web. It goes something like this:
2 pkg active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 cup molasses
2 cups rye flour (Bob's Redmill Dark Rye Flour)
4+ cups bread flour (King Arthur)
1 T salt
1/4 c cocoa powder
1/ c veggie oil
2 T caraway seeds (plus a bit just 'cause)
I mixed up the rye flour with 2 cups of bread flour, took a cup of that out, then added the salt and cocoa. (This was so I would have a cup of flour with no salt to add to the yeast first--buffering it but don't know if that's necessary)
I let the yeast activate in 1/2 c of the warm water and the molasses until it got a nice layer of foam on top--not anywhere near double in volume. I added the rest of the warm water then the oil then added the cup of non-salt flour and mixed with the KAM.
I gradually added the rest of the flour/cocoa/salt mixture then added in the remaining 2 cups of white flour.
I kneaded for about 15 minutes as it was a bit stiff. It felt normal when I finished kneading.
Let it rest for 1.5 hours.
Punched it down a bit (should I be doing that?) and made the batards like the video on here shows. Let the batards rest for 10 minutes then formed loaves like the video. (Sorry, can't find link...it's the one with the man making batards and sandwich loaves with his little daughter "helping"...very helpful video!)
Let the loaves rise in the loaf pans for 45 minutes then slashed the top and put into a 350 oven for 45 minutes (until around 200 degrees internal loaf temp)
As I said, the loaves did rise, but not much. The taste is great, but the loaves aren't as high as I would like.
What am I doing wrong? I have investigated the "stretch and fold" technique, but I really like the feel of dough under my hands so am a bit reluctant to give up the kneading.
As it's winter, my kitchen temp is running around 70 degrees. Is that the problem? Even though an indentation of my fingers stays in the dough, is it not risen enough? What happens if it's "over risen"? Should the loaves rise longer in the pan? Not so long?
I really want a higher loaf as the lower loaves I'm coming out with are a bit dense. I can imagine what the density would be if they were as tall as they should be and it would be absolutely perfect.
Any help/hints/suggestions/anything would be very much appreciated.