Poor rising and cracked bread
Hi. I just pulled two Honey Wheat loaves out of the oven (and I haven't tried them, although they smell good) and while they are done, and the tops are a lovely golden brown, each loaf cracked on the side. I've only tried bread a few times, and each time with a different recipe. I made some dinner rolls last weekend that were divine, and I thought I'd try some Wheat bread (my second attempt, although a new recipe - the first wasn't good at all).
The recipe I used was this one: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Honey-Wheat-Bread-II/Detail.aspx?prop31=4 (I love allrecipes!). I did everything exactly like the recipe said, with the following exceptions: I used 1/2 of honey instead of 1/3, and I used 1 cup or wheat flour and about 3 cups of all-purpose in the last step (I couldn't add the other cup in).
I spent probably about 10 minutes kneading the bread, let it rise for about an hour (it doubled in size nicely), and I split it into two loaves. I put it in a warm over to rise a second time (I cut the oven off when I put them in, just wanted a tiny bit of heat since it's kind of cold in my house tonight). After 4 hours, my loaves were both about 1/2 inch BELOW the pan edge. The recipe says to let it rise until it's OVER the edge of the pan, and my questions are these:
- How long should this normally take?
- Why didn't mine rise as much as it was supposed to after 4 hours?
- Did it dry out (if that's the cracking?) because I let it rise for so long?
I used a regular package of active dry yeast, and my wheat flour is relatively new.