Help please! - problems with learning to bake bread
I'm having real problems in my first attempts to bake homemade bread using a number of recipes including 'your first white bread' recipe from this site.
Nearly every time I follow a recipe through to completion my bread seems to be very 'beery' in the middle while the crust is rock hard!
1. Mix the recipe ingredients (bread flour, salt, yeast (packet) and water)
2. Kneed for around 10 minutes.
3. Leave to prove (usually around 90-120 mins)
4. 'Punch' ( I think this may be where I'm confused) the air out.
5. Leave to re-prove (usually around 45mins)
6. Put in the oven (250 deg C) for around 45mins.
My problems (from above)
4. How long such I punch it for?, should i kneed it again?, should I be more gentle and merely shape it?, what exactly is a punch?
6. It seems that after 20 mins or so the bread is done or at least the crust is golden brown, If I leave for 45 mins the crust is almost black and burnt. Fan oven problem?
I really would love to create my first successful loaf of bread and it's something I'm really looking forward to doing but at the moment I'm just feeding the birds!
Any help would be greatly appreciated