Wrong Texture, No Holes!
Use to bake bread every weekend until my company moved me to San Francisco, (a town were the bread is as good as it gets!). Retired and moved back to Northern Minnesota and started baking again after 27 years. Have been trying to make pugliese and ciabatta with little success. Have tried several variations of recipes with the same result. Have used bread flour, all purpose, biga starters, etc. I get a fine grained soft interior loaf that tastes okay but not the chewy bread with large holes that I am going for. I get plenty of rise, get a nice crunchy crust but the interior is wrong. Since it is Winter here I tend to put my dough in front of the fireplace on a bench to rise, (about 78 degrees). The humity is low in the house but keep my first rise covered with plastic wrap, second rise under a damp towel. Have tried no punch down handling the dough with care to keep as much of the rise as possible... still no success. The birds love me as they have been eating more of my creations than I have!!! What am I doing wrong???