Very new to bread baking, I'm screwing up somewhere.
I'm trying to figure out where I am completely failing with making this Italian bread so I can fix this. I figured I would try and start with this before I moved on to my sourdough loaves (I am using the sourdough on some other things for now, the man at home has fallen in love with sourdough pizza for example).
So first off I'll list my equipment so there isn't any questions about it later:
Mixer: Bosch Universal Plus
Baker: Romertopf Model 111 (Soaked bottom and lid for about 30 minutes)
Scoring: Kyrocera Ceramic knives, non serrated.
Recipe: The Italian bread recipe here.
Preferment: 14 - 16 hours.
Proofing Basket: Yes
(Ingredients list for those wondering:
Flour: Bread flour, Stone-Buhr
Yeast: SAF Instant
Malt: Natural sugar (Turbinado), I don't have any malt around and tried to send the man at home out to find some and was unsuccessful. I cannot go out myself as I'm on a walker from being out of surgery)
I follow the recipe, when I mix, the dough is still very sticky, even at 5 cups of flour. I don't want to add much more for fear of ruining it anymore, also very very slack. I am mixing for the amount of time recommended.
I rise it for the recommended time, punch down and rise again. I use some flour when go to shape/relax and do final shape (in proofing basket).
The first attempt, I scored 4 times diagonal, second time one large down the middle, 1 smaller on left side, 1 smaller on right side.
The loaf I'm guessing is still too wet? It just doesn't want to keep the scoring. Bubbled formed in the scoring in the second attempt.
And now for the results (I do not have pictures except for http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_ASi-Sb2K8Ro/S6Rs48xtY6I/AAAAAAAAAII/-oESX5pAhJM/s1600-h/image-upload-49-779924.jpg which shows when I peaked at the first loaf about 15/20 minutes in, obviously not fully cooked yet).
First attempt: 500F, 40+ minutes
The crust is flaky but overcooked but also very very tasty (I want the flaky, but not the overcooked!), where the scoring is, the dough is horribly undercooked (gooey). The rest of the crumb is only slightly undercooked. It sprung in the oven a bit, but would like more spring. Might not be possible due to me trying to cook it in the clay baker and I can understand that.
I am supplying too much water? Is the dough too wet?
Second attempt: 425F, 40+ minutes. No steam escaped from the oven, so I'm thinking I need to stay with the higher temp.
Oven spring didn't happen, but same as first. Gooey in the scoring, crumb is slightly undercooked, but crust extra dry. (This was me experimenting, I see that I failed horribly.)
I will be of course, attempting again. I can take detailed pictures of the entire process, mixing and all if needed.