Help! Dense bread!
I'm so glad to find this place with great resources. This week I've made my first loaf following recipe from a Hovis yeast package. It smells and taste great, but it was very dense. After some googling and watching youtube and Good Eats (Dr. Strangelove) episodes, I knew my method was wrong. Didn't know about folding, and the day was too cold didn't have proper rise before bake.
Then I tried the Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal bread from this site today, here is my problem (link to my bread photo and comment). The first 2 rises were fine, but after shaping the rise in pan is where it failed.
Both loafs were not doorstops, even the next day, couldn't have killed a duck (like in the film About a Boy) but it's dense. It's like a very cakey bread!
Also, I don't have a kitchenaid nor any mixers, I've been doing this by hand. Lots of recipes recommend only kneading for 5-10 mins and most of them assume one has a mixer but I could not pass the stretch window test to get the elasticity where needed to be without kneading at least for 20-30 mins. I do the heal-push-turn kneading method. My pizza dough came out perfect, but not my breads. Is it my method or the recipe that i've gone wrong?
Did I overknead? Underknead?
What else could have cause the dense bread?
How can i improve this next time?
I haven't a thermometre, I've heard of the tapping method, it wasn't full hollow but was afraid to overcook the bread. In this case, is this better to overcook than to undercook?
Advise much appreciated!