Everything is too crusty!
Having just pulled yet another crusty loaf out of the oven, I'm wondering what I might be doing wrong. You see, it seems that whatever I bake, be it cake, bread, muffins... and whichever recipe I follow, I always get a crust that is a little thicker than I would care for. This is not only the exposed part of the bread (or muffin etc), but also the part that is inside any pan I might use.
The other possibly related symptoms are that the things I bake are never as light as I would like, and drier than I would like too. They are not complete disasters, quite edible (according to others too) but I'm not proud of them at all.
I'm using a fan assisted electric oven, I do everything by hand, I live in Northern Ireland where it is not especially humid or dry, hot or cold. I use instant yeast (though in other news I have had a starter growing in my kitchen for 10 days now and I can't wait to try it!) or brand new bicarb if I'm making soda bread, strong organic flours... I don't have a thermometer for my oven (apart from the built in dial), though I suspect I should probably invest in one as soon as possible. I don't use steam, though I'm also thinking I should probably try this next time.
Mainly I was suspicious that it really is EVERYTHING I make that has the same thick crust issue, which either points the finger at the common factor of the oven, or me! What do you think?
Thank you so much in advance...