Very new to bread baking and very, very new to challah. My first try. I made the sweet vanilla challah from this site except that I used 1/2 cup honey. The flavor and color were wonderful but the breads were kind of dense and heavy in the center (but not the bottom) and they were not wet from underbaking, (internal temp 204F) . Not at all like the fluffy-but-having-body challah I eat here in NYC. Why would a challah/or any bread be dense?
Too much liq? I was not sure exactly how the dough is supposed to feel. I went for very soft, tacky, but kneadable. After the first rise there was so much gluten and no stickiness at all.
Too much oil?
Old yeast? The dough did rise but took almost 5 hours to double. And then again maybe 2-1/2 hours the next time. I thought that maybe the kitchen was too cool? If the dough actually dose rise wouldn't the texture be OK?
Why does the texture of a loaf become dense anyway?