Doughy Bread by a Greenhorn at High Altitude
I am new to the forum, and the loaf I will write about was my first ever. It is a simple, conventional kind of recipe, for Italian bread from the Brown-Eyed Baker blog.
I live at 7,100 ft.
I did about 75% of the dry active yeast called for in the recipe.
I let the bread do 10 minutes of its first rise in the room, at about 70 degrees F. I then put it in the refrigerator overnight. I think that after it had been rising for about 1-1/2 hrs. total, I punched it, and then let it continue in the fridge.
About 13 hrs. later I took it out, punched it down, and let it rise on the counter for 15 minutes at about 70 degrees F. Then, I put it in front of the electric gas stove fireplace (probably 74? degrees F), for another 15 minutes.
I baked it on an inverted cookie sheet lined with parchment paper at 400 degrees F for 45 minutes total. I opened the oven and loosely shaped foil over the loaf after the first 5 minutes of baking because the top had burned.
I had put a cookie sheet on the bottom rack, preheated it, then filled it with 10 oz. water 3 minutes before I put the dough in.
The oven does not have much height; only a few inches from the top of the loaf to the top of the oven when the loaf had finished baking.
The finished bread had a nice crust: thin, crispy, cracked into 3 cm.x 3cm. little cracks when you bit into it kind of deal.
The crumb was a dense structure, very small holes, which I enjoyed just fine, but the center of the loaf was DOUGHY, wet, like smashed up banana bread. What is this the result of? What should I try changing first?
Thank you so much in advance.
A note about the image: The bread is not blue, or green, but those colored areas are where the bread is moist and dense.
And, yes, that is a fruit fly that managed to make it onto my loaf and for this shot, at that!