Hello, I am new to the whole baking thing. I bought a zojirushi home bakery supreme 2 pound breadmaker. I have tried 2 times now to make a basic white bread and failed miserably at both attempts, as you can see.
1 1/3 cup warm water
4 1/4 cups Hudson Creme bread flour
4 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp Dry milk
2 tsp salt
2 1/2 Tbsp butter
Placed water in bread pan, then sprinkled the flour to cover the water. Then added each ingredient to each of the corners of the pan. Made indentation in middle of flour with spoon and placed 2 tsp of Active dry yeast (expirey date 12/15) and placed in the middle. I set the bread maker to it's default settings which is 'BASIC' with medium crust. Closed the lid and pressed 'start'. The total default cook time is 3hrs 45min. The picture above is the result. I then attempted another loaf today, same ingredients except I used rapid rise yeast (exp 9/15) and used the QUICK setting. All I got was a big clump of brown cooked very dense bread. Much much worse than what this photo shows. It looked like a bunch of rocks glued together. I have read climate has something to do with the process so I will give details as to what temp is outside and humidity. 77 degrees 31% humidity. Don't know if you need all that info but the more I provide the better chance I can get an accurate fix to my problem. What am I doing wrong?
Any assistance is greatly appreciated. Thank You.