I need desperate help/education
I am at wits end.
I am in Australia and have been baking bread successfully for some time. However, I have always used the Laucke Crusty White bread mix, which I assume has some dough improver in it, and as such have always felt like a bit of a charlatan. I made the decision to start baking with just bread flour but have hit a serious problem.
When I make bread with bread flour, my bread turns out dense, somewhat rubbery, and with little oven spring. The crumb and crust resemble more a bread made from AP or cake flour.
I am currently using some premium bakers flour, milled locally, that has a protein content of 11.5%. I have also tried Lighthouse bread flour, and Wallaby bakers flour. These flours all form a stiffer dough than the Laucke for the same hydration, feel less extensible, and have little oven spring and a dense rubbery crumb.
As an example, I made Hokkaido milk loaf using the Laucke bread mix and it turned out perfect - exactly like the pictures. I made the same loaf with the bread flour and it turned out more like a cake, with a rubbery crumb.
What is going on??? What flours are people baking with in Australia? Pretty much, to get results that mirror breads made on here, on YouTube, etc, I have to use Laucke bread mix. I feel like I have failed as a baker as I can’t get good results from bakers/bread flour. Can anyone please educate me on Australian bread flours, or what is going on, or going wrong, and how I can get good results using bread flour?