Hi, I've decided to make bread at home, planning to experiment with Italian and French artesian style breads. We eat organic, and I'm done with paying $4 and up per loaf. Also giving up on the bread machine because 1. loaves are too small 2. annoying spinny thing at the bottom of the machine that you have to pry out of the loaf and 3. result is not so appealing.
I started with Ruhlman's "Ratio" bread recipe. He gave some kneading times, and said to extend, so that you could pull the dough into a windowpane. I found that to get to the "windowpane" stretchiness I was more than doubling his kneading time. (using a kitchen aid stand mixer) Tried the dutch oven technique adding olives and walnuts, it came out pretty well. Then I thought I'd do the basic recipe baked on a pizza stone, to get a better feel about how to modify. The bread didn't rise too much, and was very dense. However, nice crust and still good to eat. I'm in FL, so my kitchen is always 78 degrees this time of year and very humid, which may affect the flour, and the dough sitting on the counter. Also not sure if I overworked the dough. He doesn't give specific times for the dough rising, any advice? Anyone else tried the basic Ratio recipe with different results?
Any other basic recipes to try? (from Epicurious or CI in particular?)