Topic: Air pocket under crust, flat loaf.
Please could you point me in the right direction?
I have been making bread, according to the packet recipe, using Allinson's Very Strong white bread flour and active dried yeast (two proovings). I make sure that the bowl and flour are warm and use an electric hand mixer with dough hooks. The yeast forms a beautiful, tall head of froth and the dough mix is always lovely - soft and elastic. The dough easily doubles in size during its' two 1 1/2 hr provings in a warm (approx. 60 to 90 degree), gently cooling oven. (Although it does seem to rise slightly less the second time, after 5 mins of knocking-back.) I bake it for 15 mins at 220 degrees in a fan oven, then lower to 190 degrees for 25 mins. The dough is baked in the proving oven, I just turn up the temp for the final cooking.
My question(s): I usually have a BIG pocket of air all the way under the top crust. The loaf underneath is a good texture, although just a little on the heavy/close/yeasty side, but has a flat profile underneath the deceptively mounded crust!
Please, how can I a) get rid of that giant air bubble and b) get the loaf to rise more in the tin before/during baking, forming a lighter texture?
Do you think that the dough might be too wet? Should I slit the top (don't currently)? Am I proving for the wrong amount of time? Would it help to bake in a seperate oven which has been brought up to baking temperature?
Trying hard to get this right as I love to have fresh bread available. Would like to get the combination of techniques just right. Many thanks in advance, I would really appreciate your comments and tips.