First, a quick intro, as I'm new to the forums. I've been meaning to get seriously into bread baking for decades. It was Jacob's podcasts and videos that finally gave me the push I needed. I've always loved bread. My wife and I will go to a restaurant, and they'll bring a nice chunk of freshly baked rustic bread after we place our order. I'll start ripping through it, and invariably my wife will tell me I shouldn't eat any more bread, because I won't have any room for the entre. She's got a point. The bread is free. The entre cost twenty bucks. But the truth is that I usually enjoy the bread far more than the main course. I should have just given them five bucks and asked for a hunk of bread.
I've baked a few loaves, and had pretty miserable success so far. My loaves are always short. I tried an italian bread recipe from thefreshloaf.com, and after five attempts, I've given up on that for now. I've taken a few stabs at your basic white bread and I'm having better luck, but I'm wondering if my loaves should be taller than they are. If so, where am I failing? I'm just making single loaves and I follow the instructions to the letter. I'm not completely sure I'm letting it rise enough. I'm proofing it for 90 minutes in a 77 degree box I made. I kinda thought I'd be getting some oven spring, but I'm seeing none at all. The height when it's done proofing is the height when it's done baking. I've included some photos below. They may tell the story. I did *not* paint it with egg yolks, as I thought that was purely for crust effect. Might that have an effect on the rise? Regardless, it was delicious.
Thanks for any help.