Originally Posted by billylid
Thank you for your answer joesfolk! I will certainly check that the yeast is alive and kicking before trying my next batch of rolls.
I also read that you can over knead and over prove the bread? Can someone please help me with what the signs are that i should be looking for in case that is what i doing wrong as well? Thanks!
Overkneading? Never for whole grain flours. But you can overknead white bread. Ten minutes of aggressive kneading should be enough.
Overproofing? Not on the first rise, but once you have shaped your loar, you CAN let it go too long. Try to put it in the oven when it's just short of doubled in bulk. Otherwise, it can collapse on itself, and almost surely will have unsightly air pockets inside.
Also be careful of underbaking. Even after more than 60 years of baking breads, I still err on the side of an extra 5 minutes in the oven. When I'm dooing free-form baking (not in a sided pan) I still turn the loaf over and tap the bottom to make sure it has a hollow sound.
And I can't emphasize enough that you should just barrel on, and practice. The more bread you bake, the better you will get at it, and the more self-assured.