Strange that I should revisit this thread tonight. I baked bread today, Rye and another attempt at Sourdough. I reread the thread "The yeast of my problems" Post #5 by Dave Hutchins (To gove proper credit). His post is below:
Yeast breads are very critical of temperature so where you proofed you bread was on the cool side this might be your problem..Second It might have been the humidity if it was on the low side and you used the same amount of liquid as the day before the dough would not proof as well as it was to dry. When you are making your dough when you think it is ready to come off the mixer feel it, if it is firm to the touch you do not have the correct amount of water. also have a quick read thermometer your dough should be in the range of just past room temp. If you have a dish washer in you abode
run one cycle till the machine is very warm and the humidity is close to 100% shut off the machine and let your dough proof in there. It will raise much better in a humid environment. Tempature and humidioty play a big part in succesful bread baking
Just my 2 cents
Dishwasher, I thought. Well I can at least try it. I emptied the dishwasher and ran it thorugh a 10 minute quick rinse. The bread rose faster and since the outside was moist, I got a much better oven spring.
To answer how the water in the pan pn the bottom of the oven affect the crust. Maybe a bit softer, not a lot.
Why did I say another attempt at sourdough? My labradors stole the loaves again in the last rise. That's two weeks, no sourdough.
Shame, It is rising nicely, and I feel that it will be geat, if I can get it past them.