3 1/2 C. bread flour
! 1/4 C warm water (105 F)
1 3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp instant yeast
I combine, sugar, water and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add 2 c. flour and mix for 3 min. Cover and let stand 10 min. Add enough flour so that the dough combines and cleans the side of the bowl. Add the salt and knead on medium for about 5 min. Dough is now slapping the side of the bowl. Turn out on a counter lightly dusted with flour. Cover and rest 10 min. Knead by hand until dough is silky smooth and developes small blisters. Lightly oil a bowl and put dough into bowl turning over to coat. Cover and rise until double. When doudled the dough now has many blisters the size of walnuts. Punch down, cover and let rest 20 min. Using a sharp knife cut dough in half. Pull edges of dough down and around to the bottom. Cover and rest 10 min. Gently shape into oblongs. Cover and rest. Using hands begin to roll out into longer and longer loaves. Place loaves in a French bread pan cover until doubled. Meanwhile preheat oven to 425 F. Put heavy fry pan on bottom of oven. When loaves are doubled slash with a sharp razor. Pour one cup of boiling water into fry pan. Bake at 425 F for 10 min. reduce heat to 375 and bake for about 20-25 min more or until a golden brown.
Internal temp of loaves is now 205 F. Remove to a wire rack and cool for I hr until eating.
No matter what I do I end up with loaves that are too heavy and while they look right and taste good they are no at all the loaves that I remember from New Orleans with a thin brittle crust and a soft interior filled with large holes. What in the world am I doing wrong? Please help.