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Hi kireol -

Welcome to the good smelling world of fresh bread!

looking at your recipe,

definitely want to use bread flour; it's called bread flour because of the higher gluten - gluten is what holds the co2 bubbles produced by the yeast.

the flour to water ratio is not seriously out of whack - in a (sifted) bread flour you should get something on the order of 125-130 grams of flour per cup.

so four cups or 490 grams with 1.5 cups water (365 grams) is around 75% water to flour.

note: many serious bread bakers use weight (ounces or grams), not volume (cups) because the results are more consistent

one teaspoon of yeast would work. not sure if an "overactive" yeast amount would cause the problems you describe, but it is possible - yeast "eats" the sugars in the dough and produces carbon dioxide. too much yeast may eat itself out of house and home too fast.

if you are using "instant" yeast it can be mixed in directly - the "standard" yeast is often 'bloomed' in water until it foams (the 'bloom')

the mix & rest period is good - that gives the dough time to absorb all the moisture.

I would suggest checking the final kneading part - could be a bit on the short side. by minutes is a little tricky - the dough should be elastic - if you pull it out of the mixer and work with it a bit by hand you'll very notice the elastic bit - it stretches an stretches. too short a kneading and the gluten does not fully develop. I use a stand mixer with dough hook, but I always do the last bit by hand just to ensure the dough has developed.

for the rise, you've probably seen directions like "until doubled in bulk" - yeast activity is temperature sensitive - my kitchen is colder now (it's in the teens outside) than in the summer, so it takes longer to rise.

also, the double layered baking sheets are intended to keep cookies from burning. bread actually benefits from a "hot bottom" - makes the trapped gases expand quickly and also sets the bread proteins / structure so the bubbles do not so readily collapse. the cool bake sheet is probably detrimental to that effort. a pizza stone works nicely - terra cotta tiles are often used in the home oven to help with the hot bottom issue (all preheated, as you currently practice)

I like to preheat to 500'F, then when the bread goes in, turn the temp to the bake point. that "extra" preheat also provides a hot bottom (I have a pizza stone, and tiles, I use whichever is appropriate to the loaf form)

with regard to temps, for example, 450'F for a baguette is not out of line, but as ovens do vary in accuracy, try 425'F - a too high temp could be finishing the outside before the heat has time to fully penetrate through the loaf (ie outside done, inside not so done....)

on the tough crust thing - your friend here is steam in the oven. difficult to achieve in a home situation. I use a cast iron (must be cast iron - holds the heat...) pan in the bottom of the oven, preheated, toss in 3-5 ice cubes to sizzle, dance and steam as the bread goes in and again about 5 minutes later. the steam sets the crust before it has a chance to dry out and get thick.
 
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