Dense brick - no holes


Hi everyone, I have had a lovely starter working very actively for some months now. When I made my first loaf I realised that I had forgotten to let it rise before proofing it. The next time I followed a recipe from the "bourke Street bakery" book and followed it to a tee. But the loaf did not rise enough and again I ended up with a dense brick, that had lovely flavour but it was impossible to eat. It had not risen at all and was as hard as a rock. The third time I used a different recipe from the same book,  and baked a yeasted bread thinking maybe my starte is not strong enough. But I still had the same result. I am at a loss as to what to do.

For the final proof I sit my dough on the pizza stone in the sink (on a cake rack), and put some hot water in the bottom, I am careful not to put too much water in it. I then cover the sink with a sheet to produce the humidity.How important is this stage to the rising of the loaf? And does anyone have any idea what I could be doing wrong? I dont mix by Hand as I have some arthritis and find it hard, so I mix in my KitchenAid bench top mixer.


Thank you in advance

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pansyflower 2011 February 1


  I also have Bourke Street Bakery it is a bit misleading about proving time  he says bulk prove for an hour then take it out to fold into aletter that also helps to strengthen the gluten but to prove it has to double in bulk it could not do that in one hour also after shaping Ileave it out for an hour or so the place in fridge when taken out Ilet it come to room tempand also nearly double in bulk my bread has great oven spring with good textureand beautiful flavour

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