I've been attempting various bread baking endeavors for about two months now, and I've come across a problem that's really been the absolute thorn in my side of baking. No matter what I do, the bread always comes out dense and heavy. I've tried kneading the dough less, kneading it more, adding less/more water/flour, less rising time, more rising time, hotter oven, cooler oven. Instant yeast, active yeast, fresh yeast. All the same results; dense, heavy bread. I'm really at my wits' end with this. Today I attempted a simple french bread using commercial instant yeast (a recipie my baker-fiend aunt highly recommended), and while the bread tastes great - just like french bread - it's as dense as molasses bread. The crusts are great - golden brown and crunchy, not too thick, not too thin. The taste is always good - the breads always taste like they should, but the quality of the meat of the bread is just horribly heavy and dense. Any suggestions from the pro's on what I can possibly try to get my french breads to be lighter? Thanks so much!