First of all I gotta say this site is amazing. You guys are really quality people to be sharing your expertise and helping so many people like this! I can't tell you how much I (and I can tell others) appreciate it!
Okay, back to the point. The recipe I was making was actually for Focaccia bread, but I thought it would be a nice way to "practice" making dough; proofing yeast, using the mixer, resting, kneading, etc. However, looking over the recipe I'm wondering if the main problem was that my yeast never really activated. The recipe was:
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup water
However, their direction were to just throw everything together into the bowl without proofing the yeast. I made sure I added hotter water than normal when just proofing, as I read somewhere to do that when not proofing. Once mixed and rested, the dough didn't rise that much either. I didn't use much bench flour either - it just wasn't necessary.
Today I decided to try again, and I proofed the yeast with the water before mixing everything together. It's on the counter right now, and has risen a lot - WAY more than when I made it before. I'm wondering if my inexperienced fumblings so far are more to do with reviving yeast and such.
Anyhow, that's what I did. I just got my cutter pan in the mail today and am going to try my first DMK thin-crust this weekend (which is why I've been "practicing" with the focaccia bread). Wish me luck!