Twice now, I have made Smitten Kitchens whole grain cinnamon swirl bread, and twice it is hard and dense. The first time, I think I had not such great yeast because it didn't really rise so well, maybe it didn't double at all. ? The second one, I a bought fresh 1lb bag of Saf-yeast and the first rise was amazing, but now I'm thinking maybe too much?? I think I don't know how to tell when the dough is doubled.
Also - I have the cuisanart steam oven and so my 2nd proof is in there with 100 degree steam.
You deserve a cookie.