So I have now successfully repeated a bread recipe twice. Both times it came out with a very tight grain and very spongy. The bread itself squishes easily and bounces back. I would like to make it more firm (so that it puts up with things like spreading cream cheese or butter more readily).
The recipe I am using is pretty much flour, water and yeast (and a little salt). It calls for three rising periods with two punch downs in between -- after the initial ten minute knead.
Is there something I can change in the way I knead? Something I can change in the recipe? How do I get less of a spongy texture and more of a chewy or firm one?