Crackly crust - finally!
I've been working on my sourdough bread for a while and finally got the really crackly crust I wanted. I've read to leave the bread in the oven after it bakes for another few minutes while it cools down, but I guess I wasn't leaving it long enough. Yesterday I got distracted and left it in there for almost 15 minutes with the door ajar. The crust came out really cracked and crispy and still the inside was chewy and not dried out. I'm guessing at some point, maybe around ten minutes, the cooked loaf isn't venting any more steam and the crust can really dry out. This isn't the method I'd use for sandwich bread, but for a really crispy bread to soak up pan juices or dip in olive oil, it can't be beat!