Newcomer struggling with baguettes
I've done about a half dozen batches of baguettes, using recipes from here and elsewhere, and always have similar disappointing results:
- The loaves never brown, after 60min+ (!) at 450F/232C. The crust comes out almost as white as it went in.
- The crust is not overly thick, but it's as hard as a rock. (The crumb is still too dense, but it's passable.)
I've tried hydrations from 60% to 75% with common flour; both instant and active dry yeast; with poolish and without; stand mixer kneaded and (once) by hand. I've been using the ice water method for steam.
From what I've read and seen here, the loaves should be brown and crispy after 25-30 min. (certainly not an hour).
Any ideas what I'm missing?
Frank (Bahia, Brazil)