This is part me showing off, part asking for input. :)
A bit about me - I've always enjoyed cooking, but just recently (as of a week ago) dove into bread-making for the first time ever when I bought a few packets of active dry yeast on a whim. I've made two batches, and I've got my third one retarding in the fridge. I've already bought a proper jar of yeast (rather than packets,) and I've got an attempt at cherry yeast water brewing in the kitchen at the moment.
... yeah, I'm kind of addicted already. ;)
Back in the 1970's I lived in Plainfield, NJ. We were blessed with a number of Italian bakeries but the best was Pat Natalies. He and his wife made the best light, golden brown, flaky crusted bread and rolls I have ever had. I questioned the wife once as to how they achieved the crust. She told me that they spent as much if not more money on steam generation as they did to heat the ovens.
I wanted to start a new thread for this. I need to find out the formula for this bread which is also a sandwich roll. The roll has a slight sour taste to it, the crumb is soft and chewy, the crust is thin and crunchy. The crust is the big mystery for me as it is unlike any baguette that I have made or eaten before. This crust is much thinner than a baguette which makes it great as a sandwich roll. Help please!
So I am no baking novice, but when it comes to baking bread I am not nearly as experienced as I am when it comes to cookies!
I have previously made successful white bread (with some help from everyone here in the past) and was hoping that I could get a few pointers before taking on my first Italian loaf, especially since I am making it for my future in-laws this weekend!