Thin, crispy crust evades me...
I have been making sourdough for the better part of 6 months now as our only source of bread at my house. My family, for the most part, loves it. It is mildly sour in the crumb, an tastes pretty darned good. Our only complaint (mine and theirs, equally..) is my crust. I usually end up with a pretty dark crust, which some of us mind, but not others.. but mostly, the crust is very thick and very tough, bordering on chewy as well. If you don't re-toast it in the toaster, you're in for a tough time of it.. it can get like beef jerky sorta, being pretty tough to get through, esp. for a five year old. Not long ago, we wet to NYC and experiences Amy's Bread in Chelsea Market.. and I just about died of jealousy. The crust from her bread as so fantastic! It was so light, crispy, and so really fantastically delicious. I know they have fantastic ovens there that beat me hands down with my electric range.. but I do steam my loaves with a spritzer a few times in the beginning few minutes of the bake. I also use a large baking stone in my oven, and I start the bake at just over 500 degrees (high as she'll go..) and a bit later turn it down a few degrees to finish off the bake. My question is, I'm willing to do whatever tests and experiments need to be done at my house to get it right, eventually, but what, generally, do I need to do to thin out my crusts a bit and get them crispier and not so tough?