I have baked bread that looks pretty beautiful, but tastes completely bland. Following the NYT "No-Knead" bread recipe (3 cups, 1/4 tsp active yeast, 1 1/4 tsp salt, 1 1/2 cup water, sit for 18 hours, fold, sit for 2 hours, bake at 500) it comes out bland. It tastes nothing like the Italian bread I remember, nor does it even taste like white bread.
I found a CI recipe that calls for a mild Pilsner and some vinegar but haven't tried it yet since I haven't given up on the above recipe.
Is there a magical chemical called "flavor" which suddenly turns the flour+water mixture into delicious tasting bread, or perhaps I need to join a super-secret society of bread makers to discover the secret of getting flavor injected into my bread?
E.g. the last two loaves were bland (I only used 3/4 tsp salt instead of 1 1/4 as the recipe calls for) and salty-bland (I used the 1 1/4 tsp salt as the recipe calls for) - but the look? ce' magnifique!
OT: how do I post images of my great looking bland tasting bread??
Thanks in advance for any help you may give this newbie wanna-be home baker.