What did I do wrong?
I'm an experienced bread baker, but am just starting to play around with sourdoughs. I'm also just getting used to a brand-new grain mill, and have been baking with 100% whole wheat, which may or may not have something to do with my problem. This morning I used Peter Reinhart's recipe for San Francisco-style sourdough, from Artisan Bread Everyday. I had two loaves, each about a pound and a half. The recipe calls for hearth baking, with an initial oven heat of 500, and a pan of hot water. The oven temp is dropped to 450 after putting the loaves in, and a baking time of approximately 40 minutes. Well, after about 20 minutes, I noticed that my crust was turning black, so I put tin foil over both loaves, and let the bread continue to bake for another 18 minutes, at which time I took them out of the oven because they were obviously starting to burn. The crumb is fine though a little more dense than I had expected, and the taste is superb. But the crust is a lost cause - it looks and tastes burnt, is very thick and hard. What did I do wrong? Any recommendations for next time? I'm thinkin' lower oven temp - maybe 375, and a slightly longer baking time.