crusts won't stay crisp
I have been experimenting with a crusty french bread recipe:
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
6 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, more for dusting dough
3 c water
So far the dough has been the nicest I have made and I used a hot hot baking stone (heated to 500 degrees for at least an hour) when I put them in the oven I throw some cold water in a hot baking dish in the bottom of the oven and bake at 475 for 25 min. (they are relatively small loaves).
When I take them out of the oven the crusts are nice and hard and they even crackle. There is little give in the crusts for about an hour or until they have completely cooled and then the crusts go a little soft. when you press it, it no longer crackles.
I have been brushing the tops with egg whites for color...is this the problem? Or is this just what happens? I would love it if they would stay nice and hard on top and keep the crackle.