How do you get a dark crust without it going too thick?
Need some help. I bake my bread in either round or oblong loafs. I really like to get a very dark crust, but having no luck.
I bake in a cloche. Set my oven to the max (250C) - fan forced to preheat. Then I put a loaf in, cover with the lid and stop the fan - top and bottom elements still on.(With my oven, if I leave just the bottom element running it does not have enough oomph to keep the required temperature). I bake for 30 min covered still at about 230-240C
I then take the lid off and turn the top element off, so it does not burn the top crust. I let it bake uncovered for 25-30 min. With only bottom element running it drops the temp to about 210-220C naturally, with the temp knob still on max.
My problem is that after that 25-30 min it still does not look as dark as I wanted it to be. Its brown, bun on a lighter side. I want my crust to be like a dark chocolate without burning it and without crust going too thick.
Can someone help me to get the desired crust naturally without adding extra rye, sugar etc? Mine is 20-30% wholegrain.
Shoould I bake for 30min under cover at max and then drop the temp to like 180C and baking for another 40-50 min? I can speed things up by running the top element but that tends to burn the crust and spoil the taste