pale crusts, good crumb
I'm having a challenge with getting nice dark crusts on the last few loaves I've made, from Dan Leader's Local Breads (French Country Boule; multigrain Pain au Levain). My two oven thermometers are giving me about even readings, I've been steaming as directed (hot water, not ice cubes, as our freezer was out of commission), and after the designated bake time the internal temp of the loaves does come up to 205-210...plenty. The internal crumb is lovely, once cooled. I have continued to bake the loves past the done stage (10 min or so) without any appreciable change in color.
The only things I've done differently are moved the oven rack and baking stone to the middle of the oven--which is as the recipes direct, only I had been baking on the lowest rack up till now. (the oven therms are on the same rack as the stone). Oh...I have been trying out bags of Harvest King (bread) and Ceresota (AP) rather than my usual KA.
Is the switch in flour brands, or the shift in oven rack, enough to throw off the browning? Do I need to be more obsessive over oven temp (hard to see when my glasses steam up!)?