Soft Crust on my recent batch of pane pugliese (recipe from the Bread Bible). Why?
I recently made my usual pane pugliese using 100% pasta dura (durum wheat) flour rather than the usual standard unbleached bread flour. To try improve the crust I not only added hot water in the bottom of the oven but I also sprayed the bread every few minutes for 10 mins. After 10 mins I removed the water and stopped spraying. Even though I have baking stones I noticed the temperature reduced significantly (30 oC) in the oven over this time. The resulting bread had a very 'springy' crust rather than a hard crust as I usually get. What are the reasons for this? The flour? Teh temperature variation? Too much steam?