Getting better at this
I have just baked my 6th loaf of french bread, actually, it's a baguette recipe in the book "Bread - A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes ", I shaped them into batards that resemble mishapen loaves. Pretty ugly, I need more practice in folding and shaping. The last 2 loaves were the best, except for the blow out at the seam like a hernia. Apparantly I lost track and had the seam out to the side. Lesson learned, know where the seams and folds are.
After having a hard crust that is quite dark gray in color, nearly burnt, I refined my methods, which may not be the best method. I score the loaves, mist them with water from a spray bottle, pop them in the oven on a pizza stone, and add hot water to a pan below. Oven set to 475 before poping them into the oven, then I monitor it for 400 degrees. So far, it's alright - taste is wonderful, texture so-so. What I end up with is a soft inside and hard, yet plyable crust, if that makes sense.
Also, after the final shaping, how much should the bread raise befor eit enters the oven?
The fun is in the work.
Any thoughts for improving the crust and bread overall?