New to baking breads - want a better crust
Well, I'm not exactly new to baking, but I'm new to doing more gourmet breads. I actually cook/bake quite a bit and have a good handle on the kitchen, but I want artisan style bread with a preset kitchen. Oh, and whole grain almost exclusively.
So, I know I need bricks... but I'm so confused where to go.... do I get a hearth kit? Do I just get a baking stone (that is fairly thick)? quarry tiles? or a Cuisinart brk300 oven?
I'm tired of paying through the nice for a decent bread, and I cannot STAND the texture of bread from the breadmaker. It kneads the bread fine, but baking in it is awful. Like most kitchens, space is limited. I already have a decent cuisinart toaster oven/convection oven, but I don't think it bakes as well as a regular oven. I could be wrong as I haven't tried with this oven, but it's predecessor (another cuisinart that bit the dust).
I would opt for the cuisinart oven, but my husband would kill me if I got another thing for the kitchen! Hiding it might be a tad difficult! LOL
For equipment, I have really good things. I have a Electrolux DLX2000 mixer, a Panasonic bread maker (the highly regarded one) , lots of bread pans and great books, but that CRUST just isn't right and I don't know where to start as everyone seems to like something different!
Help! I've been reading through old posts via the search for the last hour and I have NEW possibilities, not narrowing anything down!