So this week I got on a kick to make my own bakery style crusty artisan kind of bread. I did some research on sourdough and currently have a sourdough "starter" in the works. That will be a thread to come though. The "starter" takes about five days give or take to come to fruition. So because of that I decided to try something yesterday.
I found a recipe online for simple crusty bread. I did a half recipe last night and came out with two really nice loaves of nice bread. The only thing I did different last night was I sprinkled a little sea salt on the tops of the loaves just as I put the slits in them for escaping steam. Anyhow tonight I am on a different stage. I currently have two loaves of olive oil and fresh rosemary bread baking. Then after they're done I'm going to add some sun dried tomatoes and olive oil to the remaining dough. I will add pictures when they're done. I will say that last night I ended up with two loaves of bread that I would have paid $3 a piece for.
Now the trick to make it crusty like a bakery does is to keep the oven humid. I put a pot lid over the oven vent to keep the air in and I pour water into the bottom of the oven. You can opt to use a heavy baking pan on a low rack. The point is to create as much steam as possible in the oven while the loaves are baking.