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Why is my bread crust not crusty?

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Why is my bread crust not crusty?

travelmad478 | Oct 4, 2011 06:37 PM

I've been making a variety of artisan-style breads, including the no-knead, and in pretty much every case I get a loaf that LOOKS like it has a great crust, and even has that nice knocky sound when I go to take it out of the oven. But invariably, once I take it out and let it cool, the crust softens up and goes from firm to spongy. I have tried steam, no steam, hotter oven, longer baking time...I cannot achieve that good, crunchy, artisan-bread crust that you can really tear into with your teeth. What am I doing wrong?

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