With all the different ways, methods, ingredients of baking bread, I've become so confused now. I used to bake bread at 350-375 for about 20 minutes or so and I was fine with it. I don't really like dark, hard crust bread so I've never baked bread at a higher temperature until now. I baked this loaf at 450 for 20 minutes and it was already really dark but the recipe I was following said to bake it for another 20 minutes at a 425. I wasn't sure if it was a good idea so i I turned it down to 350 for another 8 minutes and just pulled it out. The pics make the bread look almost black, it's really dark but not that dark. I haven't tried it and it smells kind of burnt.
They have all these different methods now -- did all this exist before or is everything relatively new? Like hydration, slap and fold vs, kneading, no knead, high protein over regular AP, variety of yeasts, extremely high temps, etc. I know I asked this before but some of the answers where so detailed, it left me confused.
I just want to bake a normal loaf of bread in a normal convection oven where I can make a dough without having to punch it down 20 or 30 times every 45 minutes with 100 refrigerated rest days . I don't recall any of the above in Baking with Julia (which is where I learned to make okay bread). The only thing that was so unusual from that series was the baker who made his own yeast with milk, cumin and flour, other than that, the guests always seemed to use Fleishman's Yeast and regular AP flour.
If you consider this loaf a forest fire, should I just drive to the beach and throw this bread in the ocean?
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