I have been on a bread baking extravaganza since august 24th 2012 and nothing comes near to the cast iron dutch oven for the results of a great rust/golden color and a great firm and crackly rust,
Sure you can do the ice cubes in a hot pan on the bottom of the oven and sure you can spritz with an atomizer and sure you can do the eggwash and bake on an oven tile...But I would say the main contribution that Tartine made to the world of bread is for color and crust. '
The innovation of heating a dutch oven with lid and then placing cold dough in hot oven with lid gives the best oven spring and the best overall look!
I do not agree with the labor intensive devices of folding every 30 minutes to get the airy and full-of-hole look.. I do not need that aggravation.
I have gotten immensely satisfying flavors from doing the Jim Lahey no knead routine and the folding over routine as suggested by jaques pepin and dan leader and letting the bread do its naturally ageing for 12 to 24 hours..
Anyway I am posting a photo of some wholewheat sourdoughn pumperickle and baguettes!
Cheers to THE STAFF OF LIFE!!!
lET US ALL BREAK BREAD TOGETHER SOON.