Cooking and Baking

Am I chasing the holy grail? Baguettes at home.

I've done 6 different baguette recipes now, and I've started to tweak proportions in my favorite ones to get the ideal baguette. Still, I can't get the perfect one.

Most loaves come out of the oven with a lovely golden crust, which at the time is crisp/crackly, but after resting becomes soft. That is super annoying. Recommendations for remedying that?

I also can't seem to get a crumb that is open enough. In spit of my very best efforts to handle the dough as little as possible, it's still pretty dense.

Last weekend I made 8 baguettes. 3 from Peter Reinhart's Artisan Bread, 3 from Artisan Bread in 5min/day, and 2 from NBR. The NBR recipe is ridiculous and the bread is no where near as good as the PR or AB5 recipes. The clear winner was PR, but it still wasn't up to snuff.

If I don't find something soon, I'll be putting baguettes on the "better bought" list. Any help is appreciated.

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