This was my first attempt at making a crusty bread. I noticed when the bread first came out of the oven, the crust was firm, very crusty. But after sitting on the counter to cool, the crust softened...and because of my lack of experience making this type of bread, I can't explain why. I did put the loaf back into the oven for 5 min. just before eating it as suggested by other reviewers. The bread was very good, with a wonderful texture, but the crust was not firm...it was more soft. Don't get me wrong it was the best tasting Italian bread I've ever had, I just thought the outer layer would be firmer. I will make this bread again and again, we loved it and it earned 5 stars! I guess I don't have to have the crusty crust after all. I made Italian butter on this website and dipped the bread into that wonderful mixture of spices and good olive oil. Soooooo good!
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This was my first attempt at making a crusty bread. I noticed when the bread first came out...