I've been following this site and referring friends to it for some time and only just signed up. I am a big fan but slow to ask for help!
I bake a lot of sourdough and it's going pretty well but I suffer from terrible crust envy. I'm talking about the big contrast between the floury bit and the cut bit. I'd like a rich dark brown colour under the flour and a lighter, golden colour in the cuts.
I prove for anywhere between 4h to 12h and to form the boules, I dust a tea towel with rice flour, then dust more heavily with wholemeal, form the boule, put it in the cloth, bundle it up, then let it prove in a big mixing bowl for 2 hours. I make the cuts with a craft knife and bake at 250C in an injection fan oven with lots of steam for 15 minutes and then turn the heat down to 200C for 25 minutes.