Okay, I know this is not a very appealing photograph. I do like it, though, because it illustrates a few things.
See the ultra-shiny crust? This illustrates what happens when you steam your bread too much. It’s like shellac. Not really the effect I was going for.
See how dark the crust is? This illustrates what happens when you don’t really remember how to operate your oven (this would be your occasional oven, not your most-of-the-time oven) and the oven display is broken so you have no visual clue that you’re operating it incorrectly, and you haven’t really turned the temperature down when you think you have. The very learned Raymond Calvel said it is nearly impossible to overbake bread. Maybe I should gain some satisfaction in knowing I nearly accomplished the near-impossible. (I say nearly because the crust did not burn. It’s just very very dark. Again, not the effect I was going for; merely very dark would have sufficed.)
See how the resolution of the photo is not very good? This illustrates what happens when you do something brainless, the details of which you’d rather not get into at the moment, and end up wrecking your DSLR camera, and have to use your little point-and-shoot (and then have to crop the photo so the really dark parts of the loaves are conveniently omitted).
Okay, lessons learned: Don’t pour too much water into the steam pan. Read The Fine Manual (and better yet, call the oven repair guy). And don’t be stupid. Simple enough.
Now consider this photograph:
I like this one because it illustrates that even when a few things go wrong, you can still end up with a pretty nice, 50%-whole-grain, fruit-and-nut-laden, pleasantly-dense-and-chewy, thinly-sliceable, great-on-its-own-or-with-soft-cheese kind of loaf.