I gather you are looking for techniques to give you a crustier bread. Here are a few suggestions.You might want to try lightly spraying the bread with water at the beginning of baking. A stone, as you mentioned will give you a harder crust on the bottom. If you are making baguettes, you might want to try a special Baguette pan which you can purchase from www.BAKEDECO.com. I believe the model # is 45505. If you order anything from them, in the checkout section there is a referral space. Type in the KITCHENer REBBE and you should receive a discount. Also try using heavier bake pans in general for baking bread. If you are going to try Bagels, find a recipe where they tell you to boil them first. If you need anything else, let me know. Good luck, and Happy Baking.