How do I get darker sourdough without burning it?
I made my first sourdough bread recently. The friend who gave me the starter also gave me a basic recipe attributed to Ed Wood, which I followed (1 cup fed starter, 3.5 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 cup water). The dough behaved as I expected through the two rises. I baked it on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper at 425 F for 60 minutes. This was in my oven's standard heating mode (called "bake" on the panel), not heat from above ("broil") nor convection (fan). The oven is only a couple years old and as far as I know is working properly and calibrated correctly.
The sourdough loaves I've seen have a nice deep golden-brown crust. Mine... doesn't. I considered whether I should have baked it longer, but the crust was already pretty hard and I was worried about making a brick. But I've never made sourdough before, so that was a guess. While the crust is hard, the inside is soft and has the texture I expected.
What do I need to do to get the richer crust color I expected? Is this only achievable with a dutch oven (which I don't have)? Should I use a loaf pan instead of a sheet? Should I have made a few smaller scores instead of one long one?
Here's a picture of my results: