I'm a new user and a somewhat-new bread baker. I've been making french bread and have been having problems in the oven. I don't know if these problems are related, but my bread doesn't rise much in the oven the the scores don't open up when I bake. Sometimes the bread will split elsewhere while baking.
Here's what I usually do:
Proof yeast (usually one packet, 2 1/4 tsp) in 1/3 cup warm water for ~5 minutes
Mix 3 1/2 cups AP flour (organic Whole Foods brand) with 2-2 1/2 tsp salt and 3 1/2 tsp vital wheat gluten.