Scoring, Oven spring and Steam
I have now moved on to P.Reinhart French bread from his book Artsisan Bread Everyday. Here are a few things I noticed which I presume affect the outcome of my loaf:
1) Scoring: my loaf has had a decent rise, but when I score the bread, the latter is deflated quite a bit. I figure I would make it up with the oven spring during the baking...is this deflation normal?;
2) Steaming the oven: after I put my bread into the oven, I pour the cup of hot water into the pan and then spray the dough/stone/oven with more mist to help with the oven spring. But that takes a few short minutes to get all of that done. By the time I close the door, the initially pre-heated temp of the oven has gone down to a whoppi 425-450 F.
3) Oven spring: not getting much of one, even if I followed many of the suggestions and tricks provided. Keeping the door open just those minutes has taken so much of the heat out that it must play a negative role in that outcome...right?
Any more suggestions?