Slashing the top of the loaf, timing?
I make my bread from the basic bread recipe in the River Cottage Bread Book. You slash the tops before putting it in the oven, & sometimes I can't quite get it smooth/fast enough and it can slightly deflate the bread. It is possible to slash the tops say after 10 mins in the oven when the dough is warmer & bouncier, & more likely to keep it's shape? I guess you could slash the tops at any time when the bread is still rising, as it's pointless once the yeast is dead. Does the bread continue to rise for about 10 mins?