Frustrating issues with loaf rise & scoring
I'd love to get the community's thoughts on some consistent challenges I'm having with a Hamelman sourdough recipe. This is a basic white bread flour loaf, about 78% hydration with 3g of added instant yeast in addition to ~300g of vigorous starter.
Following Hamelman, this doesn't have an autolyse or folding but uses the French Culinary Institute's "improved mix" method of putting all the ingredients together in a stand mixer and beating on 2nd speed for 5-10 minutes, then bulk fermenting for an hour. Divided and shaped into two 550g boules and let those proof for an hour, again exactly as the Hamelman recipe recommends. Baked at 500F for 20 minutes, down to 460 for another 15.
Below are my two final products. The one on the RIGHT was done in a Dutch oven, and you can tell because it picked up a nice color. The loaf on the LEFT I did on a baking stone in the same oven, spraying it in the early phases and (trying) to keep the oven damp. Judging by the paleness, I didn't get there. This has been a consistent problem with multiple loaves across recipes - I just get far better results from the Dutch oven method than trying to do this like you pros with a baking stone and spray bottle.
Also of concern here, I tried to flex my creativity and do two leaves on the left loaf, but as you can see the loaves barely rose at all from their pre-bake sizes, and both sets of scores are almost flat against the loaf. No lips or signs of depth. I've noticed I have this scoring problem consistently when using a curved lame (I normally slice a deep cross with a straight lame and get a nicely developed lip). But I can't account for the total lack of rise from either given some of the photos I've seen of loaves from this recipe.
Anyway, monologue over. Would love your thoughts.