Oven spring: two types in one go?
Here's a question I'd like to pose to all of you experts:
In the attached pic, you'll see that the two loaves on the left have a - what I'd call - "tight" crust; the slashes didn't open up so much, while the two on the right have slashes that expanded considerably more, in spite of my small mistake of not making the slashes close together enough. Oven and stones were pre-heated for 40 min.. The two loaves on the right went onto the stones on the bottom rack of the oven first, then the two on the left were at the top.
(Click to see bigger version)
Once all bread was in (and it was a fast-as-could-happen open oven, toss in, close oven, get next loaf) then the steam was added - I already had a pot with about a half inch (1 cup) of boiled water in the bottom but also threw in about a quarter cup of water onto the bottom of the oven for instant steam. The loaves were switched top to bottom at about the 20 minute mark. If there's more detail someone needs about a step to help figure this out, please ask.
What's not visible from the pic: the bottoms of the left loaves are decidedly more cooked, edging on too dark (with a slightly bitter burnt taste) while the right loaves can be seen as a little darker overall but the bottoms weren't overdone at all. Which really baffles me since the non-overdone bottom loaves were right over the oven element while the top loaves were further away, yet charred a bit a but stayed lighter. It's like a contradiction, seemingly illogical.
So the question is: what made the right side loaves on the bottom expand more than the ones on the top? Hotter top? Hotter bottom? More steam at the bottom (near the water pot)? Whatever worked on the bottom, I'd obviously like to try and make it happen to the top loaves as well and if that means switching loaves over a lot earlier, then so be it. But what is it the bottom loaves got that the top ones did not?
(I might have added this question to my other thread but I figured this could be of use to others so I gave it it's own thread.)