Followup question on scoring/transferring to oven
I've had much greater success now with scoring and transferring the proofed loaf to the oven. (Thanks for all the tips). I've a followup question, though.
The above bread was baked with seam side up, as you can see from the photo. What happened was that I proofed it on linen seam side down, scored it, and then tried to get the bread in an enamel pot off the proofing cloth. The bread landed seam side up instead of seam side down, poof, there goes my first good scoring effort. Still got good oven spring and tasted well, but I was bummed. This time, I was baking in an enamel pot. Am I supposed to proof seam side up, invert it into the enamel pot, and then score the bread? Or is getting it off the cloth into the pot seam side down a skill I'll eventually develop?
(I tried a second loaf just now. This time, I was using a stone, and I tried putting the loaf on the stone from the proofing cloth. Same result, loaf landed with the side that was touching the proofing cloth facing up - in this case too, seam side was touching the cloth, so bread ended seam side up. But I scored anyway after putting it on the stone, and I got the best oven spring I ever have).
A tip which may be useful to newbies: if you don't want to mess with parchment or peels, you can put baking stone in the oven as it heats up and proof bread on proofing cloth. After heating the stone for the right amount of time, take out baking stone using good oven mitts ($10 each), transfer dough from proofing cloth to stone. Score, put stone back in oven, bake. I would rather score and then transfer to stone, but that depends on the answer to the above question. If dough is supposed to land upside down on stone, then you can score only after dough lands on stone. Either way, seems easier than using peels.