Steam can do Wonders!
Reading through SylviaH's long blog (Oven-Steaming My New Favorite Way ) I decided that I have to give this steaming technique a try.
I always felt uncomfortable with spraying my hot oven and I don't know how many times I burnt myself in pouring water on the hot bottom. Even though it is still working I believe I've done a lot of damage to the oven and this is probably also the source of all the issues I have with it not holding the temperature correctly.
Like others I was pretty amazed with the result!
The oven spring was so strong that I had blow-outs in my baguettes.
I don't think this happened because of poor shaping. (I'm Sinclair trained! The Back Home Bakery ) On the other hand it shows nicely how big irregular holes in the crumb are created and that scoring plays a big role.
Of course a very strong sourdough starter is very helpful too!!