Baguette Scoring Help Request
I have been reading posts on the forum for many months now and trying to gain wisdom on the topic of baguette scoring. I have read almost every post on the subject but can't seem to get it right. Out of about a dozen attempts at baguettes, I have successfully generated a nice ear/grigne one time. Strangely enough, it was on the 3rd attempt. Here is a picture:
I have been using Hamelman's Poolish Baguette and Hamelman's Straightdough Baguette for all attempts. I have been using King Arthur flour and I usually do a 30-60 min autolyze and an extra fold to get sufficient gluten development. I check the proofing with a "poke test" as most people do. When the dimple very slowly returns after a poke, I consider it ready to bake. I slash with a curved lame with a depth of ~ 1/4 in (or what I perceive to be a 1/4 in. It's difficult to say exactly). I hold the blade at an angle (I think ~30-45 deg) to try to cut a flap of dough. I cook the baguettes in a 460 degree oven (preheated for 45 min) on 1/2 in unglazed tiles. For steam, I follow Hamelman's instructions: throw a few ice cubes into a cast iron skillet on the bottom shelf while slashing, slide the baguettes onto the stone, and then pour 1 cup of boiling water into the skillet. I have followed this method for all attempts.
I think my shaping has improved in the past 4 months and I've tried to vary my slashing technique slightly to see what I'm doing wrong. Now, I would like to request some advice. I appreciate any guidance that anyone will offer. Here are the pictures of my "ear-free" baguettes. Individual photos can be seen at http://photobucket.com/atlbreadpics . Thanks in advance.
On a positive note, I have eaten many many delicious sandwiches from all of this. Thanks for your help!