These are my best looking baguettes yet. Granted, they're not gorgeous, but they're so much prettier than the previous ones!
I was never successful following the King Arthur Flour's recipe's instructions, "make three diagonal slashes in each baguette. Hold the sharp knife at a 45° angle to the bread, be quick, and use firm strokes." I couldn't get cuts that would open. The sharpness of the knives wasn't the problem, but I couldn't master this "45° angle" technique.
So I turned to Julia Child, From Julia Child's Kitchen, which had been of immense help with poached eggs: "Immediately make three lengthwise slashes in the top of the dough with a razor, cutting almost parallel to surface, as follows..."
That was the ticket. "Almost parallel." Worked like a charm.