I learnt something yesterday. I've always baked my breads in a fan forced oven. They cook very quickly, 20 - 25mins at 220C. They go a nice golden brown, cook through completely, and really go pop in the oven. Sometimes, however, I can't get the tops of the loaves to brown evenly - some bits are still quite white while the others are very brown. Also, I couldn't get slashing to work properly - I kept getting loaves (particularly round ones) that would blow their tops. I've been jealous of all the lovely photos here of decoratively slashed loaves !
Yesterday, I think I made some progress in solving these problems. I let my shaped loaves rise longer (hence reducing the huge oven spring, and allowing for a more controlled rise), and I changed from the fan forced setting to the bake setting on my oven. The downside, of course, is that I can really only bake one rack at a time that way, since the bake function uses the top and bottom elements, whereas the fan forced uses the back elements. The other thing I did was I extended the baking time. The loaves were obviously cooked after 20 mins at 220C, but I turned the heat down a little and gave them an extra 10 minutes (something I think Dan Lepard suggests). They were very brown and very crusty - quite a "traditional sourdough" result - and the crust is still hard today.
Do you like your loaves very brown and crusty or golden and tender ? I've noticed a lot of the professional bakers produce loaves that I'd consider almost overcooked, and that many aren't averse to a bit of black on the outside of their loaves !