I can never slash bread and make it look right. At one point I purchased a lame, but for me it would tear the dough, rather than producing a nice, clean cut.
Finally I tried what should have been the stupid obvious tool. The bread knife. It easily made deep, clean cuts:
The loaves are still a little funny looking. I need to better at slashing, but at least now I won’t be tearing the bread, at that should really help the learning curve.
I believe that the cuts need to be longer and the knife needs to be held at an angle to get attractive “ears”. It’s a start.