Sorry for the delayed response. For my seed starting the past 2 seasons i use a 50/50 mix of the Burpee Seed Starting Mix(a small block of coir that seems to be a finer texture than regular coir) and Jiffy Seed Starting Mix. Since I started using this I rarely get a helmet head and get good germination(assuming the seed is viable).
I use these seed starter cells.
I over fill these with the mix and then strike off the excess with a ruler. Then I use a pill bottle(of which I have many) and compress the mix in each cell down about 5/8" below the top of the cell dividers. Now i place my seeds in each cell. Next I spoon in mix level with the top of the cell dividers and then compress that just slightly so it is about 1/8" to 3/16" below the top of the cell dividers.
Next I put these in a 1020 tray and pour in filtered water about 1/2 to 2/3 the depth of the tray, let it sit a few hours to soak the cells. Now take the cells out and place them in a dry tray, put on a humidity dome, and put it on a heat mat. I use a thermostatic controller set at 85°f and the probe in one of the middle cells. I do this with NO seed presoak as the first couple of days the media is fairly wet, it loses moisture as it drains and some moisture begins to evaporate.
It should look like this when you're done. Here are the jalapenos I sowed on 3/8/23, the first one is up this morning and a few are pushing up the mix. That's it, I have tried many, many methods over the past 40 years but so far this is easiest and seems to work good.
Most of the time, a few days to a week after germination, I just take a large spoon and scoop out the complete cell to transplant. I have another procedure for that!