The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


PNWBaker's picture

I made my 2nd loaf today. I modified the recipe in lesson 2 a bit by adding whole wheat flour, AP (unfortunately bleached - all I had on hand), and KAF bread flour. I used one of my tissue blades for the scoring, and I'm very impressed how well it worked. It was like slicing through air, absolutely no drag at all. Granted, tissue blades were originally used in order to take very thin slices of tissues for sampling, so I shouldn't be surprised. They're also used in some crafts (like beading) which is why I had some on hand.

I also cut down on the sugar. I practically inhaled the first bread, and I decided I really didn't need to be having that much sugar in the next one.

While the loaf's not bad, I'm definitely going to try some new things next time. For one, I need to increase the hydration in the dough. The crust really dried out on me this time, partly due to not enough water in the dough and also I think partly because I baked it too long. I cut 15 minutes off of the baking time, but I should have cut 25 instead. Next time I'll know not to ignore my gut instinct. Additionally, I'm going to try misting the crust with water and putting an upside down roasting pan on top of the bread for the first 10-15 minutes so I can get the crust I want without it drying out. I also need to shape it a little more firmly if I want it to retain its shape. This one expanded a bit more laterally than I expected.

Eventually, I also want to try to get a larger crumb. I'm going to experiment a bit with moisture content and see if that helps. I kind of want to 'perfect' this version before I move on to fermenting dough overnight, but we'll see if I get impatient. 

The official changes to the recipe were:

1 1/2 cup bread flour
1/2 cup white wheat
1 cup all purpose
1/16 cup sugar
about 1 1/2 tbs butter
1 scant teaspoon salt

After shaping, I put it in the slightly warm oven to rise for 40 min, baked a 75 minutes at 350 degrees.

Here's the first loaf I made, just for comparison. Also, any tips/comments are definitely welcome.

Felila's picture

Using a straight razor for a lame?

March 8, 2012 - 6:23pm -- Felila

My pack of old-style razor blades is used up and I'm hunting for another place to buy blades to use as lames. A Quattro cartridge is of no use as baking equipment, but multi-blade cartridges is all the local supermarkets seem to carry.

I wondered if there was such a thing as a lame that could be resharpened and used indefinitely and then realized: of course, a straight razor, as used to be standard male equipment in past centuries, before Gillette and the razor blade.

Has anyone here used a straight razor as a lame? How did that work? Was it hard to find a razor?

bredtobake's picture

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears...

March 4, 2012 - 6:12pm -- bredtobake

Hi Everyone,

I'm seeking advice on how to get those really nice "ears" that tartine bread is known for. I am using the standard country bread recipe. I seem to get a pretty good oven spring, but my score marks seem to just "stretch" rather than "burst", if that makes any sense. Anyway, I've attached a photo of my last bread to show you what I mean. How do I get those nice "ears"?



Lalush's picture

Where to find bulk supplies: Linen Bannenton / Couche / Lame

January 2, 2012 - 5:23am -- Lalush

Greetings bakers, 

I'm opening a small bake shop, but I'm having trouble finding a few items in bulk at reasonable prices.

-Linen Lined Banneton:

         I found them online by Matfer Bourgeat, but they were $20-$30 each! That sounds crazy!? I was paying just $9  for each 1kg willow bannenton from Germany:  

Felila's picture

Sharp lame, good slashing = better oven spring

December 18, 2011 - 2:32pm -- Felila

I tend to economize on razor blades for slashing, using them quite a few times before throwing them away. I think I've been handicapping myself. I used a new blade for the last batch of ciabatta, and got aggressive with the slashing -- 1/4 inch deep, at a 45-degree angle to the surface of the boule. Result: great oven spring. My slashes expanded a whole inch, rather than the usual anemic 1/4 inch or so.

KHamATL's picture

Baguette Scoring Help Request

July 24, 2011 - 7:35pm -- KHamATL

Hi everyone,

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:

varda's picture

why does my lame snag the dough?

December 19, 2010 - 5:15pm -- varda

I have been trying to score with a curved razor.  When I slash the dough, it basically gets caught in a snag and I can't move it all the way through.   I have read Hamelman's detailed instructions as well as read a lot on this site, but I'm still not sure what I am doing wrong.   I don't have this problem with the serrated knife that I use but I would like to be able to use the curved blade for baguettes.   I recently bought a lame thinking that maybe my homemade one was the problem, but that hasn't helped.   I still end up getting snagged in the dough.   Thank. -Varda

dmsnyder's picture

Bec de Canard: I got it. Now what?

July 23, 2010 - 7:48pm -- dmsnyder

"Bec de Canard" (Literally, "duck's bill.) is the name given to a sharply curved and hooked French lame. I've ogled these on French baking supply web sites and wondered how they would compare with a razor blade type lame for scoring breads. I recently found them from a U.S. source by following a link from another site. The price was quite modest, so I indulged my curiosity. If anyone else is interested, my source is Bridge Kitchenware (lames).


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