The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

baguettes! and a slashing question

LeahM's picture

baguettes! and a slashing question

So this weekend I went for another round of the Anis baguettes. I am loving the recipe--so tasty, so crusty! Plus the practice (and video tutorials posted around here--thanks!) are definitely helping me work on slashing and shaping.

Which brings me to my current question. I thought I did a pretty good job (for me) with the slashing this time. And the cuts definitely opened nicely in the oven as far as shape goes. But I'm not getting any sort of color/texture/crust distinction between the slashed areas and the rest of the crust. Here's a picture, you can see that the loaf is springing and opening, but it's pretty much an even brown all over, like the cut is just a shaped ridge...

This happens similarly with my sourdough, so I figure it's something I'm doing, as opposed to an issue with the dough itself. Any ideas?

SourFlour's picture

You are definitely getting some openness, but I understand what you are saying in terms of not having a different enough color/texture for your ear.

What hydration are you using? it could be a result of being underhydrated.  The other recommendation I have is that you might want to score a bit deeper, or proof a bit longer.

Let me know how it turns out next time.

Danny - Sour Flour

verminiusrex's picture

If you want a real good contrast between the outer crust and the inside of the slashes, spread an egg wash on the loaf before slashing.  The color difference is incredible.  You can either scramble an entire egg, or separate out the yolk (the yolk browns darker than the egg white).  I usually use the entire egg just to make things simple. 

You can also sprinkle sesame seeds or wheat bran on the egg wash before slashing to add some texture in addition to color to your loaf (don't use wheat germ, it just scorches).  

dmsnyder's picture

Hi, Leah.

The contrasting color you want is the result of the cuts opening up slowly. The lighter color of the cuts shows that the bloomed area was not exposed to the heat of the oven as long as the rest of the crust was.

From the appearance of your cuts, I would say you need to make shallower cuts and decrease the angle of your blade (hold it these vertical to the surface you are cutting).

Take a look (or another look) at the scoring tutorial in the TFL Handbook.

I hope this helps.


LeahM's picture

For some reason I had been thinking that for baguettes the slashing was supposed to be at a 45 degree angle, so that's what I'd been doing, but now that I've double checked the tutorial, I will re-try with less of an angle. I still haven't figured out how to get an even depth of slash consistently, so that definitely needs practice as well!

I don't want to use a wash or an applied texture--traditional breads and baguettes seem to get the color difference I am looking for without it, so I suppose it's just a question of more technique usual. :)

anyway, I'll be baking these again this weekend, so I'll let you all know how it goes! They still taste delicious!