The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Making ears

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PeterPiper's picture

Making ears

I am closer than ever to getting well-formed grigne on my bread.  Here is a loaf of sourdough I made last night.  I thought the scores were pretty even, but one burst open nicely and the other two stayed tight.  Anyone have an idea why this happened?  FYI, I finally got this grigne by being a little more firm in forming the loaf after the first proof.  I did the "karate shop and pinch shut" method I saw Raymond Calvel doing on his baguettes, and I think this extra surface tension did the trick.  Any thoughts on getting all scores to bloom?



- Peter

flournwater's picture

The score at the top of othe image appears to be essential at the extreme end of the loaf which would indicate the scoring was not uniformly applied across the length of the loaf.  It's also possible that, when scoring, one end of the stroke penetrated deeper than the other.  I've found that if I score near the end (sometimes slightly over the end) of the loaf, that end wants to bloom more quickly than the other slashes and once the weaker score has bloomed there doesn't seem to be enough internal pressure in the loaf to expand the others equally.  Well, that's my theory.  Ain't got not solid scientific data to support it though.

But your loaf still looks darn good from where I'm sitting.

Matt H's picture
Matt H

I'd score a little more deeply, "delicately but confidently" or whatever they say. Aren't instructions like that maddening? :)

I read that in baker school in France, the apprentices have to slash hundreds of loaves before they're considered to have it right. I make about a dozen baguettes a year, so maybe I'll perfect it by the time I'm 100 years old.

I find that if the dough is under-proofed, I get so much oven spring that it blows out the grigne. If it's underproofed, then they don't look so great either.

Since we're cheap, the temperature of the house varies a lot. That, plus the fact that I'm constantly experimenting with ingredients and hydration means my results aren't always repeatable. They are usually edible though...

Another thought... if you just crop the photo half-way, the loaf looks perfect! :)