The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

To score or not to score my loaf before baking?

rileybri's picture

To score or not to score my loaf before baking?


Ok I need help fast. I have about 15 mins left before I put my Whole wheat loaf into the oven (its pre heating now). for the first time I have a loaf of bread that actually rose up above the pan significantly. If I play my cards right I will have finally achieved my goal of WW sandwich bread. DO I want to score it it or not? What say you oh knowledgeable ones?




Brian D.

rileybri's picture

so I went with cut. I know, I know, typical male response to go for the blade first. I place a what I though was a not so deep crescent score across the top. it looks ok not much oven spring though. I am guessing because I cut the loaf? I am going to try the exact same thing tomorrow and not score the top and see what happens....


the final result.......

ericb's picture

Looks good to me!

You say that the loaf "rose above the pan significantly." Do you think it could have been proofed too long? If so, scored or not, you won't see much oven spring. It might even collapse a bit.

rileybri's picture

let me clarify, more significantly than I have had in the past... about 1 inch....

proth5's picture

for panned bread is that you want the edges to reach the top of the pan (assuming you made the right amount of dough for the pan) with the center gently domed.  But there are all kinds of tests to see if it has proofed enough and they have been discussed at length on these pages.

Also, in general you do not need to slash this type of bread.  The slash is to create a weak spot so that expansion will occur at that point.  The edge of the pan performs that function in a panned bread like yours.  The expansion that occurs along the side of the pan was once popularly called "the shred" (sounds like the X-games, no?).  Breads that don't have a lot of oven spring will not get this.

Hope this helps you make decisions in the future.

Sourdough Charlie's picture
Sourdough Charlie

I dont slash any bread in pans. I generally wait for the dough to rise about an inch above the sides of the pan.



Aussie Pete's picture
Aussie Pete

Not trying to sound rude with my point but with a sandwich loaf why would you want to slash? Baguettes or a sourdough loaf yes, but it just seems a waste on a lovely looking sandwich loaf like yours. Hoped it taste as good as it looks!

Aussie Pete

Yumarama's picture

Since he was trying to give the dough as much expansion capability as he could, I wouldn't fault him for giving it a try since slashing is quite typically one way to do that.

Except in the case of pan loaves, there is a built-in safety valve in the weak point at the pan's edge. But without knowing that, it wasn't a bad idea to slash. 

Matt H's picture
Matt H

Slash = More surface area for melted butter = yum.



rileybri's picture

Really I did it for no reason than to see what would happen. I had in essence alreay achieved my goal for this loaf of a good 2nd proof so I decided to slash the top. I almost immediately regretted it for the reasons already mentioned. That said I am very happy with the final product. the crumb could not be better and it made the best dam PBJ I have ever had...... Looks like bread to me!

Aussie Pete's picture
Aussie Pete

Looks like a great sandwich loaf...again I hope it taste as good as it looks.

Aussie Pete.

CrawGator's picture

Looks great! Whats your recipe?