The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Lame use of lame

RudyH's picture

Lame use of lame

I bought myself a treat, a jin-yoo-wine baker's lame. Problem is that my slashes look very amateurish. Have you got any tips for improving the quality of the slashes I make in, say, baguettes? The flaw in my technique seems to be related to a reluctance to slit too deeply.


Ford's picture

I am not sure what you are looking for in your slash (score, docking).  I use a verrrry sharp knife and lightly oil the surface of the knife.  I cut about a quarter inch deep.  If I want a grigne (grin, ear, lip), I angle the blade at about 45° to the horizontal when slashing.

I m sure there are more experienced slashers around to give you better advice.


txfarmer's picture

Just want to chime in and say how much that tutorial helped with my scoring, I read and re-read it many times.

RobynNZ's picture

David's wonderful tutorial is a must.

And another thing I picked up on TFL, but can't recall who suggested it, so can't acknowledge, is to say aloud, with purpose  'slit' while scoring. Somehow this takes one's mind away from umming and ahhing reluctantly and a rapid confident hand movement results.


scottsourdough's picture

Reinhart mentions that technique in Bread Baker's Apprentice.

davidg618's picture

in her Artisan Baking book takes just the opposite point-of-view. Quoting her (p18),

"Take your time making slashes; they need not be done with professional speed. If you feel that a slash is not deep enough, just go over it again until you are pleased with it."

Like so many other bread-making techniques, find what you're comfortable with, and practice, practice, practice.

David G

alabubba's picture

I think its important to understand why we slash our bread in the first place.

It was originally for the purpose of allowing CONTROLLED expansion of the loaf. The aesthetic properties were secondary.

I am not saying that the artistic application of the cuts should be downplayed, after all, we eat with our eyes first, but it should be secondary to the mechanical action of allowing for proper, controlled expansion.

With that in mind, SLASH away. Work on developing good surface tension on your loaves, bake TONS of bread and slash away, It will come. In the meantime, your neighbors will enjoy your ugly bread.

ehanner's picture

I bought myself a treat, a jin-yoo-wine baker's lame.

Rudy, that's like saying, I just bought a new Ferrari and I STILL can't get to work on time. Lol

Seriously the way I finally got confident about slashing was to use a small serrated tomato knife. You want a blade that doesn't have a course tooth pattern. I have even used my large bread knife. The serrated blade will cut without dragging most of the time. Once you get the hang of the pattern and pressure required you can go back to the fancy lame for detail cuts.