Is it always necessary to slash the tops of French-type breads as shown in so many pictures?
Does it really serve a purpose?
From the TFL Handbook:
"Why are breads scored?
The purpose of scoring is primarily to control the direction in which the bread will expand during “oven spring.” Intentionally creating a weak spot on the surface of the loaf prevents the loaf from bursting at weak spots created during shaping."
The Handbook, linked above, will tell you still more about the how's and why's of things "bread". It is a great place to explore and learn. Try it. You'll love it.
Now I know why my breads pop a seam around the sides!