The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Scoring walnuts loaves

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ramat123's picture
ramat123

Scoring walnuts loaves

Hi there,


I have a problem scoring walnots and raisin loaves.


I get a very good looking scored loaves without but when scoring with walnuts the knife just bumped into the nuts and the curves are cut and the loaf doesnt look good.


Any ideas?


 


Thanks a lot,


 


David

AndyM's picture
AndyM

Hi David-


If you use a razor blade, and a quick, firm movement when making the cuts, the blade will slice through the nuts and raisins.  As a bonus, the nuts that are cut will end up exposed to the high heat of the oven, and they will become extra roasted (and in my opinion, extra tasty).  The downside is that scoring walnut (or other nut) loaves will usually make a razor blade get dull a bit quicker, so be sure to monitor how sharp your blade is as you score more and more loaves.


Hope this helps,


Andy

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

or knitting needle and dock the loaf instead.  (That is for a walnut rye.) Wet the surface of either the implement or the dough or both, then stick holes into it, make a decorative pattern about one every 2 cm or 3/4 of an inch and stick it about half way into the dough.  This kills any big trapped bubbles. 


But...


If still scoring, the scores don't have to be deep to work well.  If a roasted nut sticks to your scoring blade, just stick it back into the exposed dough with a toothpick to bury it.  Raisins too or just eat them as they appear "offering to the scorer."   After all what's a raisin or two?


Mini

ramat123's picture
ramat123

Is there a specific razor you recommend for scoring walnuts rye/whole wheat loaves?


If there is please add a link.


Thanks a lot,


David

jsk's picture
jsk

here: http://www.tmbbaking.com/supplies.html (I bought the holder and the blades). The blades are Persona razor blades (very sharp) and the holder is great because you can install the blade on it curved (for baguette or batards) and straight for boules.


I realy recommend it.

rolls's picture
rolls

i'd reccommend a serrated knife for this type of dough


 

AndyM's picture
AndyM

I use stock double-edged razor blades, usually the no-name brands.  Double edged blades are nice because they are flexible, so they can be attached easily to a lame that gives them the right kind of curve to enhance a "bloom" in the cuts.  Many people like the commercial lames that have a curve built in; I have had excellent results using a popsicle stick.  I take a plain wooden popsicle stick, and whittle one end down to the appropriate width and thickness to slide the double-edged blade onto the whittled portion.  With the popsicle stick being straight, the blade must curve itself to get the stick to come through both holes.  This amount of curve in the blade happens to be just about perfect for encouraging the bloom.  I made my current popsicle stick lame about 10 years ago, and I've never wanted any other.  I have some pictures of it with a blade attached, and if I can find them, I will post them soon.


Andy

jaltsc's picture
jaltsc

Even easier. I live in Thailand, and like every other place in the world, we've been discovered by Starbucks. I just go in and pick up a bunch of wooden stir sticks. They are thin and just need to be slightly trimmed on one edge so a double edge blade fits with just the right amount of curve.

AndyM's picture
AndyM

That's a great idea, jaltsc!  I have tried a couple of coffee stirrers, but I have never found quite the right ones.  Some were the perfect width to fit the razor blade on (so no whittling), but they were too flexible and I found them hard to control when scoring.  Others I found were rigid enough, but too thick to fit the blade, so I was right back to whittling.  I never did try starbucks, though.


Here is the popsicle stick lame I use, from the top:



and from the bottom:



With these pictures, you can see the way that the blade fits onto the whittled end of the stick.  You can also see how much of the stick gets whittled to fit the blade on.  But there is one more step - the popsicle stick wood is too thick to get the blades to fit over comfortably, so I taper the top and bottom edges of the whittled portion of the stick.  I think you can see the tapers here:



And then you can see the curve that the blade gets when it is attached in this picture:



I've used the fancy store-bought versions of lames before, and I find them more finicky and more difficult to use than this low-tech version.  The idea of a coffee stirrer could be a substantial improvement over my home-engineered stick, if you can find a stirrer with just the right thickness and adequate rigidity.


Hope this helps,


Andy

Pop N Fresh's picture
Pop N Fresh

When I worked as a Supermarket Bakery Manager in my younger years, we had an unusual way of scoring the breads that worked farely well for our staff.  I belive this might work for your walnut bread as well.


Using vegetable oil, soak one piece Butcher's Twine for every slash you want in your bread's crustAfter shaping your loaf, squeeze-out the twine and gently place in the desire location on the bread's surface.


I will never give up my Lame, but in situations such as yours I fall back on old, non-traditional ways.


Best Baking,


Robert