The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Scoring Loaves

hydestone's picture

Scoring Loaves

Do the double sided razors with the curve really make a difference when scoring loaves?  I have decent luck with serated knives.  I can't seem to get a nice cut with utility knive or regular chef's knives.  Works better when I use a wet knife but I am wondering if it is worth it to pick up some of the fance lame blades.  Anyone have a good cheap source for them?

cpanza's picture

I have absolutely no luck scoring with knives - no matter how sharp, the knife pulls at the dough and it's a mess as you wind up doing some sort of sawing.

I use a double-sided razor. There's just no comparison with a knife. I keep it in a small dish near my baking supplies. One day I'll probably pick up a razor scoring tool just so I don't have to worry about scoring my fingers everytime I slash dough!

If anyone has a cheap source for the razor implements, I'd appreciate it too.



dmsnyder's picture

Read Bread Scoring Tutorial (updated 1/2/2009)

Skip the disposable lames. They get dull too fast -  waste of money, in my opinion.

Lame holders can be obtained from TMB

or Bridge Kitchen Wares,33.html

Happy baking!



Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

that actied like a razor.  If you pull the edges (sort of like string cheese) be very careful and turn a flat bamboo scewer into a lame.

fminparis's picture

Use razor blades - and not single edge.  Double edge are sharper and thinner.  Lame holders are great but not necessary.  And quick, quick slashes.  The slower and more deliberate, the more the dragging. Zip, zip.

bnom's picture

FMinParis has it right on all point above.  Regarding the curved blade --  The curve does make a difference for getting a proper grigne on a baguette. Use the straight blade (or your knife) for boules and other straightforward slashing needs)

The lame holders I've used include a nutpick, wooden swizzle cadged from Starbucks, and a chopstick.  

Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

Xacto or scalpel . . .

varda's picture

I don't know about scalpels.  I was convinced xacto knives would be great but didn't get anywhere with them - they are dull compared with razor blades.   Now I use an ordinary shaving two sided razor blade duct taped to an unsharpened pencil.   This seems to work pretty well.  Of course the blade needs to be replaced from time to time. 

Wild-Yeast's picture

One problem with using "sharp" knives is that hardly anyone knows how to maintain a sharp edge. So it's best to use a replaceable blade such as the double edge safety razor blade.

A small but important observation is the use of rice flour. Realizing that rice flour is like tiny ball bearings when it comes to the blade sticking to the dough was somewhat of a revelation.

I've been using the scalpel pictured below to score the loaves. 

A first pass cut opens the "protein wrapper" followed by a 30 degree [or so] angle cut for ear development...,


Scalpel Lame

hydestone's picture

I've been using a wet sharpened knife.  Glides through like a hot knife through butter.  Quicker the better!