The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Variation in scoring technique

PeterPiper's picture

Variation in scoring technique

I did a little experiment with my daily bread.  I usually bake 3 or 4 loaves, with 3 in loaf pans and one free-form.  I have always scored them the same way:  the free-form gets on long central score, the pan loaves get two parallel vertical scores.  But this time I wanted to see how identical loaves in the same oven would react to different scores.  Latitudinal, longitudinal, diagonal, and the long low-angle cut.  The results are clear:

The best bloom came from the free-form and pan loaves that got a single long cut with the blade held almost horizontal, lifting the dough up rather than cutting a slice in it.  All these were baked in an oven with no steam.  The depth of the cuts was uniform but the results quite different.  I think the dough was slightly underproofed, looking at the massize bloom of the free-form loaf, but I did learn that the simplest cut with the right technique lets the bread keep blooming instead of sealing up as the others did.

Happy baking!


Maggie Lou's picture
Maggie Lou

Does slashing the proofed dough make it rise in the hot oven?  I have been terrified of doing this, afraid my risen dough would collapse.


Also: I had a beautifully risen dough (both proofs) but it sunk in the heated oven.  Taste was good; texture alright.  but why the loss of height?  Was it because I did not slash?

It was a 3/4 AP and 1/4 Dark Rye; smooth and not too heavy.  Yeast was perfectly proofed... high and bubbly.

After the first proof, the very damp towel stuck to the high dome of dough - bummer.

Was that the problem?

thanks for helping!!

dmsnyder's picture

This is almost surely due to over-proofing.

If you have questions about the purpose and effects of scoring, I recommend reading the Scoring tutorial in the TFL Handbook.


Maggie Lou's picture
Maggie Lou

Gosh, I don't see how I could have let it over proof.  It called for 2-3 hours, and I looked in at 1.25 hours because it had risen dramatically and I was concerned about it sticking to the damp towel (which it did).  I just took it out, dumped it onto the table. rested it and began to incorporate some flour to knead it.  Then it doubled - or nearly - in an hour the second time around.  After putting it the preheat of 400 it sunk.

Anyway, I will definately read on scoring. 

Thanks David.  i appreciate your input.

Maggie Lou