The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Disagreement about scoring...

householddutch's picture

Disagreement about scoring...

So at work (a high volume bakery) we have this new guy who claims that nearly all the bread in his former bakery was scored before proofing. I'm fairly certain that's crazy talk, but are there any exceptions to this? There is one type of roll that we score before proofing, only because it's delicate and has a tendancy to deflate if done after proofing.

I told him the cuts would look awfull/close up, but does anyone know exactly the benefit of waiting till the bread is just about to go into the oven? I can only vaguely recall that scoring before proofing is a bad thing.

He was also going to make the cuts on a delicate boule with a gigantic bread knife. The horror!

yy's picture

One exception I've seen is a friend of Chad Robertson, the owner of Tartine Bakery, who shapes and scores his sandwich loaves ahead of an overnight proofing. The final product looks just fine, but it seems that the score would have little definition if it weren't for the flour sprinkled on top before slashing. You can see it in the video below (start at around 2:40)

He makes pan loaves - I'm not sure how this method of scoring so early would work with freeform hearth loaves.

ds99302's picture

We score some of our bread before proofing and some of it after proofing.   The Italian bread is scored after proofing.    We just use a serrated bread knife for scoring.  The key is to let the bread dry first after taking it out of the proofer before you score it.    Sub buns  are scored 3 times on a diagonal before proofing.  When they proof it makes it look like the dough has been twisted.  I have scored them after proofing if I've forgotten to score them before proofing but I don't think they look as good.

ehanner's picture

The result will be different of course than if scored after proofing. I'd be careful about saying it would look "awful". I would say it is more of a style issue for a particular type of bread.  If you are working for a large high volume bakery, the goal isn't to produce artisan style breads in the first place.


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven