The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

how to score a bread?

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arvivlx2's picture
arvivlx2

how to score a bread?

hello. i've a lame and many kind of knives, but doesnt matter with what tool i scoring, the tool always pull the dough's sorface and ruin the dough. what is the method to scoring? how to do it correctly? i saw breads been scored with lame and it's looking really nice and all but i cant get to that..

cranbo's picture
cranbo

Lots of videos on Youtube for this, search for scoring, slashing. A search within TFL will also turn up some guidance.  

Some tips:

  1. Make sure your scoring utensil (knife, lame, etc) is extremely sharp; try a fresh razor blade to get an idea for how sharp it should be. 
  2. Use fairly quick motion for slashing; watch videos to get an idea for the speed and decisiveness required. 
  3. If necessary, gently support the dough with your fingertips while slashing. For example, if slashing with your right hand, use your thumb and forefinger (in a "pinch"-type shape) on either side where you will slash using your left hand to support the dough; vice versa if you're slashing with your left hand. 
  4. Let your finished, shaped dough sit uncovered for 15 minutes (or more) to let the crust  dry out a little before slashing, makes it a lot easier. 
  5. If your dough is overproofed or if it's a really wet dough (like focaccia), it may be difficult or impossible to cleanly score/slash the bread. It will be easier if your dough is low or moderately hydrated (between 55-70%). 
  6. It's easier to score/slash an underproofed loaf.

 

lumos's picture
lumos

Could be due to the condition of your dough when scoring, rather than the technique of scoring; for example, hydration level, over-proofing, insufficient surface tention or the surface being too wet/moist.  If all those facters are alright, it may help if you cool the dough for a while before scoring (= putting the dough in a fridge in the last part of final proof). Cooled dough is firmer and usually much easier to score.

proth5's picture
proth5

I was working with a beginning baker on scoring with a blade and cautioned her that a lot of the time when you see pulling of the dough, you are angling the blade so that the back of the blade comes in contact with the dough.  You wan to make sure that only the middle (or so) of the blade and the front of the blade is used.

It seemed to work for her.

And from personal experience, the only time I get snagging (with a blade - on a blade holder) is when I get sloppy and let the back of the blade touch the dough.

I will also add my voice to the "wicked sharp" tip.  I started having trouble with my scoring a while back and - "D'oh!" - it all cleared up when I changed the blade. Do not waste your money on those Matfer lames with non replaceable blades.  They dull quickly. 

Hope this helps.

lumos's picture
lumos

 a lot of the time when you see pulling of the dough, you are angling the blade so that the back of the blade comes in contact with the dough. You wan to make sure that only the middle (or so) of the blade and the front of the blade is used.

This is very interesting. Never thought about it that way.  Am I right in thinking 'back of the blade' is the part nearest to the top tip of a grignette/lame (or stick or skewer or whatever you're improvising) = furthermost from your hand and 'the front of the blade' being the nearest to your hand? (I'm thinking ' front-back ' in relation to the direction of scoring.

proth5's picture
proth5

the back of the blade is the part closest to your hand when you are using a double edged blade and a blade holder.  Very often folks will attempt to cut with the entire edge of the blade and the back - which is dull - will come in contact with the dough.  The blade needs to be angled "out" a bit (that is the front of the blade closer to the dough than the back of the blade) and this issue clears up.  You can actually see this in most scoring videos, but usually no one makes a big deal of it as it is pretty fundamental.

Hope this helps

lumos's picture
lumos

Glad I asked!   Because I misunderstood 'back' and 'front' in your post, I thought  it was unusual.... but now it makes sense.  Thanks for clearing the matter! :)

lumos's picture
lumos

A duplicate post, for some unknown technical reaon, deleted.

 

lumos's picture
lumos

 

 ....as above....

flournwater's picture
flournwater