The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Slashing / Scoring Technique

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alpinegroove's picture
alpinegroove

Slashing / Scoring Technique

Is there a good source that explains different slashing or scoring techniques? Or perhaps someone here could explain?
What is the significance, for instance, of blade angle, depth, direction, placement on the loaf, etc.

Thanks

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Not only is a search of this site worthwhile but you could take a look at Youtube for videos on the subject.  Look at the KA flour video on scoring baguettes as this video contains a lot of good information.

Jeff

GermanFoodie's picture
GermanFoodie

I prefer using a razor blade to score my breads, lames are somewhat cumbersome. They are available, for example, at TMB baking, along with lame holders. Scoring not only makes your bread look pretty (and for some bread/roll styles certain ways to score are customary), it also lets it expand in a more controlled way when baking it because it releases some of the trapped gasses. Also, but I may be mistaken here, the way certain people like to score their "house" breads is somewhat of a "signature".

As for HOW to do it, always let the blade to the cutting and use only the respective tip, NEVER the full blade edge. I usually cut about 1/4" deep, but it also depends on the loaf/style of loaf and how I'm scoring it. If you don't cut deep enough, the cuts will "heal" themselves, if you cut too deep, the loaf doesn't retain its shape right and basically drifts apart. You will learn with practice. Oh, and Reinhart explains it in the "Bread Baker's Apprentice" quite nicely.

alpinegroove's picture
alpinegroove

Thanks for everyone's responses. GermanFoodie, why use only the tip and not the blade edge?
When I try to slash with the tip, it drags some of the dough.
Thanks.

GermanFoodie's picture
GermanFoodie

... are usually related to the wetness of the dough and sharpness of the blade, as well as how it's handled. If you are dragging dough, it's not because you are using the tip, but either b/c the blade is not sharp enough OR you are exerting too much pressure rather than letting the blade do the work OR the dough is rather wet and therefore resists cutting OR a combination of any/all of these.

You use the tip b/c you have more control that way and you have less of a pressure point on an already resisting surface. Think about it: is it easier to pierce a tomato with a needle or to slice it with a large knife? Is it easier to get through the skin with the tip of the knife and THEN cut it or to try and cut it w/ a blade that may not be 100% sharp?

Hope that makes sense. :) ~ Sofie