The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Help with scoring....

Bread Head's picture
Bread Head

Help with scoring....

I can't seem to get it right.  I score my loaves with a lame (razor blade on a coffee stirrer).

Seems like the loaves I retard in the fridge are a bit easier because they have a tighter skin.  But for the most part I can't get the square score right on the top of the Tartine Loaf.  The skin keeps stretching and moving.

Any tips?

LindyD's picture

Maybe this will offer some inspiration:

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss


I find it easier with a good serrated paring knife which I use only for slashing.

Now, with more practise, I can use a lame if I choose to.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

start further down the sides of the loaf and not in the top middle.  

Put on some Spanish guitar music and think "Zorro!"

Click your heels together when you've finished your score.   (Once is enough or you may end up in Kansas)   :)

pmccool's picture

What do you have against Kansas, mini?  Having moved here three different times, I'd say that it's a pretty good place to be!


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I got nothing against Kansas, lived there as a little girl, all my first memories are from Kansas.  Kindergarten and the 1st grade too!   If we all click our heels at the same time, will we end up in your kitchen?  Wouldn't that be fun!

"There's no place like home" for home slashed & baked bread.   


pmccool's picture

You were in Kansas as a little girl, I was in Michigan as a little boy.  I went to Michigan Tech at approximately the same time that you were living in da U.P.  Then I wind up in Kansas (the first time) in my late thirties.  Sooner or later we're bound to meet in person.  And my wife and I love being in the kitchen with friends.  So, yes, by all means, in my kitchen.  All you have to do is convince your husband that the shortest route home to Europe from Chile is through Kansas.


Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

I found something called a grapefruit knife that is handy in slashing. It has serrations on both edges of the blade and curls up towards the end of the blade, somewhat like a lame.

I'm still not perfect with my slashing but the knife is definitely a handy little piece.

pezking7p's picture

I was so excited to get my new lame a few weeks ago because it was going to make my slashes so much better and easier....


I gave up trying to use it after two loafs because it was so awful, I just use a sharp knife now with very good success.  Still wish I could get a lame to work.

lesparza5's picture

I've found that with practice the scoring becomes easier. I use the same razor and coffee stirrer too. Just keep baking my friend. Before you know it, it will be second nature on scoring bread and then some...

Wild-Yeast's picture

I've been using a #24 Scalpel for the slashing honors - till I remembered that the sharpest knife in the house is a shashimi knife from Japan. The shashimi blade is made of high carbon steel - to the point of the steel being almost brittle. Although inacpable of being used as a hatchet it attains and retains a wickedly keen razor edge. Low angle slashes of the blade open the oven ready loaves allowing beautifully expressive oven spring with an attendant "ear" if required.

Really can't believe it took me this long to get right...,


kimemerson's picture

What about depth? How deep should a slash/score/dock be?

Wild-Yeast's picture

0.5 kilo batard loaves are scored to a depth of 16 mm [5/8"] at the deepest point [slash is at a 45 degree angle].


Sadassa_Ulna's picture

For months I had been trying to score high hydration baguettes with either a razor or a just sharpened knife. I finally decided to try something with teeth and I was amazed at how well it worked. I used the same knife I usually cut bread with after it is baked.  I gently press my left hand against the left side to give a little resistance and it works perfectly. 

foodslut's picture

.... with Derma-Safe folding disposable knives. I learned about them at Cool Tools, bought some as handy letter/parcel openers, and tried one just out of curiosity on one of the loaves - worked great. I bought mine at, but a search for "Derma-safe knives" should bring up all sorts of places to buy them.

Good luck in your hunt for great slashes.

jeffers's picture

..use a sharp serrated bread knife to good effect (as suggested above just steady the proved loaf with your non-cutting hand).