Can anyone recommend a good lame and where it can be purchased? Thank you!
I bought some single-edge razor blades for breadmaking. Work OK and cheap!
Most lames do seem to be just fancy razor blade holders. That said, someone just posted the other day about how satisfied they were with their new lame:
Here it is at Amazon. Maybe, if you search, you can find it other places:
http://www.amazon.com/Mure-Peyrot-Boulange-Lame/dp/B006K0RS1I/ref=sr_1_1?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1377243740&sr=1-1 ps:Also available at brotform.com for $13 + $4shipping
Here is another type at Breadtopia. Couple of videos showing it in action too. Ships via first class mail to US for only a couple of dollars(on top of the price of the lame, of course):
http://www.breadtopia.com/store/bread-lame.html All great reviews on the site.
Another nice one from Northwest Sourdough/Amazon. Most expensive and does not seem to come with blades. I think she has videos on the site showing use:
The 2 at Amazon have several reviews. Good luck.
Lots of people have commented in the past about using a coffee stir stick, with a double edge razor blade, for a curved lame. Others have said they just use a sharp knife, such as a paring knife, and had good results. That is also the route I take. I have a paring/utilty knife with a 4" blade that I keep razor sharp, and use it for slashing my loaves. It seems to work well, but a true razor blade probably would be better. Either way, there are several options beside buying an actual lame.
As mrfrost mentionned, a lame is simply a thingamajig to hold a razor blade. We don't have any in the shop. We use coffee stir ticks (a.k.a. popsicle sticks) with one end narrowed to fit a double edge safety-type razor blade. The blade is slid over the narrowed end and holds a nice curved shape. It works very well for breads with a fairly low hydration.
For higher hydration doughs, we use a serrated paring knife. Some of my guys/girls prefer what is commonly called a tomato knife with its fine serrations, others prefer something more standard. Whatever works for the individual.
Homemade lames, images:
Lames using coffee stirrers, whittled down popsicle sticks, etc:
At about $12 shipped, and with 5 blades supplied, the Breadtopia lame seems to be a pretty reasonable.
Sturdy looking. No moving parts to break. No hunting for sticks. Delivered to your mailbox.
Try the San Francisco Baking Institute:
The cheap handle is $6, the "expensive" one is $7.50
You can get 10 extra blades for $3, or a package of 250 for a mere $40!
Seriously given the difficulty finding double edge razor blades that's cheap.
Borrowed some of the best features from the lame sold by SFBI designing one with a lemon-wood handle and stainless-steel mandrel.
Currently in the middle of constructing the prototype. Pictures in a day or two of the finished item.
[Concept art render of the design below]
Construction went to plan. [Photo below].
Things learned from this project:
Most lames are made of what amounts to a plastic toothbrush handle with a removable razor blade. The real toothbrush with bristles is much more complicated to manufacture and sells for $ 3.00. A similar lame sells on Amazon for $ 10 or $ 15? Get serious.
I use a straight or cut-throat razor. Mine is 70 years old, has a fantastic edge and and I can sharpen it. Admittedly it is a little scary but is very effective.
.... AND that is why the double-edge razor, which is still pretty risky to handle and use compared to modern disposable razors, was known as the "Safety Razor", LOL!