The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

question on scoring

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dosal's picture
dosal

question on scoring

i am confused on how to use a bent razor blade. Do you use the whole length of the blade edge? If only the corner gets used then the bend doesn't make a difference after all.

pjkobulnicky's picture
pjkobulnicky

you are using the curve to get under the skin of the dough a bit and create the curl that forms the ear. Easier said than done. My baker sone says that learning is easy ... just do about 10,000 and then you'll have it.

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

Excellent tutorials, created by TFL member Dave Snyder (dmsnyder) are available to help you with many of your scoring questions.  You can find these in his Recipe Index on his TFL blog, but here are the links to save you time:

Scoring Bread - The original Version  This is now part of the TFL Handbook (Link at top of page)

Scoring - Updated Tutorial

Scoring Bread Made With High Hydration Dough

I have always learned more rapidly when I can see it done.  Static pictures work, but the videos in these tutorials are even better.  If these help you please thank dmsnyder for his generous work on these.

Happy Baking
OldWoodenSpoon

dosal's picture
dosal

however, dmsnyder only uses the corner of the blade. How come? Why does the blade need to be curved for tha? I also checked up on some old posts and one mentioned to be sure not to use the far edge (blunt edge) or the cut will be ragged. I will try the whole edge minus the short far edge on my bread today and hope it works. I will use a new blade as well. I hope I won't need 10 000 cuts to get this right! :)

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

just as MrFrost pointed out.  Many bakers use a sharp knife (tomato knives are popular) instead.  The curved blade is primarily for use on baguette and batard loaves where an ear is considered desirable, because it helps to raise that little flap a bit and give that ear encouragement.  I use my curved lame for everything just because it is what I have.  Only the trailing portion of the blade (the corner, as dmsnyder's tutorial shows you) is used to cut into the dough.  If you try to use the entire length of the blade in this manner you will very quickly drag that leading un-sharpened corner into the dough and pull a "big ugly" into it. 

As for the 10,000 cuts thing, I hope you don't need them.  For my part, I think that may not be enough.

OldWoodenSpoon

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

All lames are not curved and probably don't need to be for home use.

But for professionals who have to score many loaves throughout their workday, it looks like the curved blade makes the scoring easier and faster.

dosco's picture
dosco

I watched the video that included scoring, it's amazing to see how fast the pros do it.

I was having major problems with my high-hydration doughs. The big change came with how the final loaf proofing is done ... I now proof seam-side-up. I then flip the loaf onto the peel and then score. The dough seems to be different between the bottom and top ... that which was was on the bottom during the final proof is somehow thicker/drier than the seam side and as a result is easier to score.

Practice also helps. I made a loaf the other day, and I used my homebrew lame (double edge blade on a starbucks stirrer stick). I was able to zip right through the dough with no problems, resistance, or deflating dough. I was shocked at how easy it was. Bear in mind that this is after ~20 something loaves of bread, many failures, etc.

Good luck. I hope you can figure it out!!

Cheers-
Dave

 

dosal's picture
dosal

The dough stuck to the bannetons but I tried my luck with the curved blade anyway. The dough turned out much softer than I had anticipated. The loaves are in the oven at present with steam. I'll let you know how the scoring turned out in the end. I still have a lot to learn, sigh......

dosal's picture
dosal

I didn't get ears where I scored, just where the hangup in the bannetons was :). I bet the loaves overproofed since I din't get any oven spring. The dough spread sideways in a big way and i guess I can cut the bread horizontally. Oh well, back to the drawing board.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

You don't have to score it if you don't want to.  Not all loaves get scored.

If the dough is really puffy and soft, avoid scoring across the middle of the loaf, skip over it or try little cuts.

dosal's picture
dosal

after bulk proofing. It was the 'pain au levain with firm levain out of Di Muzio's book. It called for 480g of starter. I only had 400g, but since this had risen one and a half times it's volume over night I figured it would have to do. I used the

600g bread flour, 100g wh wheat, 500g water and 20g salt, let everything rise for 3 hours and it had easily doubled, actually more than doubled. Did a stretch and fold after letting it rest for 20 minutes, and shaped the two loaves. The dough was still a bit sticky so I dusted the board and my hands with flour. I thought I had a skin on the loaves when I transferred them seam side up to the bannetons. They filled the forms in 1,5 hours and ,my bad, I was in the middle of a thrilling book and didn't have the oven pre-heated at that point. When I remembered I preheated to 450 (convection oven} This took about half an hour. Then I flipped the dough onto my peel covered with parchment and they spread out like crazy. Since I never had bread rise all the way to the top before the bannetons had not been properly prepared and the dough stuck somewhat. I had put three bread pans with boiling water in the oven about ten minutes before the bread went in. I left the bread in the oven with steam for about 20 minutes at 450F, then reduced the temperature to 425F for another 20 minutes. DH asked if I had sat on them, but enjoyed them for dinner anyway. The crumb is perfectly done to my liking. Being from Germany I generally like rye bread  and the tighter crumb that has. This bread was light and evenly distributed in its holes and they were not too big. I would say 2-3mm on average.

The crust was great last night, but today after being in a plastic bag overnight it is chewy or even tough.

BTW I simply scored this batch for the experience. I have done lots of straight slashes without problem and this one wasn't a problem either , no hang-ups, even though I used the whole side avoiding the outer edge.

I am still a bit new to sourdough, yeast bread is no problem for me. 

Mini, have you ever used Backferment? I used to bake with this in the 70s and am trying to get back to this and will once the weather warms a bit more.

Thanks for all your comments! You are one of my baking heroes here on the forum.

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Have you looked up:  Backferment  in the site search?   Can also look it up in Ecosia (more European hits search machine)

You gotta set yourself a timer, especially with a good read.   Check on the dough and add a few more minutes.  I like to keep a bake plan to follow when I'm easily distracted from the oven.  

dosal's picture
dosal

Ecosia  search engine website, Mini. Most of the Backferment links on this site seem to be from me, lol. I baked a loaf of rye yesterday with Backferment,very old Backferment starter. I think I made it in June last year. I took more than the required tsp of starter, but the bread turned out fabulous.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I got into reading some old threads myself, gosh, there is so much information hiding around here!   

dosal's picture
dosal

It would take weeks maybe months of intense reading to cover it all. That's why it is easier to just ask a question.

MisterTT's picture
MisterTT

for scoring, which works well if you get into the knack of it. You can simulate a knife cut making tiny snips or just go crazy and do three big snips across the loaf. You get a lot of control, but of course there are some things that are difficult if not indeed impossible to do with scissors, such as a traditional baguette cut, but they work well with any hydration dough.

I have to admit that I got into the habit because of my ineptitude at scoring with a blade, but it still may be something to try.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

or those pattern edge trimming scrap book scissors...   the ones that cut zigzags and such.

oops, or a zig zag razor.

 

 

dosal's picture
dosal

I actually do quite well. Could anybody, please give me directions on how to post a picture in the middle of a thread?

I see the icons above, but they call for an URL. What do I do when I only have pictures on my pc. Please be specific!

Mini, you are full of ideas, one reason why I like to read pretty much everything you post. There are quite a few others, but who has time to just read. I like to practice what I learn and I still!!!! have trouble with high hydration doughs

dosal's picture
dosal

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

That's a good looking loaf.  Figured out scoring and posting.