The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Using a lame

patman23's picture

Using a lame

I have a bread lame and for some reason it sticks to the dough.  Instead of getting nice deep cuts I get a jagged pull across the dough.  What am I doing wrong?


Les Nightingill's picture
Les Nightingill

others have suggested wetting or oiling the lame, but the tip that has worked best for me is to make the cuts very quickly.

It also makes a difference what container you use in the final ferment. A banneton allows the outer skin of the loaf to dry out just a little... this helps prevent sticking. If you're using a metal/glass/plastic bowl, the outside of the dough stays wetter and sticks more.



tchism's picture

Along with what Les is advising, I do the following: I allow my dough to sit uncovered on the counter after a first loaf forming for 30 min. Then I flip the loaf over and complete a second loaf forming placing tension on the slight outer skin that formed while setting. The tension will help with scoring after final proofing. Along with the type of container you use, dough hydration plays a part in how a loaf scores. The wetter the dough, the harder it can be to keep the blade from sticking.

Syd's picture

Do you have a lame with a replaceable blade?  If you do, change your blade regularly.  Wet dough will stick to your lame and later dry out.  This dried dough will snag on your dough the next time you use it and cause it to snag.  You need to keep them clean. I rinse mine off after using it and inspect it to make sure nothing is stuck to it.  I also change the blades regularly.  

But also as Les says:  make your cuts quickly and decisively.  You also need to get the angle right.  Practice, practice, practice.  




BobS's picture

Check out the scoring tutorial:

I also second (or is it third or fourth) the need to score quickly; try keeping your thumb on the bottom of the lame and scoring with a quick motion of your arm.