The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sandwich breads - to score or not to score?

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Sandwich breads - to score or not to score?

There have been a few posts lately showing sandwich loaves that are lopsided or which have blowouts on one side, asking "What did I do wrong?". My comment was that the poster should try deeply scoring the loaf down the middle to allow even oven spring.

To test this, I decided to not score the Multigrain sandwich bread that I baked this morning. I did score the loaf I baked yesterday. And here's the difference -


And not scored:

The recipe, technique and timings (for bulk ferment and final proof) were all the same, and the pans were rotated in the oven halfway through baking.

Here endeth the lesson...

AlanG's picture

These were baked in loaf pans, correct?  Are they sourdough or yeasted?  In all my years of baking sandwich loaves I have never seen any yeast bread in a loaf pan come out lopsided or with a blowout. I never bother rotating the pans either.

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

I have often had this happen when I don't score the loaves and get good oven spring. Maybe it's a result of rolling the dough up for sandwich loaves? Do you roll up the dough (a la jelly roll), or shape it by folding and chafing (similar to shaping a batard)?

AlanG's picture

is my modus operandi .  I use the same procedure for batards, loaves, and french bread.  I only have a couple of oval proofing baskets so I don't do boules which would use a different type of shaping.  

andythebaker's picture

i proof loaf pans a bit more than i think i should.  it's like the core is still catching up to the outside of the loaf that i'm doing the poke test on.  that may be because i form the loaf tighter than freeform loaves, because i want a more even crumb for sammiches.   mmmm... sammiches.

so, proof more or score to control the bloom that occurs from slightly underproofed dough.

my 2 cents.

breadboy025's picture

I too have many episodes where the oven spring pops in weird places, more with sourdough than with yeast, but with both.  The wonder of making bread at home is that no two loaves generally are exactly the same.  You alter things all the time--be it humidity, ambient temp, activity of yeast, freshness of flour, type of flour, a few grams off of salt, etc. 


I have yet to exactly figure out why sometimes my scoring works and others it doesn't.  So I just laugh, post pics, eat.  As my friends tell me--it all looks good to THEIR mouths!.  (I would give a gentle score up the middle of the sandwich loaves just to give it room.  Go down maybe 1/4 inch.  But what do I know....)

mutantspace's picture

i always score my sandwich loaves but more for practice and aesthetic than anything else....same with shaping them i tend to do batard shaping for practice although i might start rolling from now on - start being more practical about it as i tend to do a batard and then shape it into a roll.

macette's picture

I tried a score and not score and a steam and not one scored and no steam 2nd one steam and obviously un scored. A score and steam next...