The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Trouble scoring's picture

Trouble scoring

I have had some trouble being able to score my loafs before baking.

I wait till I believe they are proofed and use a sharp knife or a bread lame 

apx. 75 percent hydration AP flour 80 percent biga used in final mix

they either pull too much with the blade and may collapse a little from my attempt

dmsnyder's picture

If your loaf collapses, it is almost certainly over-proofed. Usually, problems with the blade dragging can be solved by 1) using a very sharp blade; 2) cutting quickly and in one motion. Don't hesitate. 3) If needed, wet or oil the blade to lubricate it (seldom necessary).

For a basic but comprehensive over-view, this may help:

Scoring Bread: An updated tutorial 

Happy baking!

David's picture

Thank You I think I do over proof sometimes

ciabatta's picture

A fresh clean razor blade is the best tool. i've used knives, and single blade (not replacable razor kind) lames and they either dont work well or wear out very quickly or dont cut deep enough.

But also note that the loaf scores easier when

- it is cold (retard in the fridge or even 5 minutes in the freezer firms up the dough)

- when the skin is dry (rice flour dusting especially along the score lines for a few minutes sucks up a bit of moisture for a cleaner score)

- lower hydration (low hydration dough scores easier than high hydration dough generally speaking)

- it is well shaped (good tension on the loaf will make it easier to score) sometimes when my loaves come out of the fridge and look a bit limp, i use my bench knife and give it a little tuck all around to firm up the tension. it also makes a taller loaf but at the cost of some bunching up lines on the bottom.

a properly proofed loaf will spring back even if a deep score bursts some pockets of air and it flattens a bit on top.

-James's picture

Thanks Cibatta that’s all good info

Planeden's picture

I tend to dig the corner of a razor blade in because I use too shallow an angle .  But I just hone my paring knife really good and it works well for me.  It is small and has nice control.  I've also thought about buying a straight razor, but that seems a bit expensive for bread.