Ultimate Slashing Tool
Upon seeing the posts questioning how to store your razor blades, I thought I would share my discovery with you all. I used to use a single edge razor and a sharpened paring knife and I even bought a lame from KA and tried the double edge razor on a coffee stirrer stick. All of those devices will slash your dough some of the time without getting snagged or tearing the surface. Some recommend the blade be wet or oiled or floured to help glide the blade without sticking. None of those devices will work reliably all the time or on any type of dough, even over proofed fragile dough.
I have read several places that a serrated knife will work for slashing but it seemed like a good way to snag the dough so until recently I disregarded the advice and stuck with a sharp razor like knife. When I couldn't find my blade quickly one day I grabbed my old Tomato knife and slashed my dough more easily than ever before. It was an epiphany of sorts. We all want to create some artful design that shows our artistry and I usually hold my breath when it comes to slashing. After a few times on a variety of french, rye's, sunflower seed loaves, I am hooked. There isn't a better way to reliably slash dough. The knife I use was sold as a Tomato knife when I bought it 25 years ago. It's a 5 inch blade with a very non aggressive serration that has been worn down over the years. I found a Tomato Knife from Komachi on Amazon for $14 that looks like it would be about the same as my knife when new. Plus it comes in a case! If you haven't tried a serrated (maybe a worn out serrated) knife for slashing I urge you to try it out. I like the small size better for more gentle handling and my rounded tip makes curves a breeze. Check it out!