Bloomer slashing/ Lame adventures
Having recently ventured back in to bread making, I found myself making some pretty poorly shaped and generally poorly executed loaves. I decided the best way forward was to start from scratch.
With this in mind, I have been working from Paul Hollywood's Bread, a great book which had the added bonus of starting with the very basic recipes to build your bread knowledge on.
Having spent many hours researching kneading techniques and shaping many doughs to varying degrees of success. I still found my basic bloomer to be springing out in all sorts of odd shapes and angles once it hit the heat of the oven. After a bit of googling and general internet digging- I established that my slashing of the dough, or lack of it- may be to blame.
I have always tried my hardest to avoid slashing bread, or doing it so poorly that it really might as well not happened at all. I found that I was overly heavy handed most of the time, deflating more than my fair share of dough just before it was about to be cooked.
This was one I stumbled upon a video on youtube of someone using a tool I had never seen before, what to me looked much like a razor on a stick.
What was this mystery object?
I did some more digging and came across the term "bread lame". This seemed to be the answer to my question.
This  article on this very site (and goodness only knows why I didn't come here first) provides amazing detail and insight into why scoring/slashing can be a very important step in creating a great loaf shape.
So I ordered one of these amazing things from the internet (an admittedly cheap one by standards, but I will invest in a better one once this one has run its course.
My first few outings trying this tool were far superior to my earlier attempts- but you can see that I am still dragging the blade a little. (you can see where it has pulled the dough, even after cooking.)
So I persevere, and my slashing is gradually getting better and better, and thus the shape of my loaves are getting better as well.
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog.