The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Scoring Issues

Bred Maverick's picture
Bred Maverick

Scoring Issues

I always seem to have difficulty scoring my baguette dough.  I believe the dough is well hydrated, not over-kneaded, and it is properly proofed. There is no "skin" on the dough.  I use a new, sharp razor blade, but the blade gets "stuck" in the dough when I try to score it at a slight or perpendicular angle - the blade does NOT slice through the dough.  Baked, the baguette is gorgeous and the crumb, wonderful. 

Any suggestions how I can score my dough without a tug of war?



flournwater's picture

You can try making successive shallow cuts rather than single deep cuts.  Or you could try wetting the blade with water or lubricating it with oil.

sephiepoo's picture

Hi Diane,

David did a really wonderful Scoring Tutorial (search for that in the top left box) if you haven't had a chance to look at his updated post.  If you're scoring perpendicular (90 degrees to your dough), try to shoot for more of a 30-45 degree angle instead.

I used to have this issue as well, but when I started proofing loaves in my couche (canvas cloth from the fabric store), having a thin skin on the outside of the loaf helped tremendously.  Granted, this also probably somewhat impedes the oven spring, but I haven't noticed much of a problem with it - still getting good spring here!

There was a really great discussion I found on a previous thread, that I hope I can link correctly called "Slash Top Problem"  Otherwise, you can search for it. Hope that helps!

edited because I'm link inept :)

Barbara Krauss's picture
Barbara Krauss

I have read many of the great suggestions offered here for improving my scoring technique and will continue to work on them.  This question is aimed specifically at the blade -- I was wondering if part of my problem is that I'm not replacing my blade often enough.  How often are you supposed to replace them?  Generally I use a double-sided razor blade afixed to a thin wooden stick and discard the blade after six or eight uses (three or four cuts per edge.)  I was puzzled when I received a curved lame that was permanently attached to a plastic wand with no visible way to replace the blade (from the King Arthur catalog.)  Do people really go through $7 blades and discard them after only a few cuts?  Sorry if this has already been addressed; I checked some threads and didn't see anything specific to frequency of use. Thanks.

Gourmand2go's picture

As far as I know, it's not only frequency of use but age of the blade that obtains because surface tension causes the edge to fold over onto the blade in time--not something you would notice with the naked eye.  So unused knives go dull without any help from us.

This makes me wonder about the shelf life of razor blades.  If they've been in the store any length of time they may not be sharp enough when first used.

logdrum's picture

After watching this video

I've switched to a thin fillet knife. Vincent, the guy in the video uses a serrated tomato knife & instructs to cut "parallel to the loaf". I've watched the video many times & my slashing technique has improved measurably.