The Fresh Loaf

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Some attempts at scoring

breadsong's picture

Some attempts at scoring

I tried making sourdough semolina this weekend, after getting some pointers and help from Franko (Thanks, Franko!).

I mixed up a batch of dough, enough to make 4 big loaves, and was happy to have this opportunity to practice scoring.

The scoring on the top loaf was on a whim, wanting to see how diamond scoring would look on a batard.
The scoring on the left loaf was inspired by something I saw on The Back Home Bakery’s video, “Three Breads from Start to Finish” (0:57 mark). I am grateful for all of the helpful information in Mark’s videos, including the batard shaping in this one (Thanks, Mark!). 
The scoring on the right loaf was on another whim, trying for “basketweave” scoring (thinking of Easter baskets this weekend!).

 The shaping on this loaf was an attempt at an “Easter egg” shape.
The scoring was to try to replicate something I saw in the second photo David shared in his post about his
Artisan II class at SFBI (the small, dark oval loaf, at front, second from left). The cuts on the SFBI loaf opened up so beautifully; I hope to try this one again, to get a result more like the SFBI loaf.
There are a wealth of scoring ideas in that post of David’s. (Thanks, David!)

Happy baking everyone,
from breadsong



Mebake's picture

Great Scoring, Breadsong! what a batch of beautiful loaves! They all look lovely!


breadsong's picture

Hello Khalid,
Thank you - and your Pain au Levain with Whole Wheat you just posted about look absolutely lovely, too.
The scoring your batards looks wonderful - like you took a page out of David's book!
Thanks again, from breadsong

arlo's picture

One of the things I love to do at work is scoring all those loaves of bread. It's fun to be creative!

Your loaves look excellent, I love the basketweave style.

breadsong's picture

Thank you, Arlo! I remember that beautiful batard you scored when you posted about miche, point a calliere; that was a gorgeous loaf. It is fun to try creative, decorative scoring. I look forward to seeing your next 'creation'!
With thanks from breadsong

louie brown's picture
louie brown

These attempts are successes. Like arlo, I especially like the basketweave. Very nice work.

breadsong's picture

Hello Louie, So glad you like the basketweave!
I was trying to taper the ends each score, in hopes of achieving the beautiful effect you did with your olive leaves.
I will keep trying to practice this and admire your finesse with the scoring blade!
Thanks, from breadsong

MadAboutB8's picture

It look like you had so much fun trying the scoring, breadsong. They all look great. You're a master in this domain:) Your works are truly inspiring.

Did you find differences in the crumbs with different scoring, i.e. openess?



breadsong's picture

Hello Sue, Thanks once again for your kind words! :^)
That's an interesting question, but I can't answer as have only cut one of the loaves (two have been given away, and one's in the freezer). Here's a crumb shot from the one I did cut:

I'd like to try baking two batards side by side, one batard with a long score parallel to the side of the loaf, and the other batard with scores going across the loaf, to see. And hope for consistency in shaping for both, to eliminate that variable!

Sue, your recent bake of semolina sourdough was phenomenal in terms of scoring and crumb! (Did you notice any difference in crumb with your loaves, as a result of the different scoring techniques?)

Thanks again! from breadsong

wally's picture

A feast for the eyes!

breadsong's picture

Thank you so much, Larry!

varda's picture

of scoring styles.   I'll bookmark, so that I won't be caught in the same old, same old frame of mind.   You have shown that there is always a new way to do it.  -Varda

breadsong's picture

Hello Varda,
Thank you for your comments. I've appreciated the scoring ideas contributed by so many others, also.
Thanks again, from breadsong

Franko's picture

Beautiful loaves breadsong!

The experiment I did using a semolina levain was interesting, but didn't yield anything near to what you've achieved with these loaves. I'm very happy you were able to use what I learned from my attempt at it to it's best advantage and produce such splendid loaves. The scoring on all the loaves is awesome, so it's hard to pick one over the others but the basket weave style is so eye catching and unique I'd say it's my fave.

Best Wishes,


breadsong's picture

Hello Franko, I certainly am grateful to you for your help and coaching on the semolina levain.
I'm glad these loaves worked out, as it was an enormous amount of dough (4.5kg) and it would have been a
'really big mistake' otherwise!
I'm so happy you liked the basketweave!
:^) from breadsong

Syd's picture

Beautiful, breadsong!  My favourite is the one next to the basket weave.  Those score marks somehow just accentuate the contours of the loaf.  Lovely! :)



breadsong's picture

Hello Syd, I really admire Tim's (breadbakingbassplayer) scoring style, and Mark's pan loaf scoring was beautiful, as featured in his video.
There are so many great ideas out there and I was grateful to have the chance to try one out on my loaf.
Thanks again! from breadsong 

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

It shows in your craft. Am I envious? You know it!!

breadsong's picture

Hello PG,
I do have fun playing around!
Thanks for your comments :^)
from breadsong

dmsnyder's picture

I don't have a favorite. I think they are all wonderful.


breadsong's picture

Hello David,
That Artisan II post of yours was a motherlode of ideas - thanks again, so much, for posting your photos from the class.    :^) from breadsong

SylviaH's picture

You were very artistic in creating an Easter look to your scoring...the first thing I thought viewing the loaves was how they reminded me of beautifully decorated Easter eggs!  The shaping of the batards are perfect. Gorgeous baking!


breadsong's picture

Hello Sylvia, I'm so glad you liked these!
If they all ended up looking like Easter eggs, I guess it was by accident, not by 'design' -
I was actually only really trying for an 'egg' with the one loaf  :^)
Thanks for helping me see these loaves differently!
from breadsong

kim's picture


Your breads are always inspiring me, I love all the scoring.I wish you live not so far away; at least you can teach me your scoring method.


breadsong's picture

Hello Kimmy,
I wish you were closer too - I'd love for you to show me how you laminate and shape croissant dough!
They say a fair exchange is no robbery - but I don't think what I could offer in terms of scoring would measure up against your considerable croissant-making skills!
:^) from breadsong

M2's picture

You can definitely eat with your eyes first!  The right loaf in the first picture looks like a crocodile to me :)

Do you find the scoring pattern has an impact on the overspring?

Great scoring, Breadsong!


breadsong's picture

Hello Michelle,
I so appreciate the observations of others - and seeing things in a new way - thank you for your comments.
I find scoring has an impact on the direction the loaf expands in, while baking;
David posted an excellent writeup about this subject in his bread scoring tutorial.
With thanks from breadsong

Janknitz's picture

but the baking and the shaping are lovely too!  You're getting spectacular looking crusts there--a good sign that the bread must be wonderful as well.  Thanks for sharing--gives me something to aspire to. 

breadsong's picture

Hello and thank you for your compliments!
I was very pleased with these loaves - the loaves sang and the crusts crackled after removal from the oven;
the bread and crust have a wonderful flavor and I'm now a huge fan of semolina sourdough after this first bake!
:^) from breadsong

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Wow! what great fun and what a line of comments!  

I like your scores and the “basketweave” too, doesn't look like a basket but it looks great!

I got to thinking about the effect of the little scores...  what would happen if the scores were double lines instead of singles?  ll=ll=ll   could that give a lattice effect?


breadsong's picture

Hello Mini,
Another good idea - thanks! Might have to keep the scores really shallow, so they don't widen too much and get too close together, or merge, as the loaf expands?
I'm so glad you liked these loaves - I've admired your seeded loaves very much, especially your 'Romancing The Seeds!' loaf!
Re: comments, I'm flattered that so many people responded!
Thanks so much, Mini.
from breadsong


ehanner's picture

Seeing your creative  posts is always a feast for my eyes. I'm actually not a very creative person but looking at your experiments gives me hope. That's also why I enjoy the videos you mention of Mark's so much. He has the hands of a master and the ability to transfer his skills via his videos. Thank you for sharing.


breadsong's picture

Hello Eric,
Thanks so much and I agree with you completely regarding Mark's videos - it's so very generous of him to take the time to create and share them.
It's fascinating to see the way the dough responds to a skilled shaper's hands, isn't it?
I'm happy you liked the pictures of these loaves. I'm grateful to the many generous bakers here on TFL who've shared pictures and how-to's for so many beautiful loaves.
:^) from breadsong