The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Scoring Boules, Oven Spring

windycityloafster's picture
windycityloafster

Scoring Boules, Oven Spring

Hello all, first time poster here. I was recently advised to score at an angle when scoring boules. I always do this for my batards and it results in a nice ear and good expansion, but I feel like its out of place on my boules, usually resulting in uneven expansion when I'm trying for symmetrical patterns like this X cut here. Am I poorly executing the proper technique, or is the angled score with a curved blade just not advisable for these cuts? Additionally, should I be more aiming for a shallow slit, or scoring more deeply on my boules? Any advice would be much appreciated, thanks!

Now this, there's ears on a couple of the intersections where the scores meet, and the loaf is kinda uneven. Poor expansion.

gavinc's picture
gavinc

I use a curved lame on batards and baguettes and a straight lame on boules. Seeded bread I slash laterally with a serrated knife. Some scoring is by using scissors and another by a wooden rod fendu style. Your bread, your choice.

When scoring a batard, I go fairly shallow the full length of the dough.

windycityloafster's picture
windycityloafster

Thanks so much for the input! I will have to look up that wooden rod fendu technique. Also, that loaf looks great!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

You got the principles of scoring boules vs. bâtards exactly right, and your loaves look great!

There is no law against trying to get an "ear" on a boule, but it is not traditional.

Happy baking!

David

windycityloafster's picture
windycityloafster

Thanks so much! I did some more experimenting and I think that many of my woes lie in poor dough strength and shaping rather than scoring- sometimes I can be a bit of a bad scientist and change more than one variable at a time, leaving me scratching my head and taking shots at my process in the dark. Just got to be patient and consistent.

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

If you score your boule in a # pattern, instead of a +, you can then score at an angle and get some "lift off."

Example: https://www.kingarthurbaking.com/blog/2018/05/31/shaping-a-boule

windycityloafster's picture
windycityloafster

Yeah, I like that cut. I also sometimes do a full circle, and that gives kind of a wierd... ear ish effect.