Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Bread Slashing


Jay Francis
 Share

Recommended Posts

I seem to have difficulty when it is time to make my slash marks on by batards and baguettes. I think the problem is the moistness of the dough. Assuming sharp knife, and either wetted or floured to help it travel across the dough, it still seems that when I make my slashes the blade pulls the dough forward causing it to deflate.

Here are my questions:

After making the slashes do most of you put your bread right into the oven or do you let it rise some more?

Any suggestions on how to make a cleaner slash, some method that works for you?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sacraledge I know, but I use a thin sharp serrated knife to make my cuts, then straight into the oven. I usually have steam in the oven via some ice cubes or a spray bottle and that gives the dough a bit of a spring.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Its not the wet dough, if properly formed and proofed.

Make the slash immediately before putting the bread in the oven.

Dough is complex stuff,, and the outer layer is slightly dried, and also has collapsed bubbles and bubbles where the CO2 has diffused out to be repalced by air diffusing in. This layer holds the loaf, and why you need to prove in a porous basket like a banneton. Slashing breaks this taut layer. In the oven the inreased gas production is fast enough to overcome the losses, but otherwise a slashed proofed loaf will spread and collapse, Slash on the peel and straight into the oven

Bakers use a "lame" - a razor blade on a stick. You need a thin super sharp blade, and an ordinary knife will drag. Use a one sided razor blade or a scapel or a craft knife or a specialist tool such as http://www.scaritech.com/uk/scarification-manuelle.php

These are resold by many people, so do a web search or check you locsl bskers supply house or http://www.sfbi.com/baking_supplies.html

Ideally hold the blade at 45 degrees to the surface so you are cutting a flap, not down into loaf

Be fast, be bold. It really is a slash, not a cut. As in many things, never go back.

Edited by jackal10 (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just use one of my regular carbon steel knives, but I hone it prior to use.

I pull the knife quickly across the dough and let the weight of the blade do the work.

It takes some practice to get the feel.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Count me in the sacreligious camp too... I use a Cutco serrated knife for my slashing. (boy, doesn't THAT sound wonderful if taken out of context :shock: ) I make fairly "wet" bread and I always felt my razor slashes were more drag than cut, but the serrated blade works like a charm. It is true that confidence is a huge part of the process and I really should try my lame again to see if I could get it to work better now that I slash with abandon (... again.... context! :laugh: ).

"There are no mistakes in bread baking, only more bread crumbs"

*Bernard Clayton, Jr.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...