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Stretching dough when cutting bread tops?


lizztwozee
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Hello, all. I'm an avid bread baker with a recurring problem. The tops of my loaves stretch, instead of being cleanly cut, when I'm cutting their tops before putting them in the oven. I'm using a fresh, new very sharp X-Acto #11 blade, which has a point, and is triangular shaped, and holding it almost parallell to the work surface, just as I learned at the French Pastry School in Chicago, where I took a great class. Now I know my blade is not the traditional lame shape, but shouldn't that work as well, as long as it's very sharp? Thanks in advance.

Lizz

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"you miss 100% of the shots you don't take"

-Wayne Gretzky

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Having baked artisan breads professionally, I've used new razor blades and X-acto knives to cut the tops of loaves.....but you know what? I think the thing that works best is the quick swipe of a serrated knife (a nice sharp serrated knife). I always get a clean cut, it's quick, and I'm not hunting around for tiny blades all the time.

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I have found I have the best success with scissors! I snip the dough with the points and it seems to work very well. I have also used a surgical scalpel which is incredibly sharp and yet I still manage to make a mess with it.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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let me put this one record, I HATE LAMES.

With that said, I as Anne, always use a serrated knife. My 10 inch henkle works fantastic. I knowEXACTLY what you mean when you stretch, or as I see it "tear" the bread when scoring. Its ugly, and at times frustrating. I've noticed is its not the sharpness of the blade, but perhaps the length. With my knife the blade never runs off, I make my mark and pick it up. With a lame or razor you have to strike all the way through, and if not done perectly one of the ends tends to dig in. Once that happens it doesnt take much at all to snag the dough and tear through leaveing ugle ripples.

try a knife.

Dean Anthony Anderson

"If all you have to eat is an egg, you had better know how to cook it properly" ~ Herve This

Pastry Chef: One If By Land Two If By Sea

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Wow! Thanks, all for the helpful replies. I also have used serrated blades, but thought they contstituted home-baker "cheating"!

Great tip on the company that makes lames, Jackal. Do you know where to buy them? I'd love to ask via email where they're imported, but don't speak French . . . I'll have to keep looking. Many thanks to all fellow bakers who replied.

Lizz

Lizz

---

"you miss 100% of the shots you don't take"

-Wayne Gretzky

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