Slashed Breads Bake-off

We don't celebrate Halloween in Malaysia but its influences must have rubbed off on me, because I really feel like doing some wicked slashing. *slash* *slash* Or, maybe, I've been inspired by lamp's blog where I see him effortlessly perfecting his scoring skills (tying flies for the right people helps ;)  :P ).

The reasons for slashing (most) breads are not only aesthetic and functional, but, in ages past, they were also used to identify a family's bread since bread were baked in communal ovens. I don't know, but, for me, it's so incredible. Breadmakers are such a creative lot.

So, let's see lots of slashed breads. Who knows...perhaps, we'd like some particular slashes so much, we'll come to be identified by it. (Hey, that bread must be TP's?....the cuts are!)

Go and release the artist in you...or, at least, some aggression. What's good for your bread is good for you.



Here is one I made earlier.
The bread is 10% dark rye, which shows nicely against the floured outside.

Love the colours of the pic, too! I need to work on Z-Z'ing, haven't been terribly successful.


Here is one of my latest, sourdough bags, based on Eric Kayser's, from Nils adaption!

What a handsome baguette! What do you use to score, Jeremy?


A lame of course mon cheri!

Just one of my latest, a rye raisin and cranberry loaf. I actually have another version of the baguette going in again, hybrid with a tad bit of yeast, It's kinda cold here so I wanted to boost the sourdough!

You guys are so sensitive to your breads and temperature, adapting over the months and seasons. With only a few degrees difference the whole year round, my job is much easier.

What bread should I best play slashing with?


A bit underproved so they did not turn out as well as hoped, but here are my latest attempts.

I do like the diamond pattern. :-)

I tried for a "wave" looking slash that did not really work...

I'll bake again on Sunday night, and I'll see if they turn out looking a bit better....

Jeremy, I'm envious of how your breads look, especially your baguette!

The pattern is made even more interesting with the marks from your coiled banneton.


I bought this crazy Dutch slashing machine off ebay a few weeks ago. TP you can borrow it from me if you ever decide to do Halloween.

It took me a while to find the right air fittings, but today i am making a dough for a test bake. I would like to reverse engineer the machine action to a hand action that a baker can use with a lame. It could be just a straight cut action, but I am hoping for something a little different. If anyone has experience with this style of cut, it would be good to hear from you.
Whatever you do, don't piss dad off!
Jeezus Graham that should be illegal in at least 30 States, unless you live in Alaska?

What sorts of loaves need that sort of slash?
TP, do you even dare go now?
What sorts of loaves need that sort of slash?

Jeremy I am looking for a recipe now. Look at these photos, particularly the bottom of the page, and here as well.

More research:
Cut Bread (translation of 'knip brood')
Decoration Method

"finally, a kitchen tool that will remove all fingers simultaneously"
Don't drop it! Might get your bloody toes!
....but I'd be very very careful when I use that! Don't wanna be knipped.


Dough slashed ready for the oven


Really appreciate the just slashed pix. I can really 'see' where I went wrong now.


I really should get a new stock of blades - my rusty razor blade does the job, but I am going to slip and give myself tetanus one of these days...


Absolutely beautiful, Dom.

Sensational looking bread Dom. Is it intentional that if you flipped the W and added an O, the signature would be complete? (sorry if I am missing the obvious!) Rusty razors?? Now that I am the blade king, I hope you don't mind if I send you a pack of blades.
because there's already an O and a W (or upside down M). A great grigne, indeed, Dom W! Hmm...what to slash for mine?


Oh sorry! Yes I see now. That is the price I pay for over-conceptualising everything. It is all so simple once I stop thinking about it!
thanks guys
the one on the left is supposed to be a D, but does look a bit o-like

Graham - I see what you mean, your collection of mean cutting implements has expanded since I last looked. Perhaps I'll put a proper lame on my Christmas wish list

Looks as if I was thinking of a bread which wasn't there. A 'D' it is!

My initial experiment with the knip cutter machine went, so. The machine functioned very well and cut through a wet dough cleanly. The final distinctive bloom is not as prominant as I would like, I think because:

1. knip machine not pushed deep enough. 2. wet dough and no flour added into cut. 3. time between cutting and oven too short for this style of dough. So tomorrow I will try again, with attention to these issues.

LOVE it! What flour did you use, Graham? I bet you wish you had more bread to cut. I would. The knipper-snipper machine hasn't even warmed up.

As I type, I've got a sourdough graham :D bread (using 40% graham flour) and another non-sourdough pseudo-hokkaido loaf proving. I'll choose one to snip. ((Throw the machine ovahhhh!))

You weren't kidding Graham.
Can't believe it he bakes bread! Jejejejeje
Was it like trimming shrubbery?
Does look very nice, but considering your virtually a Luddite in bread terms, have you gone retro by using this utensil?:)

What sort of flour is it? What about doing mottled dough with a slurry of rice flour like Tiger bread, that is a Dutch sort of bread??

Keep at it!
Ha! Funny people who use this site. Jeremy and TP you are invited for a complimetary knip and tuck whenever you get to OZ.

The flour is a light stoneground wheat, about 80% extraction. The 2650g final dough included an enrichment of 400ml fresh milk/150g butter/90g honey. This enrichment was my tribute to Dutch culture, and actually turned out to be very good tasting.

TP is your graham flour a uniquely milled wholewheat flour? I've read that it is 'nuttier', with a finely ground endosperm and coarsely ground bran, and of course includes the germ. It sounds like the closest a roller mill can get to creating stoneground-style flour.

What is a non-sourdough pseudo-hokkaido (pumpkin???) loaf? Whatever it is, knipping it can only make it better.
Maybe you could do circumscisions?
Nice loaf, hope to see more soon.
Check out my interview with a baker from the former East Germany, really nice guy and he makes some awesome loaves, well from what I gather from the pictures and all the people trying to make them on the various German blogs!

Cheers and happy clipping! Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Jeremy i tuned into your web site, got my headphones on, then read your interview with Wolfgang Süpke.  Very glad to hear from someone who is essentially an artist wearing a baker's cap. Great stuff.
Thanks mate,
Wolfgang Supke is a really cool guy, I like that interacts with other bakers on his blog and his breads look really good, it's safe to say I tried a couple, one great the other well I still can't figure all the German vocabulary or bread techniques yet!

Jeremy line's so crappy, the post I thought I made last night didn't show up. Each time after making a post here, it gets disconnected after I submit it for posting.

Here's the graham loaf, with a weak attempt to slash a 'P' which turned out to be an ugly 'e'. Graham, the flour's from Bob's Red Mill. The flour itself does smell good, the taste test will be tonight...eating it with curry chicken.

Sneaking in the Hokkaido Milk Loaf (non-sourdough), pseudo coz I didn't use hokkaido milk which was ridiculously expensive. Gimme delicious australian milk anytime. It became my knipping candidate (I used scissors, of course) but the result is far from Graham's, so it shall not be shown from that angle. Here's the crumb..very rich, but, a bit too sweet, I think. It should be able to be converted to fully sourdough.

Not a good day for slashing.


It looks precious, my precioussssssssssssssssssssssssssssss!

...thankfully. Will have to listen to your latest interview later, Jeremy. Busy day.

Milk bread eh? hmm gonna have to try that at work tonight if I have the chance.

I'd reduce the sugar content. Shudder...too sweet.

How's your beasties, Adam? Baking with it yet?


I found a similar recipe online that is a simple milk bread. I have already hand mixed it, and it is proofing right now.
500 g hard white flour
350 g milk
20 g honey
25 g butter
6 g salt
20 g fresh yeast (or 7 g packet of instant)

As for the sourdough. I rushed my first loaf, it was dense, and did not rise. I actually did not have the time to make it, so I will try again when I do.
I did convert it to a Whole Wheat starter though, and will be trying a WW sourdough next.


Well I made them and they turned out great. I am taking one home, and will try to take pictures then.
The recipe made approximately 4 loafs @ 230 grams
We taste tested one, and everyone loved it. Going to leave one for my boss's and see what they think. Very soft, with a sweet aftertaste.

Anyhow, back to work!


Yes, do take pix. Is the bread slashed? *cough* Actually, this thread is for SOURDOUGH*SLASHED*breads. I'm afraid I stuck my hand out at some stage and set the thread off tangent.

My girls love milk loaves.

yea, I was going to put it in my blog, since this was for slashed sourdoughs. And I did not slash all of them. Only one, and I left it at work for the boss. I tried the scissor cuts, and they turned out alright.

...November is a nutty busy time for me, but I'm going to try and contribute once Graham sends me a lame.

Question - I usually use a really wet dough, which I've always found harder to get slashed definition on.  What % hydration doughs are you all using?

Thanks, Celia

...November is a nutty busy time for me, but I'm going to try and contribute once Graham sends me a lame.

Question - I usually use a really wet dough, which I've always found harder to get slashed definition on.  What % hydration doughs are you all using?

Thanks, Celia

Question - I usually use a really wet dough, which I've always found harder to get slashed definition on.  What % hydration doughs are you all using?

Those small stciks above were made from a dough with 70% water and is pretty standard, for mine. Although, it varies from dough type to dough type; one size doesn't fit all.

Thanks Boris!  I'm using a 75% - 80% hydration at the moment, will try cutting it back a bit to see if I get better definition in my slashes.

Waiting at the mailbox for the lame.. ;)

about hydration in relation to slashes, but, I'd be chicken to slash anything above 75% hydration.

Nice to see you, C!


[quote=TeckPoh]......... I'd be chicken to slash anything above 75% hydration.

There's no question it's more difficult, and in most cases superfluous. If it's needed and the dough is fairly 'lively', speed of hand & lame movement not to mention technique is essential. Those well fermented 'slack' wheat doughs usually possess a springy, bouncy nature to them, hence we refer to them as 'lively'. 

Wheat doughs with hydration over 75-80% will not need slashing anyway. 

Often slashing our prized sourdough loaf at home evokes a performance anxiety in us as we gaze on the fresh clean dough surface. That pressure usually undermines our efforts. Try to relax but be deliberate with your slashes. The slashes on the laof below illustrates the simplicity but deliberate approach; looks beautiful.


Your dough always looks good, slash or no slash!
Go and see what the Dan Lepard site is saying about retarding, I still let my loaf warm up, never right out of fridge and into the oven!?
...when you show up and what you show, dear Boris.

My line's slow, so the pic took a while to unload. As it unfolded, I nearly fell off my chair when it started to look familiar. So funny. Thank you...too kind. A compliment I'd have to work hard to recreate.

Yes, indeed. Anxiety describes my state spot on, almost all the time as I'm about to slash my breads. Arrrggghh.


.... where's my lame ?!?!  :D

(Just kidding, I only ordered it yesterday, so I'm being a bit optimistic..)

Yes, it got sent yesterday and could have made it to your place today...but sometimes takes 2 days. You are mighty keen to start slashing, aren't you Celia?

You go, girl!!!