Slashing

Hi everyone

I need need some adivice on how to slash your loaf effectively. I have read the tutorials and tried to slash at an angle with conviction. There is a definate at least 5mm slash before the loaf hits the heat but within the first 10 mins the slash seals back up. Could anyone tell me why and what I could do to get lovely slashes that burst open?

Thanks

Chel x

8 comments

Chel, slashing is an art.  It will come with time.  I would spend weeks making a few baguettes every evening to try to master the skill.  Here is some insight that I developed from my experiments.  First, make sure that your blade/lame is razer sharp.   I had been using the same blade for years.  In my mind, I found it hard to believe that a blade/lame could become dull cutting into dough.  Well the answer is that even soft dough will dull a blade/lame.  Once I bought a new blade, the quality of my slashes improved.  Second, pay attention to proofing.   It is ten times harder to slash a loaf that is over-proofed than one that is not.   I would suggest working with an underproofed loaf that you let rise in the refrigerator over several days.  You will find that the dough will be a lot firmer and more willing to accept the blade/lame.   If my suggestions fail you, then keep baking.  Repetition definitely helps.  Each bake and slashing session will teach you something new.  You will learn the art of slashing in your own way.  

Thanks so much for replying Dan. I have working through all my kitchen knives to see which is the best, today I even tried scissors. They weren't too bad and my loaf had a lovely split but it was nothing to do with me simply a natural fault line! After your advise I'm going to buy a proper lame too see what happens. I also suspect my dough could be a little wet and/or very slightly overprooved too. I've been doing the poke test but I think I still let it go that bit too far. So I'll do as you suggested keep it in the fridge and keep practicing. Thanks again for your help.

Chel x.

A little packet of old style shaving razor blades from the supermarket are very cheap and very sharp.

You can split them in two and use them in your hand, or get a small piece of dowel and glue them into a small slit on the side! Saves paying postage for a little lame, unless you need lots of other bread making things at the same time.

Hi Julian

 

Thanks for the tip, sent my husband into our local chemist today and he bought a 5 pack of old fashioned razor blades for 75p. I'm going to superglue it between two of the kids lollipop sticks and give it a go tomorrow night.

 

Chel x

Slashing with any knife is really difficult cf using a razor...

 

A knife will tend to drag in the dough, no matter how sharp. If I had a bunch of knives and had to use one, I would look for a very sharp serated one with a very pointy end (not much blade depth on that end inch or so).

Just to let you know the home made lolly stick lame worked a treat! Thanks for all hints and tips.

 

Chel x

 Lollystick Lame?! Now I want to see a picture :)

Hi Maedi

 

As I'm useless at all things technical and can't add a photo here I started a new tread with a picture of my lollipop lame. It is called "what a difference a blade makes".

 

Chel x