Sourdough, Slashing, and the Grigne


This is a 75% hydration sourdough, with 3-4 hour initial fermentation and finished ~12 hours in a fridge. Then it was shaped, slashed with the long edge of a kitchen knife (at a ~30' angle) and placed into a 475' oven. I did not use a cover or a crock pot to bake.

The problem I have is that my slashes always seem to close up, often opening at the bottom. If you look at this picture closely, you can see that there are remnants of slashes on the top of the bread (aside from the humps) - those slashes are from me slashing the bread again ~5 minutes after the bread went into the oven.I have never been able to get good scores and they always seem to close up.

What am I doing wrong and what can I do to correct these problems?

242 users have voted.


Emmanuel Demers 2011 December 22

Actully  here you need more time.

I don't now how many time you let rise your sourdough ?

And how many time you let your bread for primary fermatention ?

But I thing Your bread need more time of fermentation.

What is your water temperature for both sourdough and final dough ?

Finally which level are you using in your stove ? Down, middle or hight. Because I thing

you need to put your bread closer of the heater source.

LeadDog's picture
LeadDog 2011 December 23

 It is possible because of your higher hydration that you don't need to slash your dough.  If the hydration was down around 67% then slashing would work.

Hoecake 2011 December 23

Could your oven temp be to high?   If it was me I'd bake at 450F [covered] for 15 minutes then lower the temp to 350F for 20-25 minutes until middle of bread reached 190-200F.

farinam's picture
farinam 2011 December 23

Hello 350degrees,

I wonder whether you are slashing across the loaf rather than along it.  This is just because your 'oven' slashes are across but perhaps that was for convenience.

It seems that for at least some of the extra cuts you have only just made it through the skin of the loaf that had already set due to the oven heat and there was not enough rise to break out.  I imagine the 'boils' developed where your secondary cuts were either deeper or longer so that rise could occur through them.

If you can provide more detail of your procedure, that would be good.  What you have said suggests that you shaped (and slashed/baked) immediately after retardation whereas normally one would shape after bulk ferment and prove under retardation - then slash and bake.

I think one possibility is that your dough is overproved - it becomes more slack and slumps/flows when turned out and slashed.  This is particularly relevant if you proved following the retardation - things don't stop in the fridge, they just slow down. 

Another is that a lower hydration might be worth trying until your technique is right - the lower hydration is easier to handle and less likely to slump if not shaped properly.

Hope this helps and feel free to continue the discussion.


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