Bread Lame Tips That Are Not Actually Lame

Using a bread lame (pronounced “lahm”) is a skill that can help you achieve beautiful and professional-looking slashes on your bread before baking. Proper scoring with a lame is essential for allowing your bread to expand and form an attractive crust during baking. Here are some tips on using a bread lame effectively:

  1. Choose the Right Blade:
    • Bread lames typically use replaceable double-edged razor blades. Make sure your blade is sharp and new for clean cuts.
    • There are various types of lames available, including straight, curved, and even designs with multiple blades. Choose one that you find comfortable to hold and maneuver.
  2. Safety First:
    • Always handle the lame with care, as the blade is extremely sharp. Use it away from other people and children.
    • When not in use, keep the blade covered or in a safe storage container.
  3. Prepare Your Dough:
    • Score your dough just before it goes into the oven to get the best results. The dough should be properly proofed and have a firm but not overly dry surface.
  4. Hold the Lame Properly:
    • Hold the lame like a pencil or a knife, with your thumb on one side and your fingers on the other. Ensure a comfortable grip for precise control.
  5. Angle and Depth:
    • Hold the lame at a shallow angle (about 20-30 degrees) to the surface of the dough.
    • The depth of your cuts will depend on the hydration of your dough. For higher hydration dough, make deeper cuts; for lower hydration, make shallower cuts.
  6. Quick and Confident Cuts:
    • Make swift, confident cuts. Hesitation can lead to tearing rather than clean slashes.
    • Use long, continuous cuts rather than multiple short ones. This ensures that the blade doesn’t drag or catch on the dough.
  7. Experiment with Patterns:
    • Scoring can be functional and decorative. You can create different patterns for aesthetic appeal and to control how the bread expands during baking. A simple “X” or a series of parallel slashes are common patterns, but feel free to get creative.
  8. Practice and Patience:
    • Scoring takes practice, so don’t be discouraged if your first attempts aren’t perfect. It’s a skill that improves with experience.
    • If you’re having trouble, consider practicing on a batch of unbaked bread dough or even just a piece of cardboard to get a feel for the lame’s motion.
  9. Maintain Blade Sharpness:
    • Replace your lame blade regularly to ensure clean cuts. Dull blades can cause tearing and rough slashes.
  10. Baking Technique:
    • After scoring, promptly place your bread in the preheated oven to capture the maximum oven spring (the initial rise of the bread when exposed to high heat).

Remember, using a bread lame is an art as well as a technique. With practice, you’ll become more skilled at creating beautiful patterns that enhance both the appearance and texture of your homemade bread.

Grab some Elden Spores Starter Today and get started perfecting your technique!

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