Lame Scoring

homemade bread lame wp-image-1991summary: 1st time scoring with a lame; baguettes; links to helpful videos; (click on image to see larger views and more photos)

Lame Scoring  

Yesterday, we FINALLY got a chance to try out our homemade lame.

And lame scoring it was. Well, maybe not as lame as I thought it might be. But we did have a little difficulty. We probably should have watched the YouTube videos a couple more times…

The round loaf – duh, as if you can’t tell – was not a great success. The right-angle cuts disappeared entirely. But the angled slashing for the baguettes was a little closer to being correct.

And the bread tasted great. And we are comforting ourselves with the following:

It takes a long time to get to where you can cut accurately.
 
– Martin Philip, King Arthur Flour Bakery

This morning, I looked through the bread books on our shelves to see what they said about scoring. I’m amazed. Daniel Leader’s book “Local Breads” doesn’t even have “scoring” in the index! Not surprisingly, Maggie Glezer has some good tips in “Artisan Baking Across America” – although at first I didn’t find anything. It’s listed as “slashing” in the index (“slashing” does not appear in Daniel Leader’s index either…). Carol Field includes a brief description of slashing in “The Italian Baker”. Rose Levy Beranbaum includes 2 or 3 illustrated pages on scoring in “The Bread Bible”.

I couldn’t believe it when the index for Chad Robertson’s “Tartine Bread” listed neither scoring nor slashing. And yet, inside the book, the photo essay on making baguettes shows slashing and includes a very brief text section saying “with a double-edged razor, score each loaf down the center with a series of slightly overlapping lines”. Ken Forkish, of course, says that he avoids using a lame altogether by baking his bread seam side up so it finds its own rustic breaking points (I still love that look for round loaves and after playing with the lame, will probably continue with that method for round loaves).

But I have to say that the following places online may prove to be the most helpful:

Not getting much help from my webhost, I’m working on a convoluted (for me) alternate way to allow comments that will satisfy everyone except the malicious bots….

 

edit 25 February: I finally have commenting allowed again! Whoohooooo! (read more here about the hoops I jumped through)