Slashed, docked, or scored—we’re enamored with the beauty from the lame blade.
When scoring bread, bakers use a small double-sided kitchen blade called a lame (pronounced lahm) to make precise, strategic cuts across the dough’s surface. These slashes allow moisture to escape and give the finished loaf that sought-after complex crust. The cutting process is mesmerizing to watch, and the post-bake result is even more so. What enters the oven as raw shaped bread with small gashes emerges as a fully formed loaf with crispy ridges and arcs in earthen hues of gold and brown.
Professional and home bakers around the world are using their dough as a canvas to create rustic rye boules with spirals expanding from the epicenter, sourdough baguettes with elaborate geometric patterns, and robust miches slashed to illustrate the bushels of heirloom wheat they were baked with. Bread scoring today is all about flair and skill—just take a look at the master works of Lionel Vatinet at La Farm Bakery in Cary, North Carolina (who made the gorgeous loaves shown above!) This art form not only gives us a visually stunning product to admire, but it provides bakers with a way to leave their signature on the final product. Check out a few of our favorite lame masters and their bread art on Instagram.
Self-proclaimed “breadgeek,” Sweden’s Daniel Larsson not only posts photos of his beautiful sourdough designs, he posts videos on how to make them yourself.
This home baker’s gorgeous rye bread could start a revolution. Known as Hannah P., she only bakes bread on the side, but her wheat staff and chevron patterns work full time.
Jorgen Carlsen is the founder of the bread baking tutorial site abreaducation.com, and you’ll love his loaves that have seeds and whole grains incorporated into the designs. View his masterpieces in person at San Francisco’s Jane on Larkin, where he’s currently head baker.
Finalist for the 2015 Saveur Blog Awards, Natasa Djuric’s sourdough obsession shines through in her feed and in the how-to’s on her website of the same name.