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I've noticed that it is dramatically easier to score firm bread dough than wet bread dough. But, sometimes it's good to work with a wet dough for other reasons. Any tips on how to score wet bread dough without squashing/ripping/mutilating?

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Not a native English speaker am I. What does score mean here? – TheIndependentAquarius Mar 29 '13 at 3:48
@AnishaKaul- score in this context means to partially cut something to weaken it. For example- when cutting glass the glass is scored with the glass cutter and then broken along the score line. – Sobachatina Mar 29 '13 at 5:02
@AnishaKaul Specifically with bread, it's the cuts you make in the loaf before baking that then get stretched out in the oven as the bread expands. If you image search for scored bread - or just baguettes - you'll see a ton of examples of what this looks like. – Jefromi Mar 29 '13 at 5:56
@Jefromi Thanks for the explanation. – TheIndependentAquarius Mar 29 '13 at 6:12
@AnishaKaul In the context of breadmaking, this is a commonly used English term, and it's pretty easy to find a definition online (all you have to do is search for scoring bread). The site's in English, and while we can always try to be clear, it's not really feasible for us to define all the terms that people might not have heard before - we also want to be concise. – Jefromi Mar 29 '13 at 6:29
up vote 6 down vote accepted

A very sharp blade with minimum drag.

The traditional tool is called a lame- basically just a curved classic razor blade on a handle. If you make a lot of bread you might consider buying this unitasker. (link to google images of lames)

You can use a kitchen knife if yours are very sharp but I've had the best results with a straight razor blade. I've read of people using serrated blades but they always mutilated my bread.

A little bit of non stick spray will do wonders at keeping the blade from binding up in the dough.

The rest is technique. Make each score in a single cut if possible. Instructions often say to make "deliberate slashes". Plan out where you want the cut then slash confidently. Multiple slashes or slow or halting cuts will do more damage to the loaf.

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Serrated blades do work reasonably well if they're pretty sharp, as opposed to the kind that only cuts because it's serrated. – Jefromi Mar 29 '13 at 6:27
Thanks, great answer with multiple options! – Jonathan Mar 30 '13 at 21:03

If you're willing to go for a "leaf" shape, I recommend scissors. It's a very easy alternative to traditional scoring and works very well for wet dough.

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Good tip! But I'm wondering what exactly is the leaf shape - do you have any pictures? – Jonathan Jun 25 '13 at 21:36

I like to use a serrated bread knife to score my dough. It works very well and I just put it on the dough lightly and saw back and forth until I have the serrations I want.

Hope this helps!

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