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When I try to score bread with a lame, the blade tends to catch on the dough instead of slicing cleanly through. This means that I have to run over the same cut several times, and also produces ugly jagged edges on the scores (see photo). The bread does expand correctly, so it's purely an aesthetic issue, but I'd still like the bread to look a little less clumsy. I've read instructions and watched videos on YouTube, but clearly I'm missing something. How can I optimize?

enter image description here

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    Tbh I just use my kitchen scissors and do half a dozen good snips. I do this because I had all the problems you describe. – Spagirl May 11 at 2:36
  • I do the same thing in fact did this just yesterday. I also like to score the bread quite deeply which I think provides better rise and looks better so I really dig in with the scissors. – Uncle Long Hair May 11 at 11:32
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    I'm an intermediate bread baker. I use a long sharp serrated bread knife to score the dough. I do it on the parchment sling immediately before lifting it into the dutch oven. I've also tried scissors in the past, but I find a long blade can produce more even results. – Rick May 11 at 16:43
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This is an annoying problem, you've gone through all the effort to make beautiful loaves and then the razor catches and makes an ugly mark, or even deflates the bread a bit.

This is most likely to happen on high hydration doughs as they tend to be stickier. The trick is to stop it from sticking in the first part of the cut. The best way to stop sticking is to oil the blade before each cut. I drop some on a paper towel and use that to apply it, some bakers use an oil sprayer. Water also works, you dip the blade in water before each cut.

Also, there's technique. If you cut with the tip it's much more likely to catch, you need to cut with the flat of the blade. Don't press in hard, let the blade do the work.

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  • After proofing the surface of the loaf could be a bit dry. Can spraying warm water be of help together with a wet blade? In my case a wet blade is not always enough to solve the problem. – David P May 11 at 8:49
  • This is an excellent answer. I find it useful to imagine where the end of the cut will be and then make one single firm move with the razor blade. – Mark Wildon May 11 at 8:51
  • Dry may be more sticky rather than less @DavidP, it's hard to say. Spraying with water just before baking will change the crust, which may not be what you want, this is why I use oil on my blade instead of water. – GdD May 11 at 14:18

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