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?
A very sharp blade with minimum drag.
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.
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.
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!
So the key with wet dough is to proof in the fridge over night 12 hours or so depending on your fridge temp. You might want to adjust your fridge temp but you might ruin other food. usually fridge temp is way to low for any yeast activity. Cold dough stiffens and it becomes 100000 million times easier to score. Some people put oil on the blade.