Scoring, or slashing your dough prior to baking allows the bread to grow as it bakes and to grow in a way that you choose, rather than it just cracking at random as it bakes…and it will! Unscored dough will always grow too, but never quite as much as dough that has been purposely scored.
Please note that if you have built up a good structure in your dough your dough will not deflate once scored. And even if it does slightly, if you starter and dough are strong enough, the dough will grow and flourish as it bakes.
Always score your dough firmly and cut it into the dough at a depth of 0.5-1.0cm deep, preferably with a bread lame, or razor blade, rather than a knife.
Knives are rarely sharp or thin enough and will drag the dough, whereas a razor blade will cut a swift, clean line into the dough.
As you become more comfortable with the dough, you can get creative; I love it, I just look at the dough and slash as I fancy, but some people like to draw templates and be more organised than me!
These sets will show you some of my scoring fun before and after baking, you never know how it will come out once baked, which is part of the fun…
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I have added some videos of scoring dough on my YouTube channel to show just how deep, or not, you need to cut into the dough.