Bread Lames 101

What is a bread lame?

A bread lame (pronounced "LAHM”) is a tool used to score (slash) bread dough before baking. Lame means blade in French… makes sense!

Typically, a bread lame is a double-sided blade mounted on a handle.

Why use a bread lame?

Scoring (or slashing) your dough creates a weak point and helps to control the expansion of the loaf as it bakes, essentially creating little chimneys for steam to escape.

Without this step, the dough can rupture in unexpected areas and in a rather chaotic manner. Also, you might experience what's called a blowout, where a growth/lump comes protruding out of the top, side or even the bottom of the loaf.

More than just a practical tool, a bread lame is also widely used to add intricate patterns and to give your loaves a unique personal touch.

How do I use it?

There is no set way to use a bread lame, and proficiency definitely improves with practice. However, there are certainly some top tips that will help you get started:

  • Make sure your blade is very sharp, change your blades every 3-4 uses

  • It can help to wet your blade, particularly if your dough is especially sticky. Having a bowl or cup of water nearby is always handy when scoring your dough

  • Position the dough so that cutting away or inward is comfortable. It is good practice to have a clear idea of the cuts you plan to make. See ‘Types of scoring patterns’ below.

  • Don’t press down on the dough, but rather let the blade do the work

  • You are looking for your blade to go about 1/2 an inch deep

  • Slash with confidence and authority

  • Cold dough is easier to score, so it might help to chill it before scoring

  • Once it's scored, make sure to bake as soon as possible as your dough will begin to deflate

Types of scoring patterns

What type of scoring pattern you use will in part depend on the shape and type of loaf. A round boule, for instance, will suit an X-shaped score, or one resembling a hashtag symbol, while a baguette or oval boule will traditionally get a series of diagonal slashes.

Let your creativity shine, and develop your own signature style!

The Melrose Kitchen Bread Lame

Ergonomic and easy to use, The Melrose Kitchen's hardwood UFO bread lame is the perfect tool to give you the 'cutting edge' when it comes to scoring your bread.

Each lame comes with its own hessian storage bag, extra blades and care instructions. Blades can be stored safely inside the casing between uses.

Lame care

Our bread lames are easy and safe to put together, see the video below:

It is a good idea to replace your blades after 3-4 uses. Take care when replacing your blades.

Always dispose of your blades responsibly.

The blade you are using can be safely stored away inside the wooden casing of your bread lame. See video below:

The wooden casing on our bread lames can simply be wiped clean and stored in their hessian bag.

If you want to get hold of The Melrose Kitchen bread lame, click here.

Feel free to comment with any questions and to share your Melrose Kitchen lames with us on Instagram using the hashtag #mymelrose.

Happy baking,

Jenny & Jack x