Scoring bread describes cuts made to bread dough before the dough is placed in the oven and baked. The cuts or the scoring of the bread dough are made with two purposes in mind: 1. To control the way the bread expands in the oven 2. To control the way the loaf will look
When baking bread, the intense heat of an oven causes the dough to rise rapidly by expediting the fermentation process. Through the production of gasses, the dough is forced to spring up and push against the taut surface formed during the shaping and proofing stage.
For an ear on your bread, the real trick is to be confident, quick and use a really sharp blade so it doesn’t drag. It’s also best to only have one or two slashes maximum, so that the dough expansion can be really concentrated to one or two areas only. This give the dough a real chance of developing that crusty ear.
There are a number of tools that bakers can use to score bread. Some are more effective than others. Here’s a list of options for the home baker, along with my favorites: 1. A very sharp, thin kitchen knife 2. Sharp kitchen scissors 3. Razor blade or bread lame