A bread lame (pronounced “lahm”) is a tool used in bread baking to make decorative slashes or cuts on the surface of the dough before it is baked. The term “lame” is derived from the French word for “blade.” It typically consists of a handle and a replaceable razor blade or a curved, serrated blade attached to it.
Bread lames are primarily used to score the dough, which serves several purposes. First, scoring allows the baker to control the expansion of the bread during baking. The cuts provide an outlet for steam to escape, preventing the bread from bursting irregularly or developing large air pockets. Second, scoring creates a visually appealing pattern on the bread’s surface, enhancing its appearance.
When using a bread lame, bakers often make different types of cuts depending on the bread’s style and desired outcome. Common scoring patterns include single straight cuts, diagonal slashes, or more intricate designs like wheat stalks or spirals. The technique requires a steady hand and practice to achieve desired results.
Using a bread lame with a sharp blade is essential to prevent tearing or dragging the dough while scoring. Bakers typically hold the lame at a shallow angle and swiftly make their desired cuts across the dough’s surface just before it goes into the oven.
Overall, a bread lame is a valuable tool for bakers, allowing them to add both functional and aesthetic touches to their bread loaves.