Ever wondered how to create those perfect slashes on your homemade loaves? This guide to the bread lame, your secret tool to artisan baking, is your answer.

Scoring bread can be a challenge, but the bread lame is your key to mastering this art. It’s not just about aesthetics; it’s about improving texture and taste.

With years of baking experience, I’m here to share my knowledge and expertise. Ready to elevate your baking skills? Stay tuned as we delve into the world of scoring with a bread lame. You won’t want to miss this!

Table of Contents

  1. What is a Bread Lame?
  2. The History of the Bread Lame
  3. Why Use a Bread Lame?
  4. How to Use a Bread Lame
  5. Choosing the Right Bread Lame
  6. Where to Buy
  7. Conclusion
  8. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is a Bread Lame?

A bread lame (pronounced “lahm”) is a baker’s best friend. It’s a tool used to score, or cut, bread dough before it’s baked. This simple tool, often a razor blade attached to a handle, is what gives those beautiful artisan breads their unique patterns and helps control how the bread expands as it bakes.

Scored Sourdough Bread

The History of the Bread Lame

The bread lame has been a part of baking history for centuries. Bakers have always needed a way to control the rise of their bread, and the lame provided a simple solution. While the design has evolved over the years, the purpose remains the same: to create beautiful, evenly baked loaves.

Why Use a Bread Lame?

Scoring bread with a lame isn’t just about making your bread look pretty (though it does that too!). It’s about controlling the rise of the bread in the oven. Without those cuts, the bread would expand unevenly, leading to a misshapen loaf. Plus, those slashes give your bread character!

How to Use a Bread Lame

Using a bread lame is simple, but it does require a bit of practice. The key is to make swift, confident slashes on the surface of your proofed dough, about a half-inch deep. The angle and pattern of your slashes can affect the final look of your bread, so feel free to get creative!

Scored Sourdough Bread

Choosing the Right Bread Lame

When choosing a bread lame, consider the handle material, the blade quality, and the overall design. Some bakers prefer a simple wooden handle, while others opt for a more ergonomic design. The blade should be sharp and easy to replace. And of course, the design should inspire you every time you score a loaf!

Where to Buy

You can find bread lames at most kitchen supply stores, but for a wider variety, check out online retailers like Amazon.

For example I have this pretty basic one which does an excellent job and comes with 5 razor blades:

You can of course also go for a more fancy one:


A bread lame is a small tool, but it has a big impact. It’s the key to turning a simple loaf of bread into a work of art. So why not give it a try? Your bread (and your Instagram followers) will thank you!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Should a bread lame be curved?

While some bakers prefer a curved lame for certain types of bread, a straight lame works just fine for most loaves.

How often should I change my lame blade?

This depends on how often you bake, but a good rule of thumb is to change the blade when it starts to feel dull.

What lame do professional bakers use?

Professional bakers use a variety of lames, often choosing based on personal preference and the type of bread they’re baking.

Why use a bread lame and not a knife?

A bread lame is designed specifically for scoring bread, and its razor-sharp blade makes clean, precise cuts that a regular knife might struggle with.

Is a bread lame necessary?

While it’s possible to score bread with a sharp knife, a bread lame makes the process easier and more precise. Plus, it’s a must if you want to create intricate patterns on your bread.