What knife to use for scoring bread

What Knife To Use For Scoring Bread?

What knife to use for scoring bread
Updated on
November 17, 2022
Gareth Busby
Gareth Busby

Before bread goes into the oven it is scored or cut with a sharp blade. Scoring allows the excess gas that builds up inside the baking bread to escape. The release of the gas prevents the crust from rupturing and looking unappealing. A baker’s lame, also known as a “grignette” is used to make the cuts. These specialist bread knives are made from a thin scalpel razor blade. It is sharp, lightweight and less likely to drag on the surface of the dough. A baker’s lame is an essential tool for any bread baker wanting to make professional-looking bread. Ergonomics is important! In this article, we are going to cover the four types of bread lame you can buy, other alternatives and what is the best knife for scoring bread.

What is the best lame for baking bread?

There are four category types of lame available to bread bakers. Here are my recommended choices for each:

  • Bordelaise Grignette From Mure and Peyrot
  • UFO Round Bakers Lame
  • Curved Lame
  • Wooden Handle Lame

Best bread lame for beginners

Bordelaise Grignette From Mure and Peyrot

View on Amazon

Cheap, lightweight and straightforward. Mure and Peyrot are the industry standard for professional baker lame’s. Despite this one being my beginner’s choice, I find the lightweight design of the Bordelaise Grignette the best. It’s the easiest to hold, its blue colour makes it hard to lose (yes, that can be a problem!), and I can make any cuts with ease.

Best bread lame for intricate designs

UFO Round Bakers Lame

UFO lame

View on Amazon

These round cutters are very popular for creating pretty bread designs with accuracy. I prefer the pen-shaped stick design as they are what I’m used to, but I can see why others love this design. Many home bakers are using this style at the moment to score bread art masterpieces. You hold the lame closer to the dough, which makes it easier to perfect each stroke. More heart surgery, less like an artist.

Best bread lame for baguettes

Curved Lame

If you want the classic crescent cuts on baguettes, you’ll need to use a curved lame like this one by Mure & Peyrot. A lame in this style is used to create the classic almond-shaped slashes on baguettes and other French loaves of bread. Beginners find this blade style tricky to master, and whilst the curved scores are excellent for French-style loaves, you’ll want a straight-edge version as well for other designs.

The most ergonomic bread lame

Wooden Handle Lame

View on Amazon

This chunky handled lame reminds me of driving an SUV. It’s bigger and meaner than everyone else, but is it any better? Well, a wooden-handled lame that’s as well-made as this one appears to be an upgrade to the Bordelaise Grignette. This lame looks incredible, and there’s something about the chunky handle that empowers me to make quality bread! It’s very durable. I imagine it will last a lifetime. On the downside, it is heavier than the others on this list, which, whilst feeling high-quality, would tire my arms if I used it in an industrial environment.

How to use a lame to score bread

If you’ve never used a lame before, it’s like holding a pen. To learn several scoring designs visit my how to score bread page.

How to change a blade on a bread lame

Where can I get blades from a baker’s lame?

It is hard to find stores that sell baker’s lames or replacement blades. A few catering stores and cooking shops stock them, but it’s easier and (usually) cheaper to order replacement blades online. Here’s a link to the blades I use.

Replacement blades for lame

What’s the difference between a Lame and a Grignette?

A Lame (pronounced “LAHM”) means “blade” in French. A Grignette is technically the handle. Lame and Grignette are often used interchangeably for “a device to cut bread dough!”

I can’t get a baker’s lame, what can I use as a lame alternative?

If you can’t get a baker’s lame, a serrated knife will work for simple cuts. A thin serrated knife is preferred, but a standard bread knife is usually fine for a straight cut. I do this often when I can’t find my lame!

How to use a knife to score bread?

Can I make my own lame?

It is possible to make your own curved device for slashing the bread. It isn’t something I’m going to recommend, but if you are interested, here’s a YouTube video (as it contains knives, it’s restricted).

Ending thoughts on the best bread lame

We’ve seen 4 bread lames that I recommend, depending on what your use is for. Once you’ve found your lame choice, look at the article how to score bread for tips on how to use it and basic scoring patterns. I’m interested… If you already have a bread lame, which one do you have? What do you think about it? Let me know in the comments below.

Frequently asked questions about the best bread lame

How many times can I use the same blade on my bread lame?
The lame has to be kept sharp for a crisp cut. The more it is used, the quicker it becomes blunt. If you are using a rectangle-shaped blade, you can utilise both sides and then reverse it to use the other. This helps to extend the life of the lame.
How often should I change the blade on a baker’s lame?
A blade is at its best within the first 20 cuts. After this, it will deteriorate until it needs changing after around 40. If the blade is reversible, the life can be doubled. For intricate designs, you may need to replace the blade sooner.
Where can I get a baker’s lame?
It depends on which type of lame you are looking for. If you’re looking for crafty ones with thick wooden handles, Etsy has several handcrafted pieces. If you’re looking for the standard lightweight lames that I prefer, try Amazon.
Can you sharpen a bread lame?
To sharpen a baker’s lame you need specialist laser equipment. You would not be able to do this with traditional knife sharpeners. It’s best to replace the blade with a new one.

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