For the best-looking bread, you need the right scoring tool.
Published Oct. 27, 2022.
The best lames score bread dough nicely and are easy to use and grip in different ways. They also make it easy to attach and remove blades. Our all-around favorite lame is the Baker of Seville Artisan Bread Lame. It’s a cinch to configure and can be held comfortably in different ways. Best of all, it can be adjusted so that the blade is either curved or straight, making it a great option for both simple and complex scoring alike. For the most intricate scoring, we also love the Wire Monkey UFO Bread Journey. It’s a little tricky to attach and remove blades on this lame, but it provides unparalleled control for the most detailed designs.
When you’re making crusty white or sourdough bread, it’s important to score, or cut, the dough before baking. Scoring is first and foremost functional: It allows your bread to expand properly, in a predetermined way, as it bakes. If you don’t score your dough, the loaf will develop odd ruptures and blowouts as the moisture inside it heats up. But scoring is also decorative: Cutting lines, patterns, or shapes in the dough will give your finished loaf an attractive, professional-quality look.
You can score dough using any sharp blade; a paring or even utility knife will do. But if you bake a lot of bread, it’s worth getting a dedicated tool called a lame, which can make the task easier and the results better-looking. The word “lame” (pronounced lahm) means blade in French, and indeed, a lame is basically a razor blade attached to a holder. This particular type of razor blade is much thinner and sharper than any other blade you might use, so it slices through sticky dough far more nimbly, dragging less and creating cleaner, more well-defined lines.
We tested a variety of lames on different types of bread doughs to see which features mattered. Here’s what we learned.
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Miye is a senior editor for ATK Reviews. She covers booze, blades, and gadgets of questionable value.